Over the last two years working on the development of www.imnotdoneyet.co.uk I have had one of those exploding light-bulb moments that only occur once or twice in a career. I have discovered the power of inter-generation collaboration.
At times, there seems a great gulf between the thinking of the Millennials, Generation X and the Baby Boomers in the work place. The reality of course is they all have strengths and weaknesses.
Inter-generational collaboration aims to bring the best of both together by enabling different generations to equally add value to the other. So, what might this look like…………………….
What happens if you deliberately mentor a baby boomer with a millennial and visa versa?
To work well there must be a 50/50 partnership. This is not a mentor and mentored relationship. What you are aiming to do, on both sides, is to use the strengths of being older and younger to mitigate the other’s weaknesses.
To give you my personal example, I have shared some of the experience I have built up in project implementation whilst gaining a fantastic skill set in using Instagram, video and other social media for marketing. I’ve also gained a very different perspective on working style which I am actively embracing.
Critical to this for both inter-generational mentors is mindset – the skills and experience of each must be equally valued.
Inter-generational job share
A great way to bring on younger team members whilst bringing skills to and re-motivating older team members.
Here essentially a job is split in a conventional job share way, but the role is deliberately shared across different generations, each sharing the responsibilities and outcomes. Again, mindset forms a critical part with the relationship being undertaken on equal terms (there is no senior or junior).
A further example – I am currently developing a business opportunity using this approach where we (baby boomer and millennial) are equal partners in driving the business forward.
Inter-generational teams and boards
Why not apply this further – can we deliberately build inter-generational teams and boards to gain the benefits of cross generation collaboration? Can we find ways to ensure that the skills are equally valued and leveraged?
To me the future is very bright and it’s Inter-generational.