I’ve been reflecting on a breakout session I attended at a conference a while ago. The topic under discussion was the need to get “new blood” into an organisation that was long established and by and large, lead by people who had been there since its inception. The conversations around this topic identified the difficulties that arose when new people did enter an organisation, only to find they couldn’t get “heard” or accepted in any real way, because of the weight of the status quo – the “how it has always been done” approach; the processes used by “the old guard” that bypass many people outside of those networks; the discrimination against people who may be perceived as being “young”. Someone in the group suggested that most people eventually realise when they are “past their use by date” in a role, so to speak, but I don’t agree. I believe some people are sufficiently self aware to know when their interest or energies or commitment in things has changed, but not everyone is. Some people may be happy to leave roles with particular status and power, but that isn’t so for everyone. Not everyone welcomes change and what it may mean for individuals and the organisation itself – its products and services, its overall direction. The difficult challenge for organisations that want to get new blood in them, is that they have to first create the space for that to occur.