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When you feel you don't know enough - do this

In the book, The Medici Effect, Frans Johansson explores the phenomenon that many breakthrough ideas and insights come from people with little or no related experience. (Charles Darwin was a geologist when he proposed the theory of evolution, for instance; the astronomer Walter Alvarez explained what happened to dinosaurs.) What makes people like this stand out is their talent for being able to apply their past experience to new situations. Johansson argues that innovative ideas are often intersectional - they occur when concepts from one field are introduced into another.

I’m betting you already know this – how many times have you experienced the opposite phenomenon at work, where people who’ve been in a role so long become incapable of having innovative ideas, or recognising when things need to change? How often when a new recruit joins did a fresh pair of eyes see what (in retrospect) should have been obvious - but wasn’t?  

So whenever you feel you’re not experienced enough or talented enough – give yourself The Medici Effect challenge. Stop focusing on what you don’t know – and focus instead on what you do. How could you apply that knowledge and experience to your new situation? It’s all about connection. And if you’re like most of the people I work with – that’s somewhere you excel. 

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