Unlocking the Generation Paradox

There is a huge opportunity to embrace the energy and creativity that younger generations bring to your organisations.  However, there is currently miscommunication causing a disconnection. Where?  

 

The middle layers.

 

What would it be like if we all actually created new connections to allow the top to engage with and listen to the ideas of all the layers? What new knowledge might become available?

 

Hello2morrow interviewed 100 young professionals to uncover exactly what drives, inspires and engages them in the workplace - scroll down to see what we found. 

Individualisation - Should we forget the label? 

‘Millennial’- the term used to define a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.

Sound descriptive? We don’t think so.

 

There are between 11–16 million individuals in the UK that this label applies to, all with completely different values and at different stages of their lives, ranging from between the ages of 18 to 30.

With this in mind, the question we have to ask ourselves is, why has this labelling generalisation become the ONLY way we see, and communicate with young professionals in our businesses?

 

The answer - the perception that leaders ‘know’ these individuals triggers unconscious bias’ driven by marketing, media messages. If making assumptions doesn’t translate into new knowledge and halts growth of individuals and businesses, what is the next step?

 

 

Connectivity - Has the art of listening elapsed? 

Agile communication in the professional world has always been a sticking point in recent years so it may be obvious to highlight that lengthy hierarchical structures don’t help creativity, innovation or engagement. However, take this one step further, overlay it with the labels clouded over entire generations of people and we see stifled, uninspired and undiscovered creativity.

 

Creativity can take a variety of different forms – younger professionals can be seen as the leaders of today, and can support other generations understand how to optimise for growth. So how do you harness this energy, enthusiasm and new knowledge – the answer lies in creating listening networks.

Reality - Is generational bias two way?  

The short answer is yes.

Stilted by long control structures, young professionals feel unheard but fearful to communicate with more senior staff, in turn creating their own fictional narrative.

 

Strangely similar, basing all communication on unconscious bias, senior leaders are also fearful of listening ‘down’ through their own perceived lack of knowledge.

 

Here we reach DEADLOCK – a paralysis based on fear. In order to overcome this, we must understand the 3 core abstractions of fear: Evidence, Speed and Balance. 

 

 

LONDON

© 2018 Chloe Walton.

 

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