A friend of mine was, among other things, a cardiologist who graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School … and did so at the top of his class. And, although he worked and resided in Anchorage, Alaska, he always said ” … if I ever need to be taken to a hospital, I want someone to get my sorry butt on a plane and take me to the Johns Hopkins clinic in Baltimore … rather than the fancy hospital.” “Why” I asked. His response was interesting. At the clinic, he explained, they pair the top med school interns with the most renowned and experienced doctors and in doing so are providing the patient with the years of acquired knowledge with the unencumbered thinking of the newest and brightest. And why wouldn’t any of us want that?
As coaches working in the business environment it is very common today to encounter leaders and their teams that are comprised with individuals of varying generations. Traditionalist (65 and older) are working side by side with the likes of Baby Boomers (ages 45 to 65) and Generation “X”-ers (ages 35 to 45) and finally Generation “Y”s (those under 35). And it is the way in which each group relates to those of another that can determine the nature of the explosion that is created.
If an individual is threatened by another because they have a different approach or different ideas pertaining to resolving any issue, it tends to create close-mindedness and divides the group and the organization. The impact – the explosion – delays rather than encourages progress. It creates potential turn-over at various levels of the organization and in turn, handicaps the progress and rate of progress.
If, on the other hand, one allows themselves to be curious … to genuinely want to hear a new way or new perspective of an approach or a product … regardless of what generation it is … this curiosity has a way of opening doors to paths that only result because everyone values the diversity of opinion, the growth and the exploration. And now you’re creating exploding and exciting fireworks that spell progress and success.
If I want to be in the hands of the most experienced and the latest and unencumbered creative thinking as a patient, does it make sense to treat the business any differently? I, for one, don’t think so. And you?