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Are you ready to change jobs, but worried you don’t have the necessary industry experience? Don’t be! You probably have more to offer than you realise. From where I’m sitting, a lack of industry experience is a good thing. Why? Because, quite simply, it can be the catalyst for innovation!The importance of innovationBusinesses need innovative practices to stand out. Without it, they’re quickly left behind. What you might not know is that innovation actually comes down to the behaviours of employees. Without adaptable and creative employees, businesses don’t grow and impel… Quite honestly, they lack the goods to be at the top of their game!Millenials know what’s going on. More than ever, employees are switching industries and taking a big leap into the unknown in pursuit of more meaningful work and greater job satisfaction.Things are changing – employees can no longer be expected to remain in the same role with the same employer for the entirety of their career.My (lack of) experienceNearly 12 years ago, I decided I was ready for a new challenge. And, the real estate industry was calling. The only problem? I’d never worked a day in my life in real estate!My own lack of industry know-how, combined with a deep knowledge of how to drive business and innovate new solutions, ended up being the edge I needed to climb the ranks and become a successful Chief Operating Officer at real estate franchise, Stockdale & Leggo. So, you do need a few other qualities to successfully leap into previously unchartered territories. I’ve identified five that are more important than industry knowledge. No industry experience means you bring:1. Fresh EyesWhen you’ve been in the same business or industry for a long time, it can be hard to see where the problems are. An outsider has fresh eyes and can quickly evaluate what’s going on.Maria Ferrante-Schepis, an insurance and financial services industry expert who consults for Fortune 100 companies, says that you need to view things from the outside to get fresh perspective. “You can’t innovate from inside the jar, and if you aren’t innovating, you’re just waiting for the expiration date on your business.” Enter you! A new employee, fresh to the industry! You bring with you a different way of thinking and a new approach to solving issues. A visionary view on challenges and solutions is what a fresh set of eyes brings to the table. I used my “fresh eyes” to curate a vision and strategic direction for Stockdale and Leggo. I was able to revolutionise the culture and technological infrastructure and improve market share exponentially. “We cannot solve the problem with the same thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein. 2. New skills and knowledgeOpening up the talent pool allows a business to widen the scope of skills available to them. By recognising a skills gap in the organisation there will be increased capability: More “thinking outside of the box” and innovative ways to generate revenue.Helping teams to grow in their knowledge, expertise and outlook – an innovative employee will always pass their knowledge on to others, in turn, leading to further innovation. Solutions used for past disciplines can be applied to a new industry to improve processes, bring new and improved products and services to market, and increase efficiency and profitability. 3. Creativity and VisionThe essence of innovation is seeing, perceiving and solving problems in creative ways. It requires passion, vision and deep thinking. Industry knowledge can be learned, but creativity is inherent. These innovative thinkers don’t always come with the most impressive list of qualifications. But they bring great ideas, and the talent to look at existing ideas and rework them. Thus driving better results for the company.4. FlexibilityPlaced outside of the comfort zone, a person will learn efficiently, and will want to make good impressions and improve the bottom line. Without feeling restricted or pigeonholed by remaining in the same industry, there is considerable motivation to learn.Being more malleable than other candidates who may be set in their ways means you can be trained and molded to fit the needs of the business. Highly adaptable employees, flexible in their approach, will bring about innovation.Those ingrained with old, outdated practices that stay in the same job are less likely to be engaged or learning. Oftentimes, this results in lower work quality. Being new to the industry makes you receptive to being useful and open to new ways of doing things. 5. Leadership that will improve and evolve company culture Most believe that in order to successfully run a business you need significant industry experience. This is not always true. Outdated management styles lead to a stagnated work culture. The fact is, if people aren’t feeling connected to the company, there’s little incentive for them to be innovative. Under fresh leadership the potential for improvement is recognised, and new products, processes and services can be invented and innovated. As well as the possibility to forge new partnerships and relationships.  Anna example.  creating the right business environment to develop your ideas.So simple conventional linear planning and problem solving processes using the same thinking that created some of these undesirable problems in the first place aren’t not going to result in the visionary, creative ideas and innovative solutions required to solve them.ConclusionTo take advantage of the skills of talented professionals and encourage real innovation, businesses need to strive to be open-minded. An industry outsider can actually be a breath of fresh air for the team and the wider business. As long as you understand the vision of the business and you align with their culture, there is no reason not to make the change. You may just be the change to lead the business forward into the future! Never underestimate the value of expertise from other sectors

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