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I recently read and wrote up IBM's #changestory and one of my big takeways was that the guy who turned IBM around had no experience in that industry and that it had validated my very strong belief that diversity of experience and knowledge gives you the tool sets and capablity to shape, drive and deliver better outcomes.

In the project world, again and again I hear and see recruiters, be it agency or direct, asking that people have very specific industry experience, even at programme level.

And I don't get it.

As a contractor, I walk into new industries and successfully deliver all the time, as do my peers. I often deliver new (to me) software or change in a new (to me) industry all at the same time!

As a 'change agent' my diversity and breadth of experience is what makes it possible for me to do this.

Starting David Epstein's book, 'Range' recently also backed up my thinking and I share some key points from the book below:

👉"Yes, there are some job types where repitition improves the employee's ability. Daniel Kahneman Noble prize winning psychologist) describes those domains as "robust statistical regularities".

👉"However, research has shown that experts had a more difficult time adapting to new rules than non experts did."

👉"Erik Dane, a Rice University professor who studies organisational behaviour, calls this phenomenon 'cognitive entrenchment'. Dane believes that you should vary challenges within a domain and drastically

👉"As Dean Keith Simonton, a psychologist and prominent creativity researcher observed "rather than obsessively focusing on a narrow topic, creative achievers tend to have broad interests. This breadth often supports insights that cannot be attributed to domain specific expertise alone."

👉Epstein writes that "successful adapters were excellent at taking knowledge from one pursuit and applying it creatively to another, and at avoiding cognitive entrenchment"

👉"Their skill was in avoiding the same old patterns."

You can find Epstein's book here: https://amzn.to/2MQMXDa


P.S. Please note that I get a very small reward from Amazon for including the link to the book on their site. HOWEVER, any books recommended are from my own personal reading and desire to expand my knowledge.

#changestory #learning #managingchange #projectmanagement #programmemanagement

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