I’m currently looking for a job.
So naturally, I have been looking at a few job postings in the process. One thing I noticed (nothing spectacular, as you will see) is that companies often add phrases like:
- minimum experience of X years in … required
- At least X years of experience with …
- Degree in … considered an asset
These companies are looking for people with many years of experience, people who know what they are talking about, who have been there and done that. In other words: they are looking for experts.
And that is great. There is nothing wrong or bad about that. Experts are awesome.
But it made me think. It made me think of the quote*: “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got”.
In some cases that is exactly what we want. We want what we always got. We want proven quality. We want reliability. If so, ask the experts.
But sometimes what we need is inspiration. We are looking for innovation. We are stuck and need a new way, some brilliant idea to solve a problem. What we always got is no longer good enough. We need a new perspective.
In that case I would suggest asking a Non-Expert. Someone who hasn’t been there and hasn’t done that. Someone who “doesn’t have a clue”. Someone who “doesn’t really care”. Someone who can offer a fresh look…
Ask someone who “probably doesn’t have a clue” about something they “probably don’t care about” and you will get a response you probably didn’t expect.
But it might be just the answer you were looking for!
Ask the high school student about his opinion on taxes…
Talk to the mother of five children about project management…
See if the manager next door has some thoughts on meal planning and home cooking…
Start a conversation with anybody about anything…you’ll likely learn something…
They probably won’t give the answers the experts in that field would give.
They may not have the answers needed to solve the problem.
But they might just give you that bit of insight or new perspective you need.
*This quote has been attributed to Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein and a few others. If you know who it came from and have credible evidence I’d love to hear it.