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A SIMPLER, SMARTER WAY TO MANAGE GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN THE WORKPLACE
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:
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