talking ’bout my generation

With Millennials now comprising just about half of the people working in the world, unsurprisingly there’s been major impacts in the way people work together, all of which is brought into ever sharper focus by the continual and seemingly quantum technological advances that continue to reshape what’s possible for how we interact, collaborate and work together — increasingly across cultures as well as generations.

Download my free guide, Talking ‘Bout My Generation if you want the insights to:

  • Understand how generational differences impact your workplace

  • Overcome the 4 biggest causes of conflict at work

  • Discover, adapt to and leverage the advantages of generational diversity

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Innovation

It’s not difficult to gauge what innovation has delivered to every aspect of our lives as consumers: from mobile phones and the apps that populate them, to the explosion of tablets to the flexibility and freedom of watching television on our terms.

However, once we walk through the (even virtual) doors of our workplace, innovation is all too often disregarded or sidelined as nothing more than supercilious window dressing.  Big mistake!  Deloitte has recently published a report (Jan 21, 2013) disclosing:

“While Millennials value innovation in an employer, only 26 percent of those surveyed believe their current organization’s leaders encourage practices that foster innovation.”

Deloitte Global CEO Barry Salzberg goes on to discuss how innovation isn’t only essential as a driver of business growth, but as a catalyst for solving society’s most pressing problems- and how highly valued innovation is for the ever-growing number of Millennials, who are forecasted to make up 75% of the world’s workforce by 2025.

What’s key is the expectation of Millennials that business develop innovations that will benefit society not the governmental and academic bodies that have previously been regarded as responsible.  And with two thirds of Millennials stating that innovation is a key factor in choosing who they’re going to work for, getting your organization’s innovation game resolved has never been more vitally important.

Have a look at the videos from the workshops I’ve created, Talking ‘Bout My Generation and Mind The Gap:

These workshops have been created to inform and ultimately, empower people to embrace the generational diversity that’s happened not just in the workplace – but in the world as well.  I’ve found the best way to understand all the generations in the workshop is through 9 lenses as a way of appreciating each generation’s values, beliefs and motivations.

The value of social media to engage in consumer products, political movements or for our personal lives is undisputed.  What’s often not so clear is how we can harness this incredible potential within the workplace for all generations.

It’s been my experience and research shows that generational conflict in teams is most prevalent and challenging around these 4 areas:

  • Work ethic

  • Communication style

  • Getting together

  • Innovation

What I’ve found is that it’s all about understanding the different characteristics of each generations as well as the ‘generation’ of a workplace’s culture to adapt and leverage these differences to empower them work together.  It’s been pretty clear that the Traditionalist culture of most of the world’s bank has come into direct conflict with large swathes of a vocal population, as in Occupy Wall Street.

The majority of work I do is in creating customised workshops  based on departmental audits and research.  Recent work has focused on:

  • HR:  Understanding the implications for recruitment and how to tap into the values and aspirations of Millennials as well as how to reward them ways that are meaningful to them.

  • Innovation and Leadership:  Recognizing the sea changes in authority dynamics and how this represents in work ethic, communication style and leadership approaches and how innovation needs to be integrated into the fabric at every level of an organization.

  • Communications:  This is an area that presents some of the greatest challenges to organisations of every shape and size.  And given that it’s an ever expanding and evolving domain, staying at the forefront of meaningful collaboration is essential to earn relevance and audience share.

From there, a plan of action is agreed with targeted workshops, ongoing learning schemes and agreed deliverables for the progress and goals that we set out to achieve.  Recent clients have included UBS London and Media Trust.

So, what’s the point?

It’s all very well to understand our differences, but at the end of the day, what’s really going to be achieved?  I’m so glad you asked!  Here’s what participants have reported:

  • Cultural and organizational changes that deliver increased productivity, engagement and retention as well as the means to integrate innovation across the organisation and build leadership capacity.

  • More effective communication with fewer misunderstandings that boost profitabilty and revenue.

  • Recruitment and retention of the best and brightest talent and the ability to keep them engaged.

  • Motivational methods that not only reward in meaningful way, but inspire talent to keep (over) achieving.

  • High performing teams with expectations that are better-formed, understood, agreed and achievable.

As noted author and management expert Ken Blanchard sums it up:

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”

 

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