How Entrepreneurs Can Leverage Multi-Generational Teams!

Can Entrepreneurs Develop and Leverage Their Multi-Generational Teams?Can Entrepreneurs Develop and Leverage Their Multi-Generational Teams?

Yesterday, we shared How Can Serving Leaders Help Overcome Challenges? on our Developing Serving Leaders blog, talking about how the world’s changing. Today, we begin providing you and your teams with the tools you need to succeed in changing world. I believe we are living in age of incredible opportunity. To succeed as entrepreneurs, we need to develop new ways of seeing the world. To achieve our goals we must learn to develop and leverage our teams’ unique strengths and capabilities to seize new opportunities faster.

For our teams, the era of lifetime employment is coming to an end.  The age of lifetime empowerment and engagement is just starting to begin. As entrepreneurs, we must consider what has happened over the past five years in our  communities. Now consider the opportunities the next five years might bring to our lives, families, teams, and communities.

The first major opportunity is the multi-generational work teams.  For the first time in business history, we can have up to four generations working in the business. This means that to be an effective manager, we must be able to relate to several generations of workers doing a similar job. Each generation brings different values, understanding, and capabilities to their job. If you want to help individuals grow in their roles, you must provide structure to their work. Better yet, you should allow these different generations to help each other do their roles better. This requires increased manager sensitivity to each individual’s strengths and learning capabilities. Many managers have been brought up to think there is only one good way of doing a good job.  The reality is that good managers empower their teams to create new ways of doing their work.

Many of our businesses are built on the idea that the longer on the job the more you know about the job.  This concept needs to be revised to allow for the changes going on with your employees and customers. Technology has allowed suppliers across a wide arrange of industries and markets to communicate in real time to create business transformation. For many organizations, the older workers know the results while younger workers use technology to change the work they are doing.  Both must be respected and, in many cases, these improvements can provide significant advantage in your markets. Older workers must learn how technology can make their job easier while sharing their extensive understanding with younger workers of critical processes and materials. This initially requires a different way of on the job training.  This style of training is collaborative in nature and yields incredible results to the organizations who take advantage of different people’s capabilities.

Today, we need to balance the strengths of a beginner’s mind with the respect for proven results. Over the years, I’ve seen many mature organizations stifle the creativity of their new employees by creating roadblocks to new ways of doing business. Many younger employees bring creativity, new ideas, and energy to their roles. It doesn’t take long before employers strip them of the freedom they require to create a more innovative workplace. It’s up to managers and organizational leaders to balance risk with opportunities.

This brings up an interesting point to consider as your business continues to grow. What’s more important today, is it having a few great leaders or more empowered managers? I’ll share my thoughts tomorrow at our sister blog Developing Serving Leaders. I think you’ll want to read, share, and challenge my thinking. I think you find my answer interesting and thought provoking. See you tomorrow.

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