Richard Havers makes an interesting point when reflecting on the actions of the new chief exec of the National Trust for Scotland. He wonders whether Mark Adderley’s background in HR influenced his approach to cut staff rather than undertake marketing to address the organisation’s problems.
This is something that I think highlights a common problem in organisations, where previous experience guides interpretation of a situation and recommendations of how to address it.
The same is true for consultants and those who comment or analyse a situation. If I ask an advertising agency, won’t they automatically see their specialism as the answer? Isn’t the same true for most other external advisors?
Do PR people always see public relations as the answer? If you specialise in media relations, will you always seek coverage when other approaches may be more appropriate? If you are in internal comms, is communicating with staff your automatic solution?
Freakonomics applied economists’ thinking to diverse topics with some interesting conclusions. Reminding us of the benefits and drawbacks of a particular pespective.
There probably is a tendency for “in the box” thinking based on your background. To avoid this, isn’t it better to include others in your assessment so that a wide range of viewpoints can be considered? You could also learn more about other discliplines beyond your own area of expertise and challenge your own pre-conceptions whenever making recommendations for what must be done.