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The semi-retired are riding back to the rescue

Blair McPherson - Former Director, Author and Blogger

They come out of semi retirement riding to the rescue like the ageing gunslinger in a spaghetti western. They have been keeping an eye on events from a distance. No one knows more than they do about the ways of management. The old timers or veterans as they prefer to be known, bring wisdom and faith in  their powers of motivation ,their ability to support and to challenge. They swear by the human touch, an arm around the shoulder, the quiet word of encouragement, the ability to put belief and confidence back into those who have lost it.

So why do they ever retreat into back ground?
In recent years we have seen a spate of early retirements. Faced with the ever increasing pace of change, the need to respond by doing things differently, the potential of big data and new technology, organisations sought to hire young guns. New challenges required new solutions, fresh ideas, most of all it required someone who could energise the organisation, some one who was hungry.

These senior managers in their mid 50’s were viewed as too happy to let their organisations coast, too comfortable with the way things were, lacking enthusiasm or insight into how big data and AI could transform the organisation. Those pushing for radical change, a more ambitious approach argued for a more dynamic leadership saw the success some organising were achieving with a younger , ultra ambitious generation full of self confidence. And wanted it.

Non of this was true, it was an over simplification, a generalisation but it was the way a lot of influential people thought.

Now that new things had been tried, the transformation only partially achieved, the promise of big data and AI yet to be realised, the performance figures were pointing to a potential crisis . Now the veterans are called out of semi retirement not as a long term solution but to stop the slide , to use their experience and human touch  to get the best out of the available talent, to restore confidence and build for a better future by retaining and attracting talent.

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