In job advertisements, experience and creativity often appear among candidates' requirements. Those who formulate such expectations are hardly inclined to think that there is a conflict between the two. Experienced and at the same time creative workforce is a rare treasure.
A really experienced colleague is someone we can’t surprise. Someone who has seen every situation, knows all the problems, and in every situation knows what to do. We don’t have to explain things to them, and they recognize the essence of a given situation on a timely basis based on their rich experience and they’re capable to use the most well-known, proven solutions quickly to solve anything. An experienced colleague is working fast, often routinely, almost without paying attention, but nevertheless doing the job flawlessly.
And at this point you can see why not such experienced, old foxes will be the team's creative innovators. Because they know all well-functioning, tried-and-tested solutions, they do not need to experiment with new methods and try alternative approaches. For the inexperienced workforce, however, the whole structure will initially have the power of novelty. You have to use your creativity to get to your new job in time or not to get lost in the office. It is natural that you are trying to cope with the new problems based on your own personal point of view, sometimes with surprisingly good results.
Fred E. Fiedler, one of the most respected researchers in the theory of leadership, said that when we are particularly experienced, we are fully aware of the situation and act quickly based on what we have learned before. This means we do not actually make decisions, we do not think analytically, we do not use our creativity. On the other hand, when we are thinking about analytical or creative ideas, we cannot rely on our experience.
While there are certain professions - typically in the marketing world - where creativity and experience can be a simultaneous expectation and a working reality, these two things are seldom associated with most of the world of work and most of our lives.