Today's WSJ had three stories illustrating that you're never too old for success:
1. Angeline Boulley got the idea for a crime-fighting Native America "Nancy Drew" when she was 18. She thought being a writer was impractical and went on to a career in civil service. In her 40's, she started to write the book based on the earlier idea and 10 years later, at the age of 55, she found a publisher and signed a seven figure book deal. Now, the book was chosen by Reese Witherspoon for her book club, and it's been option for a Netflix series.
2. William Shatner turns 90, but he said "this is the most creative period of my life" and he has a new movie, album, etc coming out. He said "I can't die now, I've got too much work."
3. There was an article on Eddie Robinson, the oldest living MLB player at 100. Last year, he misses attending baseball games for the first time since 1945 (when he served in the Navy). He got vaccinated and now he's attending spring training games. He also hosts a podcast on baseball's golden years.
"Before I decided to move to LA, it was so scary to think about leaving family and memories behind to start over. But I do remember telling myself, right before I bought a ticket: The quicker you jump into the pool, the quicker you can enjoy the water. You will adapt, even when things get hard and difficult. That was the phrase that I said to myself a lot and I still do, to this day. If anything, that’s the phrase I hope anyone that is having a difficult time with their dreams, especially in these times, uses."
I've always stressed the link between two parts of my Strategic Simplicity® framework: User Simplicity and Operational Simplicity. Part of Operational Simplicity should be providing the same care about user experience to internal employees that you do with external customers.
Too often, however, I've seen companies provide their employees with clunky user interfaces and software that they would never dream of selling to their customers.
Yesterday, I read in the Wall Street Journal about how bad internal software caused $900 million worth of loan errors to Citigroup. Citigroup is putting some of the blame on the financial software product, Flexcube, from Oracle. According to the WSJ article, Citigroup even shared images of the user interface during litigation: "The screenshots showed a user interface with dense type, low contrast and small buttons and boxes."
While this example made news because of the large dollar value of the mistake, everyday even more money is collectively lost in corporations from inefficiencies and failure work related to bad user interfaces.
Your employees are internal customers who generate value for you beyond their salaries. As an executive, you need to insure that you provide them with the same user experiences as your best customers.
I stopped filling out surveys because I value my time. The best "survey" I've seen is in the bathroom at La Guardia. It's by the exit, one question: "Was the bathroom cleaned to your satisfaction?" and two buttons (one red, one green) to register your vote.