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The tale of the three-legged stool & the delinquent elephants
By: Joe Perri & Associates
It's been said that an employee doesn't become productive until they're 50 as they've progressed up the tree – have experienced and learnt much and can make a powerful contribution to the business. Instead, they are shown the door and career ended.
As a result, businesses (and government) are making horrendous mistakes because the benefit of wisdom and experience are absent.
In business, as in nature, there needs to be balance in the composition of management teams. Hence the example of the three-legged stool.
Businesses need the benefit of age and wisdom from those that came before (leg 1).
Then there is benefit of maturity from the middle aged (leg 2)
The third and equally important leg is youth for they challenge the status quo and legs 1 & 2 who must validate their decisions and benefit to the business. On being convinced, it's youth that brings the energy to get things done and accomplish the business objective.
Unfortunately, today we have too many three-legged stools with legs missing e.g. either all youth or equally devastating all seniors who refuse to relinquish authority and shun new ideas refusing to be challenged.
Hence balance in management is vitally important – and organisations fall over when one or two legs are missing and as result making horrendous decisions.
The delinquent elephants
Years ago, in an African wildlife park, young adolescent bull elephants inexplicably started killing other animals. Rangers couldn't explain the unnatural behaviour until they realised the source of the problem.
Years prior, the park had become overrun with elephants who were consuming all the vegetation and destroying the park. It was decided to cull the old bulls as they were regarded as the least needed in the overall ecology.
Unfortunately, the authorities failed to understand the many roles the old bull elephants.
One key function was to use their strength and bulk to keep adolescent bulls under control when they were in must – a period of excessive testosterone and highly aggressive and dangerous behaviour.
On bringing mature bulls back to the park, balance and natural order was returned and the killing of other species by the adolescents ceased.
Hence the similarities to today.
Maturity and experience have been stripped out of business and government decision making; and replaced by short-termism with little regard to future ramifications
As a result, shareholders and taxpayers are paying the cost and future generations will be the inheritors of this legacy!
Issued by Joe Perri & Associates www.joeperri.com.au
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