I receive almost five new business proposals every week. Forty two years later, after starting my first business, I still feel the same excitement while opening a spiral bound book studying the pitch, meticulously made excel tables and future projections. With every new investment, there is a new team joining in, having vibrant energy, motivation to do something different and a high degree of idealism to achieve that no one has done before. They are willing to put extra hours of work so they can innovate and create something different out of the ordinary. I also enjoy my engagement with this vibrancy of people.
However, after a couple of years, this new team becomes old. They develop an inertia and start getting comfortable with what they have done in the past. The motivation to innovate drops down by several levels. Issues like favouritism, bureaucracy, systems, incumbency start surfacing. I often wonder if I can shake off this dust that begins to settle on the once robust team.
According to a TeamLease Report, employees in the start-up industry favour working with younger bosses. The Young brigade is more understanding, agile and innovation friendly. Oh boy! How much I agree with this! For the past couple of years, I have employed some new people in my office, mostly, in the age group of 25-35 years. Was age an important factor while I was hiring these people? Ideally, it shouldn’t be the case but I’ll be dishonest if I say that wasn’t true. I was getting tired of working with the uninspiring so called experienced people in my office.
It seems that younger people hold out longer against the evil of inertia. Almost everyday my team comes with interesting ideas to improve my businesses by adopting better technology or improving the content of my channels or new ventures etc. It is true that not all the ideas are practical or can be implemented but the idea is to constantly think. One of the most wonderful things about my interactions with younger generation whether within the company or outside, is the fearlessness with which they speak their mind. Their honesty is quite refreshing.
However, are such qualities restricted to some particular age group? Is it inevitable that one loses the ability to innovate or think as one grows older? The experience of working over the years is an asset but the inability to evolve along with it just cancels that years of experience. Agility is in one’s mind. It is the constant urge to move forward. It is also to figure out when we make the bad call and then, either correct it if salvageable or just dump it and move to newer things. Most of the times, we just get stuck and are unwilling to move anywhere for that matter.
As an individual, it is important to keep evolving and adopt the changing world or at least have an unbiased and open approach to the changes around us. And as an organisation, it is essential that we keep the initial founder’s mentality intact. That is certainly a key to making better and more productive places around us.
Physically, the body may get old but mentally, the youthfulness shall always remain. Each of us should devise our own way to shake off any agedness that might start creeping into our minds.
Feel free to share your questions and opinions to me in the comment box.