If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Young Turks

In response to my recent post on the second 10:10 apology, Voyager wrote...
"10:10 is a young and creative team"

There is the problem. They may have first class degrees from top universities but they actually know nothing. The same problem exists all over 'commercial' media, politics and (to a lesser extent perhaps) commerce. They hire thrusting young turks who have little understanding of history and context.

Useless tossers.

I think he's hit the nail on the head. It used to be the case that all enterprises, whether banks or bus companies, schools or sausage factories, had a mixture of young and old on their staff. The young were vital for their energy and ideas, but perhaps lacked judgement. The older staff were wiser and more experienced, but were perhaps running low on creativity and drive. As long as each group respected the contribution of the other, things went along very well. Crucially, anything proposed by the younger employees would be checked by the older ones, who would have the final say on whether it would go ahead. Experience, and mature judgement, would temper the wilder ideas and make sure that what happened would be likely to work in the real world. It seemed to work well as a system.

But we don't do that any more. 'Youth' itself is the justification - edginess and pushing the boundaries and occasionally getting it wrong are considered to be good in themselves. "10:10 is a young and creative team" - and we are invited to see that remark as a justification for the film, not an excuse for why it went so badly wrong.

All organisations need an old git - someone with experience of the business, open-minded but steady - to act as a gatekeeper. Commercial operations tend to work like this, as getting the market badly wrong is suicidal. Organisations that work on 'other people's money' don't. When they get it wrong, they are faced with merely making an apology, rather than a visit to the Job Centre.

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