I’m often asked about what specific industries I’ve worked with, and it’s fun to go back and discuss the banking, insurance, transportation and logistics, education, non-profit, industrial, retail and software companies I’ve worked with in my career. But sometimes who calls is in “the gap.” They are part of a world I haven’t yet focused on for a specific project.
This makes them nervous. They ask about my specific industry experience. What do I know SPECIFICALLY about jet engine fuel providers!? Huh? You call yourself an expert, Ms. Smartypants?
Well, no, I never do. I call myself a perpetual student. And herein lies the surprise. When I jump into a new industry, I often have a perspective that has been fostered by working with such varied companies and industries. This perspective leads to new ideas, new thinking and ultimately innovation.
And you should, too. Stop focusing purely on your own industry. Stop attending nothing but industry events. Look around. It’s a big world.
B2C could learn a lot from B2B, and vice versa.
Retail could learn from high tech, and the other way around.
That small gardening store where you love to shop? Consider ways you could incorporate what you love about it into your global conglomerate.
Look over the fence. What do you see? How can it change your perspective?