In the Battle between Education and Experience Everyone Loses

For years now there has been a war waging between choosing experience and higher education.  Savvy business owners have gotten many convinced that in order to take their company to the next level, they need “new blood” or someone who can think outside of the box.  They have convinced themselves and several others that this is the only way to gain an edge on the competition.  Many other businesses have gone a different route and kept their same old tired way of thinking and just bought out their competitors.  Those businesses then find that just throwing money at their lack of vision does not propel them any further than they are already so then they reluctantly embrace the higher education avenue overlooking experience.  You see the real problem is when you get so comfortable in your position you tend to fall into a certain business rut and with that goes all your creativity which is necessary to move any object forward.  Many believe to move forward all you need is force but that is a fallacy.  In order to move forward you need more than force, you also need a direction, a power to get you there and a purpose for going.  All this cannot be gained by just elevating a person of higher education, it can only be accomplished by propelling an experienced person whose education may not have been acquired from a classroom but for practical application.

Back in the day, Junior did not just move into the captain’s chair after daddy without first starting out from the bottom position of the company and worked there for 6 months to a year before moving up to the next position.  This continued until Junior had acquired the knowledge of every single part of the company and with that it made him more aware of how the business actually worked as well as gave him an appreciation for those who made the business successful.  You see today’s business gives the CEOs bonuses if the company does well but they neglect to acknowledge or reward the real backbone of any business, its employees.  Daddy may have started the company but if he has paid any attention at all, he has learned that it is not the sales department that makes the blood flow in a company.  Consider you having the best sales person in the world, a person who could sell an ice cube to an Eskimo.  This person will fail if the product produced by this business is lacking.  Those responsible for taking the necessary care to insure that what emerges from your line are those on that line.

Here’s a suggestion, business owners, instead of making a choice between higher education and experience choose both.  Bring aboard someone with a higher education and stick them with someone with years of experience.  The educated one may see sleeker, out of the box ways to accomplish the same goal with better results.  Look for someone with years of experience doing that job but may not have spent those experienced years sitting in a classroom.  They might have gained it by doing it.  Take those and pair them with someone with a separate type of experience allowing them to collaborate freely and watch what happens.  Or even better, take someone with no experience; pair them with someone who is a good teacher with years of experience.  Now that you have matched those two together, you’ve got a long time loyal employee teaching what will soon be another long time loyal employee and lo there goes your turnaround numbers dropping like a lead balloon.  Think not; try it before you deny it.  Just my opinion, I could be wrong and if so ME CULPA.


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