What is a Boomer Savant?
A Boomer What?
I get odd looks when I toss out the term “Boomer Savant;” probably because the word savant is often interpreted narrowly, as in “savant syndrome.” In truth, savant is perfectly apt in describing any wise, learned person with deep knowledge in a specialized field — qualities that are without doubt highly desirable in an employee, colleague or business partner.
Boomer Savants are tenured professionals who have parlayed their experience, expertise and insights into substantial value for the organizations they represent and clients they serve. When they’re ready to step out of full-time employment, many Boomer Savants choose to become independent consultants and contractors — mostly because they love the work and have lots of gas left in the tank. This makes them a perfect fit for the “gig” economy.
Whether you’re an in-house communications leader or managing an agency practice, here are a few reasons why you should keep independent Boomer Savants in your rolodex:
· They know their stuff and speak with authority. They can hold their own with CxOs, SMEs, and project leads, and can help guide teams.
· They need low/no ramp up or supervision. They can jump into a project quickly, work autonomously and execute efficiently and effectively.
· They are consummate giggers. They can cycle in and out fluidly to fill resource and talent gaps and take on overflow work. They flex and adapt to cover a wide range of needs.
· They’re an exceptional value. They have low cost structure and can offer very attractive rates.
· Beyond being doers, they’re teachers and mentors. They know a thing or two because they’ve seen and done a thing or two.
· They’re lifetime learners – perpetually curious and always seeking fresh ideas. They know how to connect the dots and bridge between foundational and innovative approaches.
· They know where the mines are – because they’ve stepped on so many of them. They wear their battle scars with pride because each one is a lesson. They own their failures and uses them to make themselves and others smarter.
· They have a highly-developed instinct for value. They’ve seen fads and phenoms come and go and know how to recognize the real deal.
· They are fully formed professionals. They know who they are and who they are not. They have lots to give and little to prove.
All communications organizations face talent gaps and resource constraints – often while trying to meet demanding timelines. Tapping into Boomer Savants is a smart way to keep existing projects on track and get news ones off the ground.