We live in an era where there could be four or five generations in your company. This creates an interesting tapestry of experience and viewpoints which can be both a challenge and an opportunity. Senior leadership could be in their 50's and 60’s while new recruits might be starting their career.
Older stakeholders may remember a time when we got our news from a paper and phones had to be hardwired into a wall while younger employees communicate and share through their mobile devices with ease. Junior associates may work quickly through the social web and shorthand texting while management who have been in the workforce for decades may want it to be the way it’s always been.
View From the Top
Some senior leaders experience difficulty keeping up with the velocity of today but often forget they were once the new stakeholders who were trying out the new channels and concepts of their day. We are seeing thousands of people retiring every day yet those numbers aren't being replaced in the younger demos at the same rate. This is creating a talent shortage and generational shift. Mitch Joel in his book Ctrl Alt Delete suggests we need to reboot our businesses and our lives depend on it.
When we speak with companies about their key issues, talent acquisition and retention are usually high on their list. They want the best and they want to keep the best. I’m sure you’re the same. But if we don’t grasp that our perspective is not the only one available, we can struggle with what other generations may want and need. But with ongoing education, we can help each other learn from each other.
Age and Perception
Culture can be demographic, geographic, or psychographic. It is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. And as leaders, we need to recognize the different standpoint within our organizations to tap into its greatest potential.
If we want to improve our companies, embracing and celebrating our differences can be well worth the effort.
Kneale Mann | Leadership and Culture strategist, writer, speaker, executive coach engaging leaders, collaborative teams, and strong business results.