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The Value and Effectiveness of Cross Industry Experience

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    Bharti Prajapati
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    There is something reassuring about hiring someone who already knows it all and can “hit the ground running.” Sadly, someone who has spent too much time in a single industry may actually be a high risk hire if the company wants new thinking or someone capable of dealing with change. When we hear that someone has “25 years experience in this industry,” we should be asking three questions:

    1. Is the industry changing and are many of those years out of date and not only irrelevant but dangerous?
    2. If the industry is not changing fast, are many of those years simply the same year all over again?
    3. Will “received wisdom,” of the things “everybody knows to be true” be a barrier to new thinking? Will “we’ve tried that before and it failed” dominate even though it was 20 years ago in very different circumstances?
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