First of all, why does Arsene Wenger always sell good players after they rise to buy young ones? Why did Alex Ferguson sell Eric Cantona, David Beckham and even Cristiano Ronaldo in Manchester? Well, there’s a trick for all good talent managers. Never allow your star players to over stay their welcome.
I believe whether evolution or religion, this is one of the reasons why the universe was designed for people to die so a new and better generation can emerge. The old was good. Their experience can be great. But that same experience can have you or God’s vision seem stagnant, become cliché and even hinder growth. I agree it is risky. The real meaning of entrepreneurship is risk taking anyway. For real entrepreneurs like us, we started this thing out of fun and passion. We found solace in uncertainty. We constantly need that energy of uncertainty which doesn’t come from experience but curiosity. So sometimes, whether as a coach or the rookie, learn to say, forget experience.
In creating innovation and in business, forget experience. It is a fact that it’s always someone from the outside of a system that disrupts the system and creates growth by innovation. Nigeria, now more than ever needs people, even in governance, that can come in from the outside to put a stop to the excesses simply because its alien to those person. That’s the good part of inexperience.
Dear rookie, as a starter or visitor to your industry, your lack of experience can be the greatest asset and gift to the innovation your industry needs. Damon Dash who wasn’t a rapper came from the dangerous streets of Harlem, New York; he brought his street smart knowledge from drug dealing into music. He teamed up with Jay-Z and they both became the most successful black people ever in Hip Hop. Saul, an outsider to Christianity became Paul and a Christian and he eventually changed the face of Christianity forever. Even though he never physically met Jesus who was the centre of the New Testament, he came late into that system but ended up as the most innovative and influential human figure of the gospel. He ended up writing 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament bible. Just one man who wasn’t even born a Christian, he was even against it. Now, that is called social disruption. Like the Chinese Mythology of the universe, we all need Yings to our Yangs. And either of the Ying or the Yang, one must come from somewhere external of the system to form the universal harmony of Ying Yang.
Experience is good. It’s true that experience validates that you know and what you are doing. But the bad news is that people with experience, who claim to know what they are doing, they have formed boundaries already, they know the rules as to what is possible and impossible already; but you do not, already. And sometimes should not. This is the only way innovation can be born. I was reading a Peter Drucker book on management and it hit me that there is a proven fact with track records that for any system to experience social disruption of an industry that leads to innovation and then growth, the spark to that innovation can only come from someone external of a system. This is where consulting and we as consultants most times come in. We are not in your system, that why we work effectively.
At Hexavia, we once set up a meeting between a pilot and a doctor. Why is that? Now, what is the relationship?
Well, a client of mine who owns a hospital was battling with an issue of safety in medicine, we needed to upgrade their SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) to that effect. I told her, we didn’t need a medical doctor, if you’re talking safety, let’s have a chat with an aviation expert, maybe a pilot. First they thought I was mad. But it worked. What I knew is that they know so much about safety plus the two industries share similar six sigma schools of thoughts on error rate (the most delicate frequency/impact ratio). As business men, we need to shake things up.
Experiences put us all in a box. It creates boundaries. Innovation can only come from someone external of a system. So as a starter or visitor to an industry, your lack of experience can be the greatest gift to the innovation your industry needs. My dear, what is possible and impossible are made up of people who have not tested the boundaries of the possible to go above them like you can. So, if you don’t know that it’s impossible to do, it’s easier to do. Screw experience, well sometimes. A client from a meeting at Sheraton, Mr Adewale, the MD of Aeroland once said to me. “Sometimes you have to let your past pass away or you’ll pass away with your past”. Screw experience! For the first time, you can do it!
I once shared a speaking platform with one of the founders of Iroko TV and I heard him say something very profound on innovation and results. He said, “If a man will begin in certainties he shall end in doubts, but if he will be content to begin in doubt he shall end in certainties.”. You don’t have to know it all to start. Start and the tools you need will be found on the way. Part of that tool should be us.