Magazine article New Zealand Management

Age Is Unrelenting. (Editor's Letter)

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Age Is Unrelenting. (Editor's Letter)

Article excerpt

It is inevitable, I suppose, that someone of my vintage would view a Harvard Business Review headline like "The Young and the Clueless" with just a twinge of sympathy for the implication it contained. Would these clever young upstarts be exposed for what they are--clever, aggressive, creative young bullies muscling us wise, distinguished or tinted grey heads out of all the best executive positions? Certainly it sounded some cautionary notes about promoting too quickly through the ranks. It concluded by offering small solace in the sentence; "Indeed, there's no substitute for experience, reflection, feedback, and, above all, practice". The whole episode got me thinking about age and so led inevitably to our cover story this month.

Age is, as our associate editor Vicki Jayne points out, "an unrelenting sort of process". Given that reality, it's surprising how little attention our leaders and planners pay to it when making decisions about the future, about infrastructures and about societal needs. We have an ageing population which is, "like a slow-breaking wave", about to crash over us. Jayne found herself asking the questions: are we prepared? She found that policies and attitudes toward more mature members of the workforce lag lamentably behind the demographic reality that their replacement pool is steadily shrinking. …

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