I was in the back row of the Holiday Inn ballroom as the VP of sales took the stage to kick off a three-day company sales meeting. All 120 outside sales reps were asked to introduce themselves and the number of years with the company. I was intrigued so I jotted down everyone’s years of experience.

In that 72’ x 80’ ballroom sat 3,661 years of experience. Amazing! Yet …

Quickly in my presentation, as I introduced the concept of The Age of Disruption that we find ourselves, I showed where Apple was recruiting 13-17-year-olds to attend their World Wide Developers Conference.

13-17-year-olds!  To change the world!

Amazingly, Apple wasn’t recruiting any of those 3,661 years of experience in that Holiday Inn ballroom. Apple was in search of the new, the innovative … those who see the world differently than those entrenched in the past.

Be thankful for the past, but embrace the future knowing we must innovate or become irrelevant.

Innovate or become irrelevant!

At your next meeting, rather than asking for the number of years of experience, ask how many years each individual has in front of them in the business. Then focus on what’s ahead … knowing that as the world changes, our markets evolve, our customers demand new experiences and new solutions … we innovate or become irrelevant.

Watch ASA News monthly throughout 2016 for Brand-New installments of Innovation Corner.