I recently came across an article from Harvard Business Review (see HBR Blog) claiming that CEOs are too old to innovate! Although, the author does acknowledge that older CEOs might have some worthwhile skills:
“Of course, the CEO job also requires more than creativity, and additional years of experience may help with this broader set of duties. For instance, researchers estimated the peak age for good financial decision making to be 53. So while creativity is probably in decline for most people by the time they hit 50, other critical management skills are still improving.” (Frick, 2014)
My reply was this:
“As an academic I praise research, but the problem with this research is that disruptive ‘innovation’ is, generally speaking, atypical. Nobel prize winners are ‘typical’, that’s what they do for a living: scientific research. As a 55+ female with an IT startup (www.comwriter.com), I could only have done this with the experience that I have garnered over the years. Most young entrepeneurs don’t make it because of a lack of business experience (not lack of ideas!).”
I think it is time we stopped stereotyping ‘older’ versus ‘younger’ individuals. Innovation is what some people do, and what some don’t!