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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Tolia

Why Inexperience is A Good Thing Ft. Dan GreenLeaf

In a recent interview with Cole Messer, Transcendio’s very own Dan GreenLeaf sat down to talk about why inexperience can be a good thing in a team. Cole and Dan later discussed what challenges could arise from adding inexperienced team members and how inexperience can benefit both the team and its leaders.

While speaking with Cole, Dan talked about the current hiring environment saying “They’re (companies) looking to bring in people who already have experience even for entry-level jobs. And while I understand the desire to go that way, what I think you end up with, is a team that has a standard way of thinking that no one’s challenging”. This is the exact reason why Dan believes in introducing inexperienced team members into a team. Companies are no longer challenging their employers or other employees. However, with the introduction of inexperienced team members at a low level, “10 to 20%”, Dan believes that the value of these new members' “different perspectives” challenges the team. Dan has seen first-hand the introduction of inexperienced team members saying that the outcomes have been “quite positive”.

Dan also believes that with the introduction of inexperienced team members, leaders are challenged to become teachers and he believes it begins with a simple question, WHY? Dan says that “leaders need to explain to people who are new, their way of thinking because new people don’t understand it. A new Scrum Master is more likely to ask you WHY, and that WHY creates that thinking”. It is through this thinking that leaders become teachers. He ended the comment by saying “They say you never truly learned something until you teach it, that’s so true. The number of times I go back and I’m teaching people the basics just reinforces things that I’ve forgotten”. It is through reinforced teaching that all parties in a team, whether experienced or inexperienced can check up on their learning. This could be key in a team and can lead to both a positive working and learning environment.

Questioned whether or not he has seen challenges in adding inexperienced or corrupt team members, Dan responded by saying “You know the biggest challenges I see a lot of times in Scrum Masters that you know, have been in a career for a while, is this idea of protecting the team at all costs and playing the politics game”. He believes that the solution is simple, by adding new team members, “bringing in somebody who’s new (and) giving them the right attitude of ‘we’re not here to focus on my team versus your team. We’re here to focus on as on organization". By focusing on the bigger picture and not just the team, Dan has seen how inexperienced members have flourished, including at Transcendio.

To watch the full interview with Cole Messer and Dan GreenLeaf, click HERE.

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