If you are responsible for creating a product or service, then yes, industry experience and knowledge is important. If you do what I do, which is focusing mostly on the 75% of what a business does that’s common to most businesses—providing professional management and leadership—then industry experience is not all that important.
Even without technical training or years working in a given industry, my clients involve me in technical discussions. They know I’ll listen carefully, think creatively, provide honest insight, and help the team realize different, thoughtful, and practical solutions. I’m proud of how many times I’ve caused “Aha!” moments for business leaders and technical experts.
Who are you more comfortable with: someone who can ensure fidelity to the known industry, or a problem-solver / do-er with a quick and open mind? Personally, I think the answer often reflects the difference between playing to not lose versus playing to win.
Here’s the list of industries I’ve worked in:
- Automated Test Equipment (for testing electronics)
- BioPharma Market Research
- Commercial Non-Profit
- Contract Sales
- Environmental, Health, & Safety Consulting
- Executive Recruiting
- Financial Advisor Services
- Hedge Fund
- Management Consulting
- Market Research Data Collection
- Sales Training
- Website Design & Development
Ed Bokhour, CEO: “Jeremy has a calm, thoughtful, and creative approach to even the biggest challenges, and is an absolute pleasure to work with. I highly recommend him as a deeply knowledgeable advisor for all aspects of entrepreneurship.”
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