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The quest for implementing a sustainable culture of Innovation depends upon building a powerful team. And, in today’s marketplace, that requires harnessing the intellect and capabilities of a very diverse labor pool. It is far better to create an inclusive environment. Trouble starts when the innovation team gains the perception of “the cool kids’ club”—or, “the usual suspects” as Captain Renault said in the film classic, Casablanca. Now featured on 800ceoread.com‘s ChangeThis is an innovation book that covers how to bridge the generational divide and build sustainable innovation in your workplace.
In this feature, the topic of changing demographics in the workplace is discussed. How do we not only bridge this widening gap in generations in the workplace, but also create an environment where innovation can flourish? The answer to this question, among many others lies in Robert’s Rules of Innovation II: The Art of Implementation. Click here to download the manifesto from www.800ceoread.com which gives a broad overview of this topic.
In the manifesto, the following subjects are discussed:
- Key Demographics and the (Fast) Changing of the Workplace Guard
- According to U.S. Census statistics, Baby-Boomers and Millennials (or Gen Y, aged 18 to 33) are large groups: there are 77 million Boomers and—yes, believe it!—86 million Millennials. The relative size of these two groups surprises many savvy business leaders. The U.S. business community is facing a war of intelligence attrition. Fortune 500s will see countless experienced knowledge workers walk out the door over the next two decades. Many are preparing to leave—and American leadership isn’t prepared to lose them.
- Millennials: A Snapshot
- The Millennial generation will make up around 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025 —that’s going to mean a lot of changes within the workplace as Baby Boomers and Gen Xers step back, and Millennials step up.
- Fight the Brain Drain to Retain Institutional Knowledge
- At the same time disaffected Millennials accelerate their entry into leadership, management is now faced with seeing their institutional knowledge slip out the door with each successive retirement party. The loss of business intelligence and corporate knowledge, especially in R&D focused companies or organizations, could amount to billions of dollars in lost intellectual capital. Leaders must act fast. The question becomes: How do leaders keep the older generation actively engaged so that process of extracting and archiving key information is interesting, challenging and rewarding?
- We have found some techniques to be effective (further explanation can be found in the manifesto.
No matter which side of the Generational Divide you’re on, remember that while you’re in
the workplace, you are on the same team, trying to reach the same goal: sustainable innovation.
So, for everyone’s sake, take a deep breath, and remember the following:
- Millennials are passionate, innovative, collaborative and results oriented.
- Millennials have a strong work ethic, but one that is defined differently—they care less about the path to achieving the goal and are red-tape averse.
- Organizations must learn to adapt to their millennial employees to gain access to, and leverage, their energy, drive and solutions. They require frequent and specific feedback—this is what they’re used to. While extremely facile with technology, they need to be shown how to express themselves appropriately in a professional setting—this remains a management function, and a valuable one, at that.
- Millennials, for their part, must adapt as well. They are used to a fast-paced, instant feedback world. However, not everyone in the workplace is tuned to that frequency. Performance reviews are not going to happen every 15 minutes. On the other hand, it is unfair to interpret their aspiration as “entitlement.” Their technical adroitness should not be confused with “overconfidence.”
We are all in this innovation stew together. And, unmistakably, the future will belong to the Millennials. By working together for a smooth transition, and trying to understand the cultural differences that forged the mindsets of the generations, we can create a scenario where the baton of institutional knowledge accrued by the Boomers can be smoothly passed to GenX’ers and Millennials, to ensure short-term continuity and—ultimately—a rise to new heights of success for us all.
It’s not easy, not by a long-shot. To quote Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would GoogleDo?, “Life is a beta.”
To get results in Innovation, a structured, repeatable process is essential from start to finish, and you must be sure you know how to Create and Sustain that Innovation.
ChangeThis is a vehicle, not a publisher. We make it easy for big ideas to spread. While the authors we work with are responsible for their own work, they don’t necessarily
agree with everything available in ChangeThis format.
ChangeThis is powered by the love and tender care of 800-CEO-READ. Visit us at 800ceoread.com, and keep up with the latest developments in business books on our review site, In the Books.