Friday, February 5, 2016

Barry Hearn's Rule #10 - Know Your Sell-By Date

Barry Hearn's 10th and final rule that he learned in owning a football club - and its watch world application -

Know your sell-by date.

For better or worse, the watch world is led (by and large) by a bunch of latter-middle-age white guys. And if we are all honest with ourselves, in many instances, these are people who are making it difficult, if not impossible for the new generation of leaders, managers, etc. to grow into their positions.

But this is more than an age issue.  This is a troubling, overwhelmingly white, male dominated industry - and I say that as a 47 year old white male.  For those of us who get press releases the only people of color or women we generally see are either the celebrity ambassadors, or the PR representatives.

Here in the US there are (thankfully) a few women are leading brands for North America, but really there should be more.  And in terms of the color line - it is a pretty clear one.  It shouldn't be that way, but it is.

So how do we fix this?  I think brands should stop looking for the "right type" of people, and rather look for the RIGHT people.  As Barry Hearn has said - "It's about ability".  Being white and male are not, and should not be prerequisites, just as being a woman should not navigate you directly to PR or HR.  That is starting to change, but it is a slow movement.

So I will leave you again with a passage from Moneyball -

“The inability to envision a certain kind of person doing a certain kind of thing because you've never seen someone who looks like him do it before is not just a vice. It's a luxury. What begins as a failure of the imagination ends as a market inefficiency: when you rule out an entire class of people from doing a job simply by their appearance, you are less likely to find the best person for the job.” 
― Michael LewisMoneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

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