Let’s face the facts, we all make mistakes. Some small and can be overcome easily. However, one management mistake that can be dangerous if not kept in check. That is, letting our past success getting the best of us.
Mistake: Replacing curiosity with experience.
I first started working in the family jewellery business when I was only 21. In the beginning I would ask for guidance more often than what I do know. In asking questions, I was able to bring about the best work. Force all of us to think outside the box and therefore lead to better results.
When I gather more experience, my curiosity reduced. I didn’t seek the help of others to find a possibly different solution to the problem I faced. Experienced replaced curiosity. I started to play the tried and tested method. Earlier I was using inexperience as an advantage without even knowing it.
Inexperience has nothing to do with age. When talking about inexperience I am talking about the mindset that comes with it. When we don’t have familiarity with a particular project, we are forced to open our eyes and become aware of what people around us are doing.
The knowledge gap prompts us to ask question, seek guidance and advice of others. We seek out new resources, experiment and move in a direction we think will lead us to success.
Ignorance can work in our benefit. Think of the times when we didn’t know how difficult a task would be and took it on head first. Since we didn’t know all the answers, we didn’t let knowledge get in the way of finding the solutions we were seeking.
We usually associate being a rookie as a negative. What we fail to see is the enthusiasm that comes with it. When new, we don’t have reputations to protect. We don’t know what the best resources are and therefore, are willing to try almost anything that we can think of.
Based on how fast our world is moving, some of the information we use today might become obsolete in the near future. What is worse still is that we don’t even know what will become useless. Managing social media was not needed a few years ago; however, it is essential today.
The radio industry thought the internet was a fad, they we in serious trouble when faced with internet radio and today podcasts and sites like Soundcloud and spotify. We jewellers didn’t think that anybody would buy jewellery without first touching and seeing it, this mind set is now being seriously challenged with a number of online jewellery stores opening up.
Amateurs don’t have all the answers, therefore seek continuous feedback and in the bargain make products faster. Focus on the ones that work and neglect the ones that don’t. Rather than taking time to make the perfect product and by the time that hits the shelves, the client has changed their mind.
Knowledge is important, but being able to see the relevance of knowledge is CRITICAL.
When we think like a amateur we give ourselves the permission to fail. In today’s world it isn’t what we know, but how quickly we can learn. Continue to act like we have never done it.