When Experience Is Not the Best Teacher
"Experience becomes a liability in times of change," claims Vijay Govindarajan, a professor of international business at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business. After studying Encyclopedia Britannica, Sears, Roebuck & Co., and other firms, Govindarajan concluded that some managers are "so set in past ways that they can't cope with new situations." (Phred Dvorak, Dangers of Clinging to Solutions of the Past, March 2, 2009). Adapting to hard times requires new ways of thinking and a view towards the future, not the past.
The Past - Seven Traps
People often refer to past experiences when thinking about how to respond to trying times or difficult situations. However, if you think, "This is how we have always done it," you extinguish the sparks of creativity needed to adapt to new situations. Here are other lines of thought that also hinder the development of new ideas and new solutions:
The Future - Seven Ways To "Help Yourself"
Istead of resorting to the solutions of the past (i.e., "experience"), assess the current situation, and look for creative new solutions. Ask the following questions to free yourself from the seven traps described above:
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