Ability versus knowledge: think twice before hiring from a large corporation.

Ability versus knowledge

Short summary: the author of this video is challenging the expression “As easy as riding a bicycle” underlining that once it is modified to operate in different way, your skill becomes useless.

Different conclusion: Ability versus knowledge

I would go a step ahead and draw an alternate conclusion: Ability versus Knowledge. Let’s put aside a bicycle example and take something obvious, which will justify the fact that knowledge will work both ways. Let’s take car driver (ability) versus racer (knowledge). Car driver can driver has an ability to operate a car under normal conditions. Put him in a race car on a race track – the result will be tragic. In contrast the racer (knowledge) is able to perform both ways: operate under normal conditions as well as operate in extreme (non-standard) situations.

Keep in mind when hiring

Why is this interesting? Consider this difference when you recruit a person to higher position. I often see how smaller companies recruit, for example, a programmer from Microsoft to lead a team assuming his/her superiority due to exposure to Microsoft’s infrastructure. Another very common example: hiring of mid-level executives from Big Four to CXO positions in equity funds or companies. Both examples share one major error: in both cases the hired talent mostly can not operate outside bubble of infrastructure such as hardware, knowledge bases, case studies, variety of departments from travel assistants to employee benefit committees they are used to.

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