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Thoughts of a 50 year old entrepreneur.

What are the main questions you are being asked 4 months into your new business?

Two questions recur -  1) Why have you set up your own business? and 2) what issues most interest you?

Several people have asked me why I have stepped out of “big corporate” and set my own business at the age of 50?

I am looking at this as stage 3 of my career – where I can focus on the areas of work that really interest me – and these are all about the intersection of people issues and business.  The projects I will work on will be wide and varied – it could be a consulting project to change a toxic culture, or a relationship breakdown on an outsourcing engagement, or a sensitive grievance or ethics issue.

By focusing on these types of challenges I will be able to apply my experience and judgement as a business leader, Mediator, HR Director, global executive, Magistrate, Diversity Lead and Advisory Board member, and a 50 year old!

I will be playing to my strengths and following my passions – and following my father who set up his own business at age 50 and was very successful!

With regard to what issues most interest me at the moment – there are several, such as the need for a radically different approach to performance management in the workplace – more on that in the future. Another is what I call the challenge of “maverick talent”.  Every organisation has individuals who find it hard to follow the corporate line – they may be called free thinkers, sometimes  innovators, but more often they can be labelled as “not team players” or worse. 

So I am thinking a lot about why companies shoot so many of their own people in the “war for talent”, instead of investing some time and a little money in enabling the “not team players” to play to their strengths and really deliver something special to the organisation.   

I will be talking to business leaders and HR Directors about this over the coming months to see how they view this challenge in the workplace.