Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Invite a fresh set of eyes to a familiar problem
You are biased. So is your team, so is your boss. So is your industry.
You do this every day, which makes it particularly hard to see clearly what’s working, what’s not, where the new opportunities are. You bring with you every day the tangled past – all of your experience, observations and biases that color how you see the world today.
We assume too often that we need people like us to help us. That the next superstar on your team has to have been a superstar on a similar team in the same industry before. But that’s not necessarily true.
If you find smart people with a different perspective, many things happen. They bring a fresh set of eyes, untangled from the past (and present) in which you’ve been living and working. They bring with them fresh ideas that have worked for them elsewhere, that may have never been tried in your company, your market or industry. They bring fresh energy from an entirely different source.
If you’ve been staring at a problem for a long time, invite someone completely unfamiliar with the problem to review it with you. I guarantee they’ll look at the same picture and see things you simply cannot. They will find opportunities and solve problems – quickly – that your biases and tangled past have hid from you in plain sight.
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