The real reason why innovation eludes us
I just read this in today's biz-com:
|Established Audit firm requires a Marketing Executive, preferably from the same or similar industries.|
I dont see the logic here, why would you want a marketer with experience in your industry? Think about this for a second, what little you gain in not having to train them, you loose in baggage and pre-concieved ideas that the bring with them.
What you want is a succesfull marketer in an industry far from yours, they have no baggage, and a whole heap of objectivity.
At best you'll get some radical new ideas that will force you to change the way you do things.
At worst you'll get some radical new ideas that will force you to change the way you do things...!
Posted by Rich...! | Permalink
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That's a very simplistic arguement and lacking in critical thinking. Here are three reasons why: You can get an innovative person with experience in the same or similar industries. The "someone with experience in the same or similar industries" is also only stated as a preference. There are plenty of advantages to getting someone with experience (and contacts) in the same or similar industries.
3/10 - the points are really just for effort
Posted by: simon | 11 Jun 2005 00:39:04
Rich, spot on.
This is the reason so many firms languish in the pool of sameness. If you want new thinking, cast your net wider than normally.
That said, there are certain activities that do rely on routine thinking, where creative departures would be dangerous: think of flying an airliner, (or audting).
But marketing is not that, albeit in a very routine, very risk-averse industry like audting.
Gettng someone outside your industry is a guaranteed way of getting the dumb questions flowing. Which aren't so dumb after all in that they surface deeply rooted assumptions that incumbents have about their business... "We've always done it this way..." "Why?"
No-one (inside an industry) generally asks that.
Posted by: Simon de Haast | 12 Jun 2005 13:32:45
Simon the first. Dude, you've lost me, I'm not sure what you're saying here. You say my argument lacks critical thought, but you didn't explain why.
Simon the idea farmer, I agree bro, this is not for every proffession, but I do believe it's relevant to marketers...!
Posted by: Rich...! | 12 Jun 2005 17:52:03
Very true and most business will resist this brilliance.
I recall Seth Godin saying once, "how could someone in a very different field critique your blog and what kind of advice might they give you on its design and content?"
I often wonder amazing feedback I might get from a chemist, zoologist, baker, taxi driver, carpenter, astrophysicist, geologist, oceanographer, fashion designer, brain surgeon, horticulturist, etc.
A marketing person within your exact industry niche is the worst kind of hire. Like you say, same-o same-o.
But more than all this, companies dread change, they want what they are already comfortable with, just a little better. Not too much better, just enough to improve results, but not so much as to threaten the boss.
The business of business is busy-ness.
:^) Pathetic losers.
Posted by: steven streight aka vaspers the grate | 15 Jun 2005 04:41:53
P.S. The lame argument that you want someone with contacts in the industry...this just makes it easy for the person to quit and get another job in that industry.
This "from another industry" is not applicable to all situations, and in some fields there is so much background information and experience required, a company cannot afford to teach a new hire all the ropes and tricks of the trade, terminology, customer psychlology, etc.
So there are many exceptions, of course. Still, the general principle remains valid and under-used.
Many innovations in a field are made by someone from a different field, who wasn't prejudiced, who said "what if we put this here and moved that over there." Everybody "knows" that cannot work. But it worked. Thinking "outside the [brainwashed] box."
You have to live outside the box to think outside the box.
Most employees, they ARE the box.
The self-hypnosis of self.
Posted by: steven streight aka vaspers the grate | 15 Jun 2005 04:48:38
Reverse this thinking.
If you are an in-house marketer, how do you ensure a successful career path? Pay attention to global truths of marketing. When you are successful, pay attention not only to why it worked for your industry but also to whether it would work in other industries. Usually the reasons people buy are value mindsets, not industry-specific. Then you are developing tools you can use across industries.
Posted by: Dustin | 22 Jun 2005 17:06:53