The new guy gets little respect. He’s given the jobs no one else wants, and is clearly the low man on the totem pole. He’s not always valued, after all … what does he know? He’s new.
But new has qualities that experience does not bring, says Roger L. Beahm, professor of marketing at Wake Forest University and executive director of the school’s Center for Retail Innovation: “Experience is like having a larger rear view mirror that lets you look further back in the past,” he says. “We tend to think the past can provide a vision into the future but the past is not a good predictor. In fact, if you want innovation, it’s the dead opposite.”
Instead of defaulting to the most experienced person in a company, leadership should welcome the opinions of the inexperienced. “They’ve earned that right; you’ve screened them or brought them in,” says Beahm. “Don’t reject their offhand ideas without allowing them a chance to express their thinking.”
If you’re the greenest person in the room, shift your perspective and take pride in having the most realistic, idea-generating voice.