Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fighting tunnel vision

Have you ever had those moments when you're surprised by how much your way of working is determined by the culture of your company?

I get that feeling a lot, usually when I meet someone who's straight out of school or when I chat with a friend who comes from a completely different line of work.

There are many things about our respective corporate cultures that we take for granted as being 'right' or 'correct' when in reality it's just the way we happen to work. If you go to another firm, chances are you'll find a different but equally (if not more) effective way of doing things.

It's so easy to fall victim to tunnel vision! If we don't make the effort to mingle with folks from other companies or professions, or to read up on topics that are not related to our careers, we stagnate.

How about you? How do you stop yourself from becoming too entrenched in your way of working? How do you nourish the ability to appreciate new ideas? How do you nurture an open, inquiring mind? Please share.


Laura said...

This is true! I've worked for several corporations and now I own my own business. I think that the trick is to hold on to the good parts of each job and to realize what is part of the corporate culture and what is really useful.

mdy said...

Thanks for stopping by Laura. :-)

Yes, it seems that people who move from job to job are more attuned to differences in corporate culture, and more likely to benefit from the different experiences.

The analogy that immediately comes to mind is travel -- people who travel the world extensively are a lot more appreciative of differences in culture, more open to trying new things, and more likely to adopt new practices from other people.