Young CEO = Innovative Company

It has been proven that there is a strong link between the age of the leader and the probability of breakthrough innovation.

Young CEO = Innovative Company

Some companies relate youth with inexperience, others with innovation and new ideas.

No doubt the leaders of many large companies have great expertise and background, in their industries, as a result of years of work and dedication. However, what is special about the young blood, is that every day, there are more CEOs in their twenties leading major organizations?

For many companies, especially those in crisis, innovation is a source of unnecessary costs and risks. Ironically, companies where workers fail to take risks along the way often find themselves in a position where they need to go all-in on one new product or project, in order to survive. In this vein, companies require leaders willing to take risks. If we think about it, all remarkable entrepreneurs have been applauded through the years for their ability to take risks and carry out high-impact ideas despite the difficulties they faced.

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Young managers are not only likely to take more risks, but also see the products and services of a company in different ways, and are more likely to take more radical decisions against them. As Daron Acemoglu points outs "If you're an old manager, [the company is] your baby. You're going to be very cautious in sacrificing that baby. But if you are a young manager, you come without that vested interest."

Evidence of this can be found in the new research from MIT and the University of Pennsylvania economists. They studied hundreds of American companies and their managers. They not only tracked the number of patents generated by the organization but also their quality. To determine the quality, and how good was the idea, they traced the average number of citations per patent. In the end, it was determined that there is a correlation between the age of the leader and the probability of breakthrough innovation (innovations that break new ground in terms of knowledge creation.)

Now, this does not necessarily mean that all organizations must have young leaders. In a well-established industry, a leader who wants to change everything might harm the company rather than help it grow. However, it is an important indicator that organizations should allow disruption in the company's hierarchy, to enable young people to reach leadership and high-impact positions within the organization.

Likewise, we must not forget that while innovation is the key to business success, investing in innovation has no effect if we do not invest in the human talent of our company. Given that without being capable of training entrepreneurs and leaders able to carry out the ideas and objectives of the company, you cannot succeed in today´s market.

Related Post: Should Companies Invest in Innovation or Leaders?

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