I read the following statistic yesterday – over 53% people think finding a new job with comparable wages would be hard.
That is scary as hell if you like your job but fear you might lose it and scarier still if you dislike your job and want to move.
Add to this the fear that companies have about hiring the wrong recruits and not seeing transferable skills and the job market becomes stagnant, status quo becomes the norm and innovation (not technological but processes, approaches etc) dwindles.
If you are hiring the same type of people with the same type of education and experience, how much innovation can you really expect? As they say, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the epitome of stupidity.
I see a similar kind of tunnel vision when companies go through restructures. They only look at their cost base and team structures/processes not at their overall strategy but sometimes it is their strategy that has got them to the troubles they are in. So what happens is they end up with fewer, overworked people who are given the wrong direction to focus on. The other problem with restructures is that they tend to be a case of musical chairs at the top and redundancies at the bottom – compounding this ‘wrong’ decision-making further. Consider Apple’s position before Steve Jobs came back or Twitter’s recent decision to bring back one of it’s originators.
Agencies seem (at the moment anyway) far more open to different experiences, education, out-of-work pursuits etc, because they know that this variety drives new ideas for their clients, are willing to take the risk and are not afraid to (at times) be wrong. For example, in our agency we have people with IT background, who sing in a band, who are into horses, who have marketing degrees etc. This is what makes us who we are.
So my advice, to companies and employees, is don’t be afraid to take the gamble. Sometimes being wrong doesn’t get you to where you want to be but gets you to where you need to be.
Don’t believe me, check this talk out.