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If you're inside the box it's really, REALLY hard to think outside it

Published on 18th August 2015

The business environment is:

  • changing 
  • tough 
  • dynamic
  • without borders
  • being disrupted
  • competitive 
  • full of opportunities
  • growing 

Take your pick! I'm sure at least a couple of these apply to your current situation. 

We are constantly being briefed by clients where the number one requirement is for us to source executives who can think outside the box. And rightly so. 

But in a disappointing number of instances, the number two requirement is for "at least ten years within our industry." 

All the research shows that an executive with breadth of experience will, on average, outperform one with a depth of experience. 

A candidate who has moved between countries, industries or functions has clearly proved adaptability and flexibility. 

They've been in lots of different boxes. They are much more likely to be able to think creatively and bring fresh ideas.

A couple of years ago I heard of a global technology company that refused to do induction. Flat out refused. 

They abhorred the idea of saying to new employees "this is the way we do it around here." Genius (and brave) thinking in my opinion - and closely related to cross-industry hires. 

Next time you are hiring, please, at the very least, carefully consider candidates from a different box to yours - it might be packed with surprising goodies!