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I went to a restaurant in Amsterdam which I love very much, for the first time after Covid. Just like any other restaurant they were hit hard by the pandemic. Closed doors, no income and costs continuing to rise. Enough reasons to close doors indefinitely, sit and wait until the storm passes.

The second we entered the restaurant it felt like they never ever had to recover from such a massive setback. When I asked the young manager how they’ve managed, he answered me first by telling me about three new cocktails they had invented. Their secret: While the doors were closed they trained young talent and focussed massively on concepting and finding disruptive new tastes and business models. Their capability to rethink their business was impressive.

In broader perspective, times are changing faster than ever. AI is going to change businesses forever, online we’re more connected than ever and the earth needs our rapid attention. Thus the importance of disruptive ideas and new perspectives is increasing rapidly.

The lesson I learned from this? Dare to invite the vibrant young professionals that go without fear to your boardroom if you want innovation, change and growth for your business. Do the unexpected to get the unexpected. I’ll explain the logic why.

For the record: The title young professional is, in my opinion, not only reserved for Harvard graduates. I define young professionals as people who have a clear vision, who know how to steer through complex challenges and dare to do the unexpected. This has in the first place more to do with mindset rather than with education.

Young professionals adapt better to change

A study at the Concordia University shows that younger people adapt better to changing situations than older people do. When we do something very often, our reactions become automatic. We don’t think about it anymore. When something unexpected happens, younger people seem to adapt their reactions faster to these changes than older people do.

Young professionals bring fresh perspectives

Young people psychologically have more optimism about their future than older people. This optimism might help to break through cultures that are stuck in the same behaviour and routines for a while. It might feel uncomfortable, but they can inspire you to try new things for a change.

They are basically the future

We innovate to stay relevant for generations to come. So involving these generations into your business might not be a bad idea. Especially when it comes to the effects of rapid digitalisation. Young people are born and raised with new technologies, will be used to have information at hand in seconds and have AI’s make decisions for them. This effects the way they think, act and connect. It’s important to connect and involve younger people to truly understand new trends, the adaptation of new technologies and even humor of these younger generations.

What qualifies people to participate in corporate boardroom decisions? I think diversity, fresh new perspectives and involving younger generations are just as or even more important than education and experience.

At Grasp Digital we made it our purpose to bring new perspectives to boardrooms. Giving the unexpected a chance to participate and to grow in innovation and executive advisory. So is hiring the restaurant manager for your boardroom might be too disruptive all at once? Feel free to connect and I’ll share you some of our experiences.


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