Do you ever wish you could instantly capture expert advice or opinions from across the World of Work?
Here’s an easy solution: Just ask a quick question on Twitter about generational differences in today’s workplace. Even better, ask that question during a #TChat event. I guarantee that, within moments, you’ll be drinking from a fire hose of thoughtful, passionate, articulate responses!
That’s exactly what we experienced on the #TChat stream last night with special guest, Mark Babbitt. As founder + CEO of YouTern, an organization that helps young professionals grow through high-impact information, mentorships and internships, Mark has developed strong opinions about the silent strength that Generation X brings to the workforce.
Do You Mind If I Talk About Your Age?
We were curious if the TalentCulture community agrees with Mark’s perspective. And we wondered how important generational similarities and differences are in shaping tomorrow’s organizations.
The conversation exposed what at first blush, might seem like opposing viewpoints. For example, on one hand, many participants emphasized the benefits of celebrating diversity:
“It’s not one-size-fits-all.” …and… “Let’s value the differences.” …and as Tom Bolt suggested…
A3: Recognizing the value of a diverse generational mix creates culture of innovation, cooperation, and collaboration. #TChat
— Tom Bolt (@TomBolt) October 16, 2013
Meanwhile, other participants emphasized the importance of focusing on similarities:
“Empower people; stop focusing on generations.” …and… “There are inspired, innovative, connected people in every generation.” …and as Kelly Blokdijk noted…
— Kelly Blokdijk (@TalentTalks) October 16, 2013
Of course, upon reflection, these perspectives are really two sides of the same coin. Both hold truths that can propel organizations forward.
But key questions remain — HOW BEST can we bring together both ends of this spectrum to create more effective organizational cultures? And how prepared is our next wave of leaders to accomplish that mission? Whenever human behavior is involved, there are many roads to the same destination. Some paths have many more detours and roadblocks. Organizations need smart navigators. Meanwhile, the business world continues to grow more complex and challenging. That’s why we’ll need extraordinary leaders in the future — regardless of their generation.
What’s Age Got To Do With It?
In the meantime, we look to one another for guidance. It’s actually phenomenal how much information has been created and shared about generations in the workplace. And yet organizations still struggle with how to “make it work.”
Just for fun, consider this quick, unscientific peek at the magnitude of commentary available online:
GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS:
“Millennials” work = 39,000,000
“Boomers” work = 37,000,000
“Generation X” work = 3,260,000
You’d think there are enough nuggets of wisdom in there to help us understand and resolve these issues. But ideas, alone, aren’t the answer. Action is also required.
“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”
After all, no matter how old or young we are, that’s really the only path to progress.
So let’s keep the ideas flowing. Let’s keep the lines of communication open. Let’s share what works, and toss out what doesn’t. But most of all, let’s encourage one another to be bold and try “something new.” Let’s keep trying, and learning, and growing, and evolving. Let’s look forward to creating that “new” future together!
#TChat Week-In-Review: Gen X — Leading From The Middle
#TChat Preview: TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed this week’s topic in a post that featured a brief G+ Hangout video with guest Mark Babbitt. Read the Preview: “Gen X: Leading From The Middle.”
#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with special guest, Mark Babbitt, about the unique challenges and opportunities that Generation X faces in today’s world of work. Listen to the radio recording now!
#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Mark, Meghan and Kevin joined the entire community on the #TChat Twitter stream for an open conversation about 5 related questions. For highlights, check the Storify slideshow below:
#TChat Highlights: Gen X: Leading From The Middle
Closing Notes & What’s Ahead
GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Mark Babbitt for adding your voice to this week’s discussion. Your insights about Gen X have helped challenge our assumptions and expand our understanding.
NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about the multi-generational workforce? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.
WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we tackle another important “world of work” topic. So save the date (October 23) for another rockin #TChat double header. And keep an eye out for details in the next few days.
Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues! So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your thoughts are always welcome.
See you on the stream!
Image Credit: Stock.xchng