The Transfer of Wisdom


I looked with a sense of pride at my fellow colleagues as I slowly, and methodically, sat in the large well-worn leather chair in the HR Director’s office awaiting her arrival.

This was my first day of employment following the completion of my university degree three months earlier. After what seemed like a torturous series of endless interviews and countless tests, I had finally made it. I was now about to start my career in one of the most innovative and famous global companies. It was hard to disguise the smile that was slowly permeating within me, but the feeling was electic, and one that I’m sure I will never forget for the rest of my working life.

Susan finally arrived and walked into her office with a confident stride that just oozed with a persona of success. I liked her immediately.

After a few minutes of pleasant small talk, Susan took a piece of neatly folded paper out from her folder and handed it to me. At the top, it said Myers-Briggs personality profile “ENFP”. Susan then smiled, and then pressed a button on her desk. Thirty seconds later, an older, and immaculately dressed woman appeared called Megan who I surmised was nearing retirement, politely introduced herself to me. Following a brief and most enjoyable discussion, I learnt that she was also an “ENFP”, and was the company’s Global Director of Innovation.

I noticed Megan give a surreptitious nod of what seemed like “approval” to Susan. Following this gesture, Susan then excused herself from the room and I was left alone with Megan.

For the next 30 minutes, Megan explained to me the secret of this company’s success. The key, was how they passed on their experience to the new employees to ensure that the young graduates quickly obtained years of wisdom from those who were like minded. Apparently, Megan and I had a 99.99% “ENFP” personality match!

Megan, then with my permission, then commenced the secretive “wisdom transfer procedure” that “transmitted” her years of professional, social and people logic into my inexperienced and quite naive persona. At the end of the process, although I was only 22, I had the business experience of a 59 year old. I would have the unique skill set combination of youth and seniority not typically found in a person who had just commenced their first day of employment. I soon learnt, that all new starters in this company went through this procedure.

Wouldn’t it be great if all organizations could exchange knowledge between employees in this way! Although, the “wisdom transfer procedure” indicated above does not yet exist, it does so in a slightly different format that is not science fiction. The process is available to all those in the workforce right now, is relatively simple, needs no additional financial expenditure, except for one strategic prerequisite, that being “time”.

CEO’s reading this blog post take note. Why not give your young and older employees more time and opportunities to learn off each other by establishing work groups that encourage and facilitate greater communication? In these days of corporate diversity, consider age as one of your untapped resources for innovation and creativity!

PS: Yes, this photo is from the film “The Devil Wears Prada”. 

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  1. This was so interesting and entertaining! Smiles, Robin

    • Thanks Robin….if it wasn’t science fiction….well, I think the shouts of wooohooo would be heard from many offices! Cheers, Steve


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