Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cross-Generational Mindset

The cross-generational mindset shifts from hindsight to foresight; from silo to holism; and from diversity to inclusiveness.

Many company workforce span three generations—Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials —each with different leadership, communication, working and learning styles. For example, Boomers are commonly defined as demonstrating a strong work loyalty and drive to win; Generation X as tending to be more flexible and resilient; and Millennials as embracing social technology and diversity. At the dawn of the digital era, global businesses need to shed the tendency to bridge the generational differences and shape the cross-generational mindset with common digital traits and perceive a more complex and complete picture of their workforce, because we all belong to the C-the connecting generation with the convergent characteristics in the aspirations, ambitions, values, and attitudes. etc.

Cognizance: Millennials is the digital native, they are born in the digital era and actually they are the only generation for which the Internet, the mobile technologies, the social media, the smart digital devices, and the intelligent computer networks are obvious. While X gen and baby boomers are digital immigrants, they also present the high level of learning agility to not only play with the latest digital gadgets but more importantly, they are open-minded and embrace the digital way to think differently and work more effectively. All generations now are taking advantage of the digital media to share and create digital content, climbing the social ladders, beyond the traditional career ladders. They become more insightful with such empathetic cognizance as well, always capture insight and substance, rather than look at things on the surface; always put other people’s shoes on, understand perspectives different from their own, and build networks with people outside of their organization. They start working in harmony and thrive in a culture based on positivity, identify and maximize their personal strengths and teamwork rather than zero-sum competition and they get advanced by who really are, not just about who they know. And they are inspired and get motivated to reach a higher level of Maslow’s pyramid, in pursuit of purpose, autonomy, and mastery.

Flexibility: Based on Deloitte talent survey, among generational bands from Boomers to X Gen to Millennials, a top response was “provide flexible working conditions and better work-life integration.”Their voices add to a rising chorus, signaling important shifts in the cultural dynamics of the workforce. Today’s cross-generational workforces believe that business drives innovations which have the most positive impact on society. And that creativity and innovation are key ingredients that make an organization an employer of choice. They are ready to work for companies with flexible working conditions and better work-life integration. They value workplaces that contribute to their personal development as professionals. They prefer working for companies that invest in developing their capabilities and keeping their skills updated and relevant through continuous learning and development. They are interested to do meaningful work, work that matters, and they think they can make a real difference and generate impact for their companies and the society as well. In addition, these high potential digital talent has a high desire to be entrepreneurial, to move into leadership roles, and to have the opportunity to innovate and create. They see work as a series of experiences that help them develop continually over time.

Inclusiveness: At the digital era, the business functional border, the company border and even the profession border are blurred; indeed, the world becomes more inclusive, admit of the inclusion of wide variety of specializations under one umbrella. Today’s C-connected generational workforces have inter-disciplinary knowledge and "independence of thought", they are leaping from diversity to inclusiveness much more enthusiastically and fluently than the previous generations and workplace, because the businesses environment become so volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous, and the more you discover different logics and thought processes, the better you can improve to think different from various points of views and solve business problems with creativity and intelligence.

Indeed, today’s multi-generational workforces have to learn with each other, grow together, and embrace the multitude of the digital mindset and build a positive, creative, productive and hybrid digital workplace.


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