Experiential Capital – What it is, and Why You Need it!


Do things that have a vague objective, unknown potential for success and an absolutely uncertain payback – simply to boost your ‘experiential capital!

That’s because this might be one of the most important leaderships strategies that you pursue as we go into the era of acceleration – because it will help to ensure you develop the required but yet unknown and undeveloped skills that you need for the future. It will enhance your balance sheet with real 21st century capital – learn more – – so invest in experiential capital!

What I’ve learned from watching my global client base is that those who succeed are willing to take on projects, not to win – but to learn.

They are constantly working on projects that might have an uncertain return and unknown payback – but which will provide them in-depth experience and insight into some key aspect of the disruptive change that will impact them going forward. It’s by understanding change that opportunity is defined, and that’s what experiential capital happens to be – and in the future, it will be one of the most important assets you can possess.

In the 20th century, financial capital was the resource of choice. That’s doesn’t cut it anymore. Today, it’s all about skills, experience, creativity and more. Do you have what it takes? Read my post: “Understanding 21st Century Capital: Why It’s Not Just Financial Capital Anymore!”

In my book Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast, I made this observation: “Innovation comes from risk, and risk comes from experience. The most important asset today isn’t found on your balance sheet – it is found in the accumulated wisdom from the many risks that you’ve taken. The more experiential capital you have, the more you’ll succeed.”

Watch this compilation video where I’m busy on stage describing the concept of experiential capital: it gets right to the point.

I can’t emphasize enough how important investment this can be – here’s a variety of previous blog posts you can explore to understand the concept in further depth.

How do you go about doing it? Play more!

Or, put frivolous play into business terms! Here’s the other version of the same quote:

Play more by build an Xbox room! Here I am on stage at a conference in Muscat, Oman, explaining the concept during the Q&A

Here’s what I had to say in a post, Why Every Company Needs to Build an Xbox Room:

“… organizations are realizing they should allow this generation to light their creative energies on fire, even if they aren’t sure as to what they might do or where their efforts might go!

The idea is to set them up with an innovation facility by which they can explore and accelerate the adoption of leading digital tools throughout the organization that can accelerate innovation efforts, provide for better collaboration and so much more.

Xbox rooms seem to be springing up everywhere!

Here’s what you need to think about:

    • you should set up a digital facility with all kinds of ‘toys’ relevant to your industry, and set the creative energies of a group of young staff free to explore
    • don’t set any specific goals, objectives or deliverables on the project — simply set it free to explore!
    • explain the purpose and mission of the group to the rest of the organization, and encourage them to bring unique problems to the group

Experiential capital? Play more! Go ahead – make an Xbox room!


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.