Part 2: When Experience is a Liability and Inexperience Is an Asset [Part 2]
Editor’s note: this is part 2 of a two part article. In the event you mist the first please click here: When Is Experience a Liability and Inexperience an Asset? [Part 1]
In my last article, we discussed the many benefits younger generations bring to the workforce.
In this article, we’ll explore this concept in more depth. For example, in education. Education as an industry is facing additional challenges to adapt, like faster/cheaper, credible alternatives.
Industry credentials, alternative pathways to work, and an increasingly ‘skills’-focused economy drives substitutes and alternatives to formal education. Higher education, work, & skills are increasingly interconnected and becoming integrated. Also “soft skills” are becoming more valuable where as “hard skills” are becoming easier and easier to obtain.
In addition, soft skills are tranfereable to all businesses and roles, whereas hard skills are business and role specific, and as everything changes rapidly the hard skills are not as long lived or relavant.
For this future we need to see economic development as a social learning process, which involves trial and error. It is a risky journey in search of the possible. Anything that has more upside than downside from random unexpected events is now feasible; the reverse is fragile.
Investing in experience is most valuable if the environment doesn’t change and the opposite is true if it does change.
It all depends on the diversity of knowledge across individuals and on their ability to combine this knowledge, and make use of it, through complex webs of interaction where more people, from more diverse backgrounds interact effectively.
The only way to gain agility is by losing control.
Because individuals are limited in what they know, the only way to expand their knowledge base is by facilitating the interaction of individuals in increasingly complex webs of collaboration.
Businesses cannot create products that require capabilities they do not have, and there are significant challenges to accumulating capabilities in places where innovation is happening at maximum speed. They can no longer play with the old strategy of acquiring talent, as that talent will be disrupting the whole industry.
New capabilities will be more easily accumulated if they can be combined with others that already exist. So, we must integrate young Hispanic voices in our professional challenges and balance experience with potential.
Here are nine considerations for a potential debate between these opposing viewpoints:
- 22-year-old, young Hispanic mind: I am here to argue that potential is more important for business success in the age of digital transformation. As a digital native, I believe that curiosity, creativity, and adaptability are crucial attributes that businesses need to thrive in today’s constantly evolving landscape.
- 58-year-old traditional leader: Experience is the most critical component for business success. As a seasoned professional who has seen many business cycles, I firmly believe that experience is what enables us to make the best decisions for our organizations.
- Young Hispanic mind: While experience is certainly valuable, I argue that it can also become a liability. With the rapid pace of technological change, it is essential to have a workforce that is constantly learning and adapting. If we rely too heavily on our experience, we risk becoming complacent and unable to innovate.
- Traditional leader: I disagree. Experience is an asset that appreciates over time. The more experience we have, the more we can anticipate and respond to changes in the marketplace. It allows us to make informed decisions that are grounded in past successes and failures.
- Young Hispanic mind: I think there is also something to be said for the appreciation of potential. As younger generations enter the workforce, they bring with them new perspectives and skills that can drive innovation and growth. They have a natural curiosity and willingness to learn that can help organizations stay ahead of the curve.
- Traditional leader: Without experience, it is difficult to know how to navigate challenges and make informed decisions. Potential alone is not enough to ensure success.
- Young Hispanic mind: I would argue that curiosity and creativity are more critical now than ever before. In a world where technology is rapidly changing, businesses need to be willing to experiment and try new things. Creativity is what drives innovation, and curiosity is what leads to new discoveries.
- Traditional leader: I think you underestimate the value of experience. While creativity and curiosity are important, they need to be balanced with practical knowledge and an understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
- Young Hispanic mind: I also think that too much emphasis on experience can stifle innovation. Sometimes, the most creative ideas come from those who are new to the industry and don’t have preconceived notions of what is or isn’t possible. I believe that while experience is certainly valuable, potential, curiosity, and creativity are crucial attributes that businesses need to cultivate to thrive in the age where we cannot calculate risks and probabilities rare events. It is imperative to learn from your mistakes (=gain experience), but the paradox is that only by making mistakes can we grow (=invest in potential).
This conversation is an example of how both sides of this debate have valuable opinions to share, and how the integration of the trusted and the experimental can lead to great results for all.