Archives for posts with tag: experience

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Most job descriptions talk in their requirements and qualifications about experience, skills and expertise. And in interviews candidates get asked about their experience, skills and expertise.

Sure, there are some professions where nothing else is required: Surgeons, chef or airline pilot. While their daily tasks and techniques might change incrementally, they need to really focus 99% of the time on their experience, skills and expertise.

In the ever-changing media world, there’s one quality that’s more important than any experience, skills or expertise:

Curiosity

I haven’t met one brilliant media professional who is not a curious person. Curiosity is so important because:

Your mind becomes active instead of passive

Curious people always ask questions and search for answers in their minds. Their minds are always active. Since the mind is like a muscle which becomes stronger through constant exercise, the mental exercise caused by curiosity makes your mind stronger and stronger.

Would you rather hire a passive or active thinker? Would you want somebody on your team that reacts to challenges or somebody who anticipates them?

It makes your mind expect new ideas

When you are curious about something, your mind expects and anticipates new ideas related to it. When the ideas come they will soon be recognized. Without curiosity, the ideas may pass right in front of you and yet you miss them because your mind is not prepared to recognize them. Just think, how many great ideas your team may have lost due to lack of curiosity?

It opens up new worlds and opportunities

By being curious, you will be able to see new worlds and possibilities  which are normally not visible. They are hidden behind the surface of normal life, and it takes a curious mind to look beneath the surface and discover these new worlds and possibilities. They can’t be found in marketing blogs, conferences or weekly status reports. They are out there in books, museums, the little store on the street, the conversation with daily people.

It brings excitement to work, life and your team

Curious people are seldom bored. There’s always something new to discover, new to explore, new adventures to experience.

So, next time you interview a candidate spend a bit less time on exploring the details of their career and find out more what goes in their head and imagination: What book did they read last? What movie made them think and change their opinion? What music connects with them? The last trip to the museum? If they would write a book, what would it be about?

We all start out curious. Often, this curiosity is being killed by the home, the school or the challenges of daily life. When you meet somebody who still has that childlike curiosity, who battled through all the curiosity killers and still made it: Hire them. You’ll never regret it.

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A few days ago, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, promised “500 new features” for the Windows Phone 7.

That’s a lot of features. Pretty impressive.

Too bad nobody cares.

Remember the iPhone advertising? Have they ever talked about features, the chip or the technology?

Not once.

Instead, they are showing things people love to do. Things that add value to your life. Things that make you go “Wow”. Things that are fun.

500 features are not fun. They are scary.

Microsoft is stuck in the old world of push-thinking.

Just look at the majority of the products. The Office suite has so many functions and features, humans in the year 4034 will discover the last 2%. It has so many features, nobody every uses.

That’s what happens when you’re stuck in the push-thinking paradigm: You give more and more. And you don’t understand why people want you less.

This is a problem for many brands: They rattle down features and think that people. will buy them. People don’t buy features. They buy awesomeness.

Pull-Thinking equals awesomeness.

Instead of nagging people constantly to use/buy/try your product, show them something that people love to do. Make me want the product because it fills a need. I’m sure a few of these 500 features fit into that category.

When your company culture is rooted in a push-thinking paradigm, you better have a big, big wallet. People will not talk about you, they won’t spread the word for you. You have to carpet bomb the media landscape with your marketing communication to get any attention.

Pull-thinking company cultures need much less media investment. Whenever somebody says “Wow” seeing their product, they save the enterprise tons of marketing dollars. Or when they experience the value it adds to their lives. Every time a valuable iPhone app gets downloaded, a few marketing dollars are deducted from Apple’s media budget. It keeps the customers closer to the brand, delights them.

Don’t tell me.

Show me.