Sunday, March 6, 2011

R u stdyg us as mch as we r u? (2)

We met Josh and Elizabeth in downtown NYC for an evening of good food and conversation. The four of us had mutual professional interests but viewed the world from very different perspectives. Two of us were just starting our careers and the other two were enjoying the benefits of successful careers Around that table (other than some gray hair) you could not tell who was who.

A few years ago, I posted the question “Are you studying us as much as we are you?” The hypothesis was that boomers were spending a lot more effort learning to be successful working with Gen Y’s than they were on how to work with us. The comments to the posting indicated that those in leadership roles had the responsibility to do the learning. One person even commented that the boomers need the Gen Ys far more than the Gen Ys need them. Well, my faith has been restored. QR codes, social networkings in the workplace and knowledge management solutions were tossed around the table with excitement. The table was vibrating with curiosity as we shared different perspectives. The visit was a blast and one well worth the effort.

As leaders, how are you staying current with work place technology opportunities? Who are your Josh and Elizabeth 25 year old mentors?

1 comment:

J Wong said...

I love this topic and always smile when you bring it up. It is interesting the different perspectives received when talking about various generations. I would agree that the boomers are studying the Gen Ys more then the Gen Ys are study the Boomers however, ever since you proposed this question to me (about 4 years ago) I have made it a goal of mine to remind people that I mentor and network with that it is extremely important (not to mention beneficial to your career) to understand the various generations. To understand their backgrounds, preferences and communication style can help you to relate to, converse with, team and politically navigate through an organization if you have a better understanding of the folks you are dealing with. The organization’s age group is a big part of what shapes their habits and expectations. I have been investigating and learning about the various generational differences and synergies ever since you brought this to my attention.

For all those Gen Ys out there that think that the Boomers need the Gen Ys more then the Gen Ys need the boomers….remember who the “Bosses” are right now and how they can be extremely helpful in shaping your career. Not to mention the wealth of knowledge those folks have! They are at the top for a reason and have a lot of things they could share with you. If you meet a Boomer who is willing to learn from you as much as they are willing to mentor you TAKE THEM UP ON IT. They are a gem and are not easy to find. John Bishop is one of those folks who not only mentors the various generations but also learns from them as well. Keep up the great work John!

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