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Us vs. Them: Redefining the Multi-Generational Workplace to Inspire Your Employees to Love Your Company, Drive Innovation, and Embrace Change

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Us vs. Them: Redefining the Multi-Generational Workplace to Inspire Your Employees to Love Your Company, Drive Innovation, and Embrace Change


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A simpler, smarter way to understand generational differences in the workplace – and overcome them! 

  • Get past stereotypes to promote vibrant collaboration when teams include both younger and older workers
  • Solve specific problems associated with productivity, employee loyalty, succession planning, career advancement, onboarding, innovation, and change
  • Promote change and innovation in ways that maximize adoption and minimize resistance
  • Includes specific strategies for resolving issues and communicating with younger (less experienced) or older (more experienced) colleagues
  • An indispensable resource for executives, HR professionals, talent management strategists, and entrepreneurs


  • Copyright 2015
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Pages: 272
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-419510-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-419510-0


Forget complex multi-generation models nobody can use!

  • Discover useful solutions rooted in enduring human psychology
  • Improve communication, productivity, loyalty, career planning, and innovation
  • For all executives, HR pros, talent strategists, and entrepreneurs
  • Millennials. Gen X. Boomers. The “Greatest Generation.” How do you get them all working together? It isn’t nearly as complicated as the “experts” claim. You just need to understand one simple dynamic that’s as old as the human race: there’s us, and there’s everyone else.

    Jeff Havens clears away the foolishness so often associated with managing multi-generation workplaces, and gives you a simple, sensible framework for resolving every generational issue you’ll ever face.

    Havens shows why workplaces have always presented “us vs. them” dynamics based on age and experience, and always will. Then, he offers practical solutions for specific intergenerational issues associated with loyalty, work ethic, innovation, change, and career advancement.

    Ready to get past stereotypes and promote vibrant collaboration across all generations? Then you’re ready for Us vs. Them.

    For 30 years, discussions about generational differences at work have grown increasingly complex and frustrating. ”Experts” have identified three, four, now even five distinct workplace generations–each allegedly unique and requiring their own management approach. If you buy all that, then it follows that the more generations you bring aboard, the tougher it is to collaborate productively.

    But the conventional wisdom is 100% wrong. It isn’t so complicated–or difficult. In Us vs. Them, Jeff Havens offers a simpler, more intuitive model–and most importantly, actionable solutions. Based on his

    internationally acclaimed keynote presentation, Us vs. Them will simplify your workplace in ways you didn’t think were possible.

    Think of two generations, not five: Older, more experienced workers and their Younger, less experienced counterparts. Suddenly, you can frame generational issues more sensibly–and find simple solutions to problems that once seemed intractable.

    Us vs. Them addresses the root psychological causes of generational tension at work: causes based in the hardwired human tendency to see others as “one of us” or as “one of them.” This dynamic has existed forever, and it always will. Once you understand it, you can learn to manage it...and when another “new generation” comes along, you’ll be ready for them, too!

    Simpler, more effective ways to:

    • Motivate employees of all ages
    • Learn from colleagues who think differently from you
    • Inspire more enthusiasm, loyalty, and productivity, especially among new hires
    • Prevent veteran employees from coasting toward retirement
    • Frame change more successfully
    • Promote innovation
    • Plan succession and advancement
    • Accelerate your own career progress


    Author's Site

    Please visit the author's site here.

    Sample Content

    Online Sample Chapter

    Destroying the Four-Generation Myth of the Multi-Generational Workplace

    Sample Pages

    Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 1 and Index)

    Table of Contents

    Introduction: Why This Book Needed to Be Written 1

    Part One: Simplifying the Picture 11

    Chapter 1: Destroying the Four-Generation Myth 13

    Generational Differences Throughout the Ages 15

    How Marketing Created the “Multigenerational Workforce” 17

    So How Does This Relate to the Generational Question? 19

    The Four (Totally Invented) Generations in Today’s Workplace 21

    The Two Major Problems with the Four-Generation Model 24

    Chapter 2: The Two-Generation Model 37

    And...Your Point? 38

    Generation Us and Generation Them 41

    Us vs. Them, the Professional Version 45

    How the Us/Them Dynamic Operates 46

    Chapter 3 Consolidating Generational Arguments (or, Let the Stereotypes Begin!) 53

    Two Visions of the Future 63

    Part Two: Solving the Problem 71

    Chapter 4: On the Nature of Loyalty and Its Effect on Work Ethic 73

    The Importance of Loyalty 75

    Are Today’s Younger Workers Really Less Loyal Than Previous Generations? 76

    How Is This Possible? 81

    What Is Dunbar’s Number, and Why Should I Care? 82

    The Rise of the Internet and Its Effect on the Desire for Loyalty 84

    The Search for Connection Goes Global 88

    So if All This Is True, Why Do Young People Seem Less Loyal? 92

    Loyalty Is a Two-Way Street 94

    What We Used to Hear About Work, and What We’re Hearing Now 98

    What Does This All Mean? 101

    So What Can You Do? 106

    Chapter 5: On The Pace of Career Advancement (In Any Career) 115

    A Secret About Every Old Person You Work With 119

    Experience, Experience, Experience 121

    The 10,000-Hour Rule (Which Is a Lie but Gets the Point Across Anyway) 123

    Advancement Is a Process 125

    Quiz: Show Me The Money!!! 126

    And Now, Something for Old People 130

    The One Thing Technology Can’t Improve 131

    How This Causes Tension 134

    Advancement Never Stops 135

    What You Can Do 140

    Chapter 6: On the Tension Between Stasis and Innovation 153

    The Reason Old People Like Doing Things the Way They’ve Always Done Them... 156

    So Why Are Young People So Eager to Change All the Time? 162

    The Causes (and Consequences) of Complacency 166

    The Challenge 168

    What You Can Do to Inspire Deliberate Practice 170

    Chapter 7: Deciding How (or Whether) to Implement a Change 179

    What Does Fashion Have to Do with Changes in My Business? 181

    Why Some People Resist New Ideas 183

    And Now, the Other Side of the Coin 189

    So What Can You Do? 193

    Chapter 8: From Them to Us 205

    Part Three: Key Concepts and Strategies 219

    Chapter 9: How to Talk to Someone Significantly Older or More Experienced Than You Are 221

    Step 1: Expect Some Condescension from Them 222

    Step 2: Let Them Do Most of the Talking 222

    Step 3: Praise Anything You Hear That Sounds Intelligent 223

    Step 4: Ask a Lot of Questions 223

    Step 5: Expect Some Frustration 223

    Step 6: Focus on Improving the Business 224

    Chapter 10: How to Talk to Someone Significantly Younger or Less Experienced Than You Are 225

    Step 1: Expect Some Impatience from Them 226

    Step 2: Temper Their Impatience by Showing Them Why They Need to Slow Down 226

    Step 3: Expect Them to Become Frustrated and Empathize with Them 227

    Step 4: Point Out the Positive Elements of Every Idea Before Focusing on the Negative Elements 227

    Step 5: Point Out the Potential Problems 227

    Step 6: Empower Your Young or Inexperienced

    Colleague to Address the Issues Brought Up in Step 5 228

    Chapter 11: How Our Motivations Change as We Age 229

    Chapter 12: Summary of Main Points 233

    Chapter 13: Summary of Strategies 237

    Index 241


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