Invigorating Your Business
A mix of experience propels a company to greatness!
In an ideal world, a company would always be hiring at regular intervals. This ensures that the company has a mix of experience and new ideas creating energy that can propel a company to greatness. Invigorating new ideas can come from multiple places. Recent graduates often bring new ideas from the academic world. Meanwhile people with experience from other companies with similar or even completely different product lines can bring new ideas into a company and create a different perspective. New ideas may also come from within if the company makes an opening for them.
The critical aspect is for the company to be open to truly hearing and learning from all different angles. As soon as a company or a manager starts looking only for information from one group or for information that supports one point of view, the company loses some of its strength.
In some scenarios, the company focuses almost exclusively on hiring employees that have recently graduated. The company may justify this move several different ways, but costs or the desire for a new perspective are often key factors. The cost to hire may be lower and the perspective may be new, but in this case, the company is missing out on real world experience.
This situation played out in a company that wanted to build a new product using new technology to replace existing products. It is very reasonable to start developing a new replacement product because existing products generally cannot be evolved indefinitely. The problem, however, arose when most of the people placed on the project were relatively early in their careers and the perspective that people with experience on existing products were not valuable started permeating the project team. This led the project team to only look within. Not only did they fail to seek knowledge from those on the existing products, but they also considered the few experienced people on the project obstructionist of sorts when they brought up relevant issues that needed to be addressed by the new product.
So, what happened with this product was that lots of mistakes that had been made before were made again. Additionally, some very significant issues weren’t raised until a great deal of money had been invested in the product. Some of these issues lead to considerable rework. When the product finally went to market, it could not replace the existing product as intended. Instead, it took years before this product could replace the existing project with a total cost far exceeding the original estimates.
Had the project had a greater mix of experience and a mindset to consider multiple points of view, the project arguably would have cost less money. It is also possible that design changes early in the project may have enabled the product to come to market earlier with a greater percentage of the original goals met.
On the flip side, a company can also get into the mindset of “this is how we have always done things.” In this case, the company may again hire staff members that are early in their careers because they are less likely to rock the boat. It is very difficult to argue that there is only one possible solution with people that have 15, 20, or 30 years of experience.
Another angle this can take is listening to everyone but the people with experience in your company. This means that managers really focus only on their perspective and the perspective of anyone hired from outside no matter their experience level. In this case, you can get into the same problems that were exhibited in the first scenario because although you may be listening to people with experience, you are ignoring the people that have experience with your product and your processes.
Therefore, companies are always limiting their success if they don’t create an open environment where all opinions, idea, and concerns are freely shared. Having an environment where each employee feels that they have a say in the product or service they provide not only leads to better products and services, but also creates an energized environment and leads to greater employee satisfaction.
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Copyright 2016 L. Thomson - All Rights Reserved