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Ideas are great, but their execution is everything (and seniors are very good at this)

This week I remembered something that happened very often in the golden age of advertising agencies: Hundreds of new ideas were generated every week. The truth, nevertheless, is that very few came to their execution.

Agency drawers were full of good ideas, abandoned until better times came. Some were recycled, others entered the eternity of oblivion.

Having the ability to generate ideas is great, but if you don't think about the feasibility of its execution, are dead ideas. And with viability I mean an affordable cost, a reasonable start-up time, and, more important, guaranteed short-term results.

In this post I want to put in value, once again, the experience of the senior to bring ideas into practice. If you have little time, I'll sum it up in a minute in this video:

Lack of experience conditions the execution of ideas

A few days ago I was read an article Jeff Haden, editor of Inc. magazine., in that he claimed that it's much harder to execute ideas well when you have limited experience. It's also much harder to make smart tactical decisions, especially when you need to make a number of decisions on a day-to-day basis

Gaining experience is the only way to reduce the number of things you don't know, and have a reasonable idea of what things you do well and which you don't.

45-50 years old , the perfect age to start a project and take it to execution

What you read. A study between 2.7 millions of Startups found the ideal age to start a business. If you're close to the 50 years old , you might think it's too late to start a business. Misconception: It's actually the perfect time.

I advise you to read Hagen's entire article on Inc. to demystify the belief that undertaking is a matter for the 20 or 30. Why not, at that age new ideas abound, but how to implement them is unknown.

A recent study by the Census Bureau and two professors from the Massachusets Institute of Technology (Mit) concluded that the most successful entrepreneurs tend to be middle-aged, even in the tech sector. The researchers compiled a list of 2,7 millions of founders of companies that hired at least one employee 2007 and 2014. The average founder of a startup had 45 years when he founded the most successful tech companies what do you think? Are you surprised?

The innovation department in the hands of seniors?

More than one will have a sore eye with this headline. A few weeks ago, in the post But well... what's going on in Spain with the seniors?, stressed that many large companies are getting away from senior talent to forced marches, with pre-retirements to professionals since 53 years old .

Exercise your talent, by Juan Martinez de SalinasThis week, in the presentation of the book of Juan Martínez de SalinasExercise your talent” (book I recommend to anyone who needs a professional change), the senior theme emerged. Celia Hil, expert Cooldys Talent, asked John if the book's exercises were useful to seniors. Affirmative answer. Also one of the speakers, my colleague and friend Arancha Ruiz, argued that big companies need to rejuvenate their templates (alluding to pre-retirements).

The thing is, now it's no longer a matter of age, it's a matter of competence. The investigation in question indicates that if companies detach from seniors they will lose the ability to execute new ideas, And I think that's especially serious.

Does a new opportunity open for seniors taking responsibility for innovation? or better, The implementation of that innovation? I leave it there, and I hope that Colia and his colleagues Laura Rosillo and Jaume Gurt you can give your opinion on this.

At the risk of falling into cheered cirta, I dare to affirm:

Only those who give up curiosity age

As Jeff Haden concludes, “science shows that your experience, your skills, your connections, your expertise, what if, your age, they're on your side”.

Stock Photos from imaguru / Shutterstock

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C'mon… What's going on in Spain with the seniors?

Maybe because I belong to the category of senior and I never talk about it, today I want to deal with a complex issue that mixes great problems with great opportunities.

If you have little time, I invite you to watch this video-summary in a minute.

At what age are professionals considered seniors?

I remember playing with friends when I was 12 years old . Suddenly, a woman appeared, grandmother or aunt of one of the children, and said she was 50 years old . In my teenage eyes, that woman of 50 was an old woman. She dressed like an old lady., her hair, already gray and dyed of that violet color, collected, added 20 years more. Her hands were rough, with a lot of wrinkles, a lot of life...

Today, and after my 55, when I see someone who looks the same as that woman, it turns out he's got a little more of 80 years old . We've changed. Our nutrition, the advancement of preventive medicine, healthy sports habits, the pursuit of permanent happiness, the meditation, travel... Everything helps body and mind age more and more slowly. In terms of productivity, our "lifespan" is extended.

