One Step Forward – and Still Stuck in the Mud

At the First Friday Book Synopsis, we have covered many books which have included a reference to “wisdom over knowledge.”  And, there is a strong correlation between wisdom and age.

Maybe not!  I thought a recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Search is on for Fresh Executive Talent” (April 11, 2011, p. B9) demonstrated otherwise.

The article highlighted two key picks across six industries:  health care, high tech, retail, industrial products, financial services, and consumer goods.

The range in age was very tight:  the youngest were Charles Scharf (age 45), head of retail-banking operations at J.P. Morgan Chase, and Dave Donatelli (age 45), an executive VP at Hewlett-Packard, while the oldest was Eric Wiseman (age 55), CEO at VF Corporation. 

Here is the breakdown by age:

45 –   2

46 –   1

47  –  1

49  –  1

50 –   1

51 –    1

52 –   1

54 –   1

55 –   1

That is a mean age of 49.4 years.  So, you do not have to be old have talent, and perhaps wisdom.  That is promising.

What is disapponting?  Nine of the ten are caucasian.  Nine of the ten are men.

Maybe we have made progress on age, but if these are representative of the pool of “fresh executive talent,” we have not come very far on other aspects of corporate diversity.

What do you think?  Let’s talk about it really soon!

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