It’s been about 6 years since I made that faithful one way trip to Honolulu, HI. Plenty has changed. More relationships, more buildings, more variables across the board that’s affected my life.
I found this awesome comparison of policies, processes, and procedures to traffic rule book, maps, and directions (thanks to SweetProcess). It occurred to me that over time, if you’re driving around you inherently build an understanding of processes as a sixth sense. That’s the missing piece to try to explain why there’s a gap between the veterans and the young whippersnappers in an organization. I believe we all respect experience but knowing your way around a new place takes a different kind of experience.
As a new employee, you might not know the landscape of going from point A to point B. Maybe there’s a map that exists but it hasn’t been updated in years. There’s been situations where I found myself asking, “Why are we doing it this way?” Luckily I’ve been working with teams where the seasoned members would entertain those questions. Once the answers satisfied my curiosity, it helped develop better documentations and mediate between the novice and the masters.
Getting around a new environment, you need to know laws (policies) and you can always Google directions (procedures). However, knowing that there’s traffic at 5 pm or anticipating that a street is going to be closed off because one of many parades are happening during a week day takes experience (understanding processes). And sometimes that experience changes rapidly or slowly.
Tune in next week for Pt. 2 where I offer a different perspective on experience. Questions? Comments? Don’t be shy, holler @ me and let’s talk story.