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Generational Sticking Points

Posted by Jay Dziwlik, MBA, CAE on Aug 24, 2016 12:00:00 PM


There has been a lot written on the generations. I can hear my grandmother’s voice already: “Jay, why did you need to read a book to learn about generations? In my day we just knew people were different. Don’t overthink it.” In contrast to my grandmother’s opinion, Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart by Haydn Shaw is worth adding to your reading list.

Here are some of the insights I gained:

  • For the first time in history our culture has four different generations in the workplace.
  • There are approaches to blending generations in the workplace that work.
  • Focusing on “what” escalate tensions, while also focusing on the “why,” pulls teams together.
  • There are 12 sticking points that allow teams to know and work through cultural tensions in the workplace.

Shaw shared that “the same generational conflicts that get teams stuck can cause teams to stick together.” This seems like one of those mystical, Sphinx-like, irritating double speak until he unpacks the 12 sticking points and provides many narrative examples. 

He walks the reader and the generations through the phrase you hear in generational clashes: “They don’t get it.” Shaw’s 12 sticking points include: communication, decision-making, dress code, feedback, fun at work, knowledge transfer, loyalty, meetings, policies, respect, training, and work ethic.  

My key takeaways include:

  • While people are motivated by similar needs, how they seek to fulfill those needs differs.
  • Generational transfer of leadership is occurring and the smaller Generation X need development and do not stay put. This is going to affect your leadership. Think about it.
  • How do you connect with five generations in the marketplace both as customers, as potential employees and as volunteers?

It is well worth the read.

The Crystal Ball of Association Trends ISAE Podcast

Topics: Millennials, Association Workforce, Generations, Book Review

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