I attended an event last night at MIT Stata Center that was centered around the topic of Innovation, in particular, Disrupting the current way we do things currently to figure out how to do it better.
"Disruption is when you change the known to the unkown," said the keynote speaker, Jeff Pulver (Co-Founder of Vonage and VOIP Pioneer). "You have to learn how to reboot! Seek an opportunity to redefine yourself at any point."
This is very relevant to where the marketplace is today. Right now, we're in the midst of a technology revolution, specifically on how we communicate and stay connected. There are more products emerging that take advantage of a global infrastructure that's projected to increase from $500 Billion ('08) to $950 Billion ('13), according to Emily Mable Green, CEO of the Yankee Group who opened up the entire presentation.
So if you're a hiring manager, you have a particular need to find talent that will deliver on a current project that needs to be completed.The question is: when you hire, do you look at people that have done it before or people that have the potential to do it better?
One thing Jeff Pulver warned in his talk was to not bring on people who have tackled a simillar problem in the past but to seek out people who haven't faced that problem before. Find fresh talent that look at things differently, the issue with finding people who have done it before is that they know what "can't" be done and therefore limit themselves to what "can".
When you're looking to bring on talent, be open minded that it might be a better idea to hire someone that sees your opportunity as a step in the right direction as opposed to a lateral move. It's a dangerous way to go about hiring, because eventually everyone's looking for a step in the right direction and you might be replacing your "no ramp up time needed" candidate shortly after hiring them.
Hire with an eye for potential and not just experience. You'll have a team that will surpass your expectations because you don't establish limits to them.
If you're interested in events like this, it's Innovation Month in Boston, so look up sites like GreenHorn Connect (www.greenhornconnect.com), DART Boston (www.dartboston.com) and the Microsoft NERD center for more information on upcoming events. If you're not in Boston, there is always a local technology blog or site that try to encourage events like this. If not, well I just gave you an idea to start something like this up and go and innovate.