Thursday, December 25, 2014

"Rookie Smarts" by Liz Wiseman - Book Review

How to develop a 'perpetual rookie' mindset

I have never been very fond of rookies – upstart behavior and ignorance puts me off. But the tag line ‘Why Learning Beats Knowing’ attracted me to the book. Being in the knowledge industry that is something that resonated with me.

Reading the book was a good decision – Liz Wiseman shows how an unencumbered mind can gather expertise quickly, and with no baggage to weigh them down how a rookie can perform well in the new world of uncertainty. Further she shows how all of us can keep a rookie mindset even as we grow older.

However a couple of areas are not addressed adequately – (a) you have to be pretty smart in the first place (b) the stories are based on the western culture where an open educational system encourages questioning; I am not sure if rookies will fare so well in the eastern world – where ‘experience’ and ‘rote learning’ are given more weightage than independent thinking.

In many situations experience can be a liability. And most often the experienced person does not see the baggage he or she is carrying. “Rookie Smarts” gives many examples of how one can overcome this and develop a perpetual rookie mindset

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