How valuable is experience?  Does it have any downside?  In the talks that I do I often say that everything has an upside and a downside.  Does experience?  What do you think?

Here’s Dan Wieden, cofounder of Wieden + Kennedy, In a great quote in Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win:

"Whatever day it is, something in the world changed overnight, and you better figure out what it means.  You have to forget what you just did and what you just learned.  You have to walk in stupid every day (Mavericks, p. 111)."

Do you buy it?  Do you think you can do what he’s saying?  Walk in and be open to what might have changed?  It’s quite an idea.  What if by discipline you set aside your presuppositions and assumptions, at least when you’re at the whiteboard, and just practiced thinking gray?  What if you were freed from the certainty of black and white and instead you were free to think about all that might be newly possible?

Want more on the idea?  Check out Hurdlers and the 10 Faces of Innovation and The Guardians of Conventional Wisdom.

Walk in Stupid Every Day
  • “You have to walk in stupid every day.”
    I love that line and have been teaching the sort of thing for years.
    My application however includes sales training.
    I teach folks to be “not knowing” for as long as they can in any sales situation. And I have seen the amazing power of “not knowing”.
    It’s something I learned at Saturn: a good interview where you ask and don’t know is more important than a slick closing…anytime!
    Thanks for the posting – it’s always a delight to vist Strategy Central!

  • Thanks Mike! That’s a great illustration of walking in stupid! I love it!
    mark