Following some of our earlier articles, it is clear that cross-generational working is essential in the times ahead. If you think that baby boomers should be leaving the scene, think again, they bring wisdom and real experience of surviving a recession and managing change. Gen Y can bring collaborative spirit and a fresh perspective. But it is predominantly our Generation X middle managers and leaders who have the challenge of bringing all this together.
As managers, it is time to be prepared and open minded about what each of the generations brings. Those seniors may have worked in a different era but the experiences are no less valid and they’re amongst the users of the internet and web 2.0 tools just like everyone else.
Our Gen Y need an encouraging hand, genuine interest in what they have to say and what they want to achieve; it’s not about their managers making assumptions or judgements, or ensuring these newcomers have to go through the same paces they did.
In the article “I’m way more Generation Y than I thought, you too?” by 23 year old Victoria Gutierrez, she looks at the fundamental differences in her Y world and that of her boyfriend’s father who is busy conforming to the traditional hard working career guy image just like many of the others that she perceives follow in similar footsteps. Victoria remains frustrated, trying to bring her unique contribution, finding something exciting and creative that allows her to be herself at work.
So what are these Gen X senior and middle managers going to do to bring these groups together? How are they going to cope with the pressures of change? How are our new Gen Y middle managers going to embrace these strange times? And how are we going to support them?
Of course there are plenty of leadership development programmes and workshops out there, change management guide books and all the rest. In fact we urge you to keep investing in your leadership and think carefully about how you can do that in an imaginative way. The top companies distinguish themselves by the way they develop their leaders and think about the young leaders of tomorrow.
However, we need to think about what is different and not just fall back into our old ways. First, what is similar: Recognition, Leadership, Meaning and Authenticity: Read the rest of this entry »