Never become an expert
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Never become an expert

  • 12 October 2020
  • Door: Herman Bessels

The greatest poison in forward-thinking is experience.

If you had been able to ask a coachman from the year 1900 about his dreams, he would have answered something like: "Give me a pair of horses that run four times as fast and eat half as much". He wasn't thinking about internal combustion engines, let alone Tesla's. He didn't think beyond the horse's ass; the only thing he had experience with.  

Experience is a coat rack for 'can't do'. 

The most innovative thinkers are not hindered at all by experience. Think of the Natlab (physics laboratory) of Philips. That was a gigantic playground where the most extraordinary innovations were developed by free creative minds. A place to experiment and where mistakes could be made.

Nothing slows you down as much as experience. 

In 1982, I was fired after 2.5 years of teaching at the HTS in Utrecht: I wanted to teach autocad drawing with the first computers. If I hadn't been thrown out then, I would have left this year, after 38 years of loyal service, like a cloud of grey dust. Thinking differently requires courage and knowledge. What I see around me is above all fear. Many companies seem to maintain a walking sports association in the logistics department, for example. Whereas the more robotisation, automation and digitisation and the fewer people there are, the more money they make. Ever seen a (self-propelled) forklift truck with corona?

Good Old England is an old people's paradise. If we are not careful, we will end up the same way, overtaken by smart -policy a-correct -Asians.

Experience is the sum of the errors made, the handbrake for a helicopter view and out of the box thinking. Give young people the chance to commit stupid things. Give them a playground in which they stay permanently fresh.

Herman Bessels is architect BNA at Bessels architekten & ingenieurs BV

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2020