After my last blog post I did more research into the over fifty and hiring and what I am seeing is making my blood pressure go up. The generalizations being made about a group of people of which the only the thing they have in common is the number of years living they have behind them is astounding. They just want to coast in a new job, they cannot or will not learn new things, they are less flexible etc.. I dare say I could apply those very same attributes to describe younger generations that came to age in the me generation.
A little bit about myself. I am approaching the middle of my fiftieth decade of life. Everyday I try to learn something new (I love learning) I learn about leadership, supply chain management, lean manufacturing, 3D printing on and on and on. I am at work usually no later than 4:30 in the morning so I have time to learn while doing my work. I spend my days adjusting to the daily changes a small business has everyday. Let me ask you does this fifty something sound like the generalized description of a fifty something person.
I spent an hour or more discussing with two gentleman who deliver material for us to machine into parts the issues their company is having. I was able to give them the solutions necessary in part because everything that happens in a larger company happens in a small company only in small company a person such as myself is involved in every process and how it affects all other processes. 30+ years of problem solving gives a person the experience and maturity clearly see the issues and the solutions.
Excerpt from my resume draft
Thirty years of having a hand in all aspects of the manufacturing process has given me the skills to analyze and break down most manufacturing processes into steps. I prefer to use the keep-it-simple method when finding solutions to problems. The following quote sums up my philosophy for problem solving. “Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds!” When you are first learning any new activity, it is critical to be consistent. If too many things are changing at once, you have no idea what contributed to a good or bad result. Don't change too many things at once. In fact, if you can isolate and change just ONE thing, you will have a much better chance of success and understanding. This isn't always possible so lock down as many things as you can. If after a run of successful production you run into a problem, go back to a known good state and start there. Many times we try to change too many things in our frustration and that almost always makes things worse. Step back and think about how to isolate the problem areas with as few changes as possible.” The keep-it-simple approach has served me well in developing new skill sets.
Strong business convictions
• Teamwork between employees, teamwork between departments and teamwork with suppliers
• Business is not just money it is people whether they be customers, employees or suppliers.
• Every position in a company exists to support the companies products or services.
• Increasing efficiency can lead to higher quality. Higher quality can lead to greater efficiency.
• Quality is job 1 and is a business philosophy not a paper work creation.
• Continuous improvement in processes is essential.
• The law of unintended consequences in decision making can never be forgotten.
• Mistakes are learning tools not weapons to brow beat employees with.
• Using data to brow beat employees with will only result in never getting accurate data.
Strongly held personal beliefs
• Honesty is everything.
• Treat others as you want to be treated.
• Be humble in all things.
My attributes learned from experience.
• The ability to see the big picture.
• The ability to listen and to fill in the blanks of what is not being said.
• The ability to sit in meetings such as production and engineering talking past each and bring the conversation into a format where they understand each other.
• The ability to lead people into finding their own solutions through asking leading questions.
So why the ramble
It takes years of trying and failing, reading, watching and listening to learn the lessons necessary to give a company the resources to take the advancing younger generation and mold their talents into something productive. Older workers are timeless assets not timed out assets. Every time a company forces out older workers they are dooming themselves to repeating mistakes rather than building on past mistakes.
I am just one of many who have fought the battles won and lost and have valuable work experience The question is are companies wise enough to listen and learn or has that ship sailed.