Anyway I consider myself senior, but not because of my age, because of my experience. I have been in the world of work since the 16. My first payroll was at the agency BBDO. And the best thing is not the experience added in years, but in experiences, in failures, success, joys, penalties, achievements. Those are the best wrinkles. And believe me if I tell you I've never been as good as I am now.. I still have a lot of things to be done (yes, purpose obliges), but professionally I don't think I've ever come to a place like today's.

For me, the "seniority" is an attitude, supported by an experience, it's not about years added. And I admit without problems that I learn, and a lot, from people much younger than me.

Many cultures revere seniors. Spain, unfortunately, it's an exception

In Japan, seniors enjoy respect and admiration. Japan's famous longevity is not just the result of physical aspects such as its hygiene care, their varied and healthy nutrition and constant medical checkups. It also comes from cultural factors, that make them respect the elderly as great sources of wisdom, experience and knowledge.

Even U.S and pretty much all America, Africa and Asia surrender cult to middle-aged, even though their life expectancy is somewhat shorter than Japan or European.

However, as if it were the Gala village of Asterix, Spain represents a regrettable exception in respect for the maturescence, using a term from my admired Laura Rosillo.

This week I noticed that one of the main Spanish companies has planned to pre-retire in a few days 5.000 senior employees over the age of 53 years old .

The message is terrible, it is perceived that at 53 we are already labor useless

It seems that the acquired knowledge is useless, the experience, multiple cumulative formations, achievements. But neither is what's more important to me, the desire to keep learning, to gain more skills, mentoring those who start, to keep going on.

The stupid contradiction

the young man knows the rules and the old exceptions

Thanks to Salvador Martinez, cultural change consultant

When organizations that are supposed to be exemplary and wealth-creating encourage ageism (age discrimination), society must react. Among other things, because it is expected that in 2030, one of each 3 people will have more than 55 years and one in five will have more than 64 years old .

The contradiction or paradox is as follows: On the one hand, our life expectancy is growing due to advances in health, nutrition and other healthy habits. On the other hand, companies are increasingly removing professionals at younger ages… How can society digest such a paradox?

Several reasons to enhance senior talent

Many seniors already know what works and what doesn't, we're digitized to the teeth and it doesn't hurt to give away knowledge, ideas, and participate in multiple altruistic initiatives. Many companies replace these "old" 53 years by juniors of 23 thinking it will be the same. And it's not the same.. It's just different.. We need freshness, energy and youth initiative, but someone has to supervise it, direct it, mentor it. And who better than the one who has been wrong many times and has discovered so many others the correct exit from the labyrinth.

But there are more reasons that underpin the necessary momentum towards this growing group. In the must-read article Age management: Generational diversity as a business strategy, of the expert Laura Rosillo, there are very important reasons for entrepreneurs to change their "mindset" regarding seniors:

  • Laura refers to the often ignoring the social "conquest" that entails the progressive increase in life expectancy and years of healthy and productive living. This is a more qualitative improvement, it's not just living longer, is living with greater physical and mental health.
  • When it comes to the younger ones, I like her idea of complementary generations, non-adverse, non-substitutes. Together they can provide much more effective solutions to the organization.
  • She mentions the impossibility of carrying out generational relays as before. The birthfall, job precariousness, revolution 4.0., make it difficult. Thus, you have to change the prism and understand thatall +50 are now better prepared and more healthy than ever before.
  • I can't agree more when Laura breaks generational stereotypes. "There are people born already in the internet age who are digital illiterate or there are Babyboomers fully digitized".
  • When we mature we become individualizing and become unique stories and experiences. Laura claims that diversity is not therefore generational, but interpersonal.
  • Companies need both emerging talent and mature talent to ensure innovation in on going basis. It is difficult to achieve without this communion.
  • Actually life cycles have lengthened , and with it the formative periods. I speak for myself, I'm pursuing a degree of Humanities, attending conferences, enrolling in courses, MOOCs... why should I stop? Knowledge is dynamic.
  • The fact that pre-digital generations are not skilled in this digital matter is more due to an attitude issue than of ability. So, it has a solution.
  • Finally, picking up the ideal of the organizational clover of Charles Handy, seniors can be located in any of the three parts of the clover: permanent workforce, outsourced staff and freelances by project. From payroll to billing.

So please take note, Spanish companies. We are many seniors and we will continue to fight, of the good, without refusing to change, without giving up training constantly, without giving up being a part of clover. Go ahead with golden workers!

Stock Photos from Smileus / Shutterstock