I can’t think of a a better example of turning things round than the English one day cricket team.
Earlier this year I was embarrassed to be an English cricket fan, this morning I am reading of us winning the one day international series against New Zealand with pride.
If as a 50 year old part timer who is now being asked to umpire rather than play, I can feel refreshed, imagine what it must be like to be a youngster (like my son) cricket-mad and in love with a game that still has a value-set any parent could be proud of.
What’s clear is that this started with the management of our one day side stepping aside to let a new breed of players take control. The way this was done, wasn’t clever but now it has been completed, it’s clear that England have a number of very fine batsmen and bowlers to rival the best in the world (New Zealand and Australia). Australia is the next test – bring it on.
If it started with the management , it was fulfilled by a few players bringing a positivity to each game which has been infectious. Chief among them must be Joe Root, I watched him before and after he played a good innings at Southampton on Sunday. The guy radiates enthusiasm, the team happens around him. Nurturing and encouraging this young group of players is what the current management have to do, but they need to do no more than allow them their heads.
Many organisations have old crusty management that cannot recognise the talent within them. Many youngsters are held back from making their contributions just as Wood, Bairstow, Morgan, Billings and Roy have been marginalised. I think of the ways youngsters are getting round this, of Will Lovegrove and his mates at pensionsync, at the youngsters coming through at L&G – I hope the Pension PlayPen will be seen in the same light.
John Keats died before he was thirty, so did Amy Winehouse, Curt Cobain and Ian Curtis. We look back and absorb their youthful achievements into the pantheon of cultural achievement. Sometimes we regret we did not hear them in later life though a more positive view is to celebrate what they have left us (though so young).
I’m really excited that on Wednesday, I’ve been asked to be at a discussion on the future of auto-enrolment set up by Ros Altmann. This is a chance for me to point to those that Ros has within her own department who are young, gifted and willing.
The answer to the issues of the next few years, is to listen to those who are under thirty, who have more to say than those of us over fifty. The media that they use to play the message has changed, the mechanisms with which we talk have changed, the means to make things happen have changed.
To understand how to make auto-enrolment work – and a whole lot more, we should be talking to the snapchat generation and giving them some influence. If the English cricket team can be turned round as it has been, so can the mob that run our pensions!