In today’s world, some people ask – is experience valued ? It may not be an easy answer to this simple question. I am reminded of an incident almost thirty two years back. My father was admitted with renal failure in the ICU of a hospital in Chennai. The cardiologist, who used to examine my father examined him for two minutes,look at his pulse, checked his bp and would charge consultation fee of Rs. 100 per visit. My monthly income at that time was around Rs 2000 . This meant the consultation fee would be more than my monthly income every month. I used to curse him for fleecing a poor helpless soul like me. My father recovered and was discharged. I thanked God and returned home with my father.
Then after three weeks one day my father almost got choked in his throat while having his dinner. I panicked and called in the same doctor on phone since it looked it were the last moments of my father alive that day. However, the same doctor patiently advised me to lay my father on a bed and raise his legs with pillows. He said that he will be fine and then I could bring him back to the hospital. I did that and he miraculously became ok. He later told me that his bp had gone down and raising his legs ensured flow of blood to the brain and he regained consciousness for me to get the breather to take him back to the hospital. This incident taught me how valuable experience is in life. The same doctor I considered as a life saver of my dad and almost God sent.
In today’s work place, many employees feel threatnened the moment they cross fifty years of age. Some employers also feel people over fifty may not be very useful and work on voluntary exit schemes to optimise this category of the workforce. However, neither of these are necessary if we plan the right way. It is true that as we grow old, our competencies may become redundant. It is upto us to keep ourselves updated and upskilled. If we do that and we are the best in whatever job we do, no employer will even dream of losing us. On the contrary, if we live in the past and want to drive the car using the rear view mirror only rather then the windscreen in front of us, we may become obsolete sooner than we think.
So, the reality is that experience has to speak for itself. It is like the doctor who was in his fifties then taught me how valuable experience is to save lives even on the phone. Experienced managers can be great mentors and coaches. One generation has to hand over the baton to the next. It is upto us to be the beacon of light in the organisation rather than the dimming candle light.
Organisations gain from the wealth of the experience of her employees. No organization can survive with material assets or cash in the bank. It is the capabilities of employees which is invaluable. It is the experience of the seniors which becomes the competitive edge in the market place. However, if the seniors live in the past and are not in tune with the times than the future will not take them along.
It is like in the picture above, you should be willing to walk the ramp along with the younger generation if you are in tune with them.
Do you think experience speaks ?
S Ramesh Shankar