There’s a saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This is used a lot by innovators, especially those that want to disrupt. It’s a polarising vision. It excludes old dogs. That is discriminating! It’s a ‘winners create loosers’ story. One wins at the cost of another. What a shame!

And then there is also another saying that you can teach a new dog old tricks. This is used many times by old dogs that are usually proud or very proud of there ‘best’ practices and don’t see any need to change those. But that is also polarising because it tries to change new dogs into doing old things. And try to stall innovation. Quite a dillema!

So we have to deal with two emotions here. The disruptors get a kick from disrupting. But it is only a temporary kick. Adrenaline when they have success. And then soon they fall back in wanting the next succes. Then the frustration kicks in as the main emotion. Negative energy. Not good.

The old boys get a kick from stability. Doing the same thing over and over again and doing it damn good. Routine. But also that is a temporary feeling. An adrenaline kick after having done the routine job. And then it sucks in again, waiting for the next kick. And also here, frustration kicks is as the main emotion if looked at the total over a larger timeframe.

The fun is in combining the two. Making them inclusive instead of exclusive. Build on those old tricks that can benefit new tricks. Build on those new tricks that help enforce some of the old tricks. Combine the best of both worlds. Let old dogs learn from new tricks. And let new dogs learn from old tricks.

Make mistakes you dogs: all of you. And learn, unlearn, relearn.

Happy unlearning!


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