However, it turned out that I was not entirely blameless in the hoarding stakes. Lurking in the loft were boxes – and biscuit tins, a snapshot in time in themselves – containing much paraphernalia from my late teens and early twenties. This included letters from my mother to me while at university, an Inter Rail card, and several student party invitations; the Toga Party seemed very popular in my day (don’t ask).
A blast from the past
Also unearthed was an in-house magazine from the agency where I started my career, Kingsway PR. When I joined the company, our offices comprised two Georgian houses next door to each other, numbers 10 and 11, on Doughty Street, not far from Holborn. For the first year I was there, the buildings were not inter-connected, so a visit to another office, reception, or the post room (no emails then!) invariably involved a trip outside, whatever the weather.
Around the time we were finally able to knock through between the two houses, the growing agency also took on another office – this time on the other side of the road. My division moved there, and in the magazine, I wrote an article to introduce the new facility at number 45, referring to the ‘death-defying dash’ that we had to make to reach it from the other buildings, as Doughty Street was a bit of rat run.
A changing world
Re-reading it over 30 years later, it struck me that what made great copy in 1987 would today probably be cause for a health & safety investigation and the requirement for a pelican crossing to be installed. But don’t worry, this is not going to be another of those Facebook diatribes about our too PC and too regulated world, and how much better things were ‘back in my day.’
Nevertheless, it did get me thinking about change and how we respond to it. As they say, change is inevitable, and it is usually perceived that it is the older generations who are resistant and the younger ones who are pushing for it. This may be a generalisation, but it is hardly surprising – the young have less knowledge of what has gone before and so are more likely to challenge the status quo.
Change is vital if we are to move forward and progress in all parts of lives. If I find myself muttering about some change I disagree with and remarking that the young today ‘don’t know they are born’, I tell myself that my parents and their parents before them undoubtedly had the same feelings and said the same thing. And if change is not always for the better, I do believe that some of the best changes are instigated when new ideas and experience are effectively mixed together to improve and enhance what has gone before.
New blood and experience
For most businesses, the injection of ‘new blood’ is undoubtedly an essential part of growth and development. At the same time, years of experience can be equally invaluable in maximising the benefits of any changes introduced. Certainly, our recent new young recruits to Nielsen McAllister have brought boundless fresh thinking and new perspectives to the business, and I have been hugely impressed with the valuable contributions that they have made from the start. At the same time, I think they have also benefitted from the experience and advice from the older members of the team in helping to shape their ideas and ensure they are implemented successfully.
New ideas and experience are a formidable combination; and on that note, I offer this snippet of advice to first-time house buyers – proceed with caution if the estate agent particulars are extolling the virtues of an extensive loft space….