Spanning the Generational Divide:

The why, what, how of the art of building a culture of co-existence


 The Widening Chasm…. 

Future Supply Chain needs a very scientific management approach to Supply Chain and a fundamental shift from today’s Supply Chain management as an “Art.” This will spawn new disciplines, niche skills which will come at a premium and at levels which took an experienced professional a lot of earning stripes. Technology savvy professionals will play a major part of this workforce because of early engagement and fascination to such technology. This is a common scene in Supply Chain and will be amplified with new business realities. Leaders at all levels should pay particular attention to this gap and be sensitive to it.  

 Mismanaged Intergeneration Gap ….

Mismanaging the process of intergeneration gap impacts the sustainability of corporation in the following ways:

Short term disadvantage: Your process of ideation does not create enough ideas or is not well thought through and always tends to possess a slant to one philosophy, execution or technology. Retaining your top talent possesses an issue and ideation diversity is lost. More time is spent on resolving negative energy and unproductive conflicts versus idea themselves.

Long term disaster: Culturally, your workforce is skewed in thinking, which dampens your business advantage. The competitive edge is lost with culture less focused on operational reality or suffers from living in a bubble of status quo for too long. Organization fails to keep up with Technological advancements and the power to unlock its business potential.

 Benefits of managing this process….With the economy being global in nature, every product is subject to a rapid fall towards commoditization. Profit margins are under constant attack, and competition routinely springs up from unforeseen places. A key competitive advantage and long-term defense is your organization's leadership pipeline. Developing the leaders necessary to exploit gaps in the external landscape and build new business models that exploit them profitably is the key to long-term organizational success. Intergeneration gap if managed well creates a robust talent pool. The advantages comes in three folds: hard (business/tangible value), soft (procedural/process-centric), sensitive (people/personal/emotional).

 

Business: Better idea generation process keeps the business competitive and quickens the value generation process. It converts the organization into innovation centric engine where each success builds rapidly on the other.

Process: Improves the process of going from vision to value, improves business collaboration and thinking win-win abilities. Idea sharing, positive dissention/constructive conflicts helps bring fresh, newer and robust ideas which realizes full promised value. Helps develop solution with right balance of people, process, and technology to drive customer and stakeholder value.

People: Develops leaders to be better influencer managers. Improves their judgment ability and helps young leader to earn their stripes and build credibility within the organization. It also creates appreciation for diverse opinion. Strengthens the leadership pipeline a key advantage for the future with empathetic listening and leadership styles. 

Nine common clashes caused by the intergeneration gap:

 Reality Check: The optimism of youth versus operational realism of experience

Competence: Objectivity & analytical framework versus subjectivity/intangibles considerations

Solution Bias: Opportunity identification & excitement versus implementation feasibility

Focus area: Technology acceptance as a means to the end versus people and process centric solutions

Thought-ware: Changing the rules of the game versus steadiness & systematic improvement methods

Approach: Socially aware & transparency-centric versus overcautious and guarded thought process

Speed: Impatient about pace of play versus steady or sometimes slow pace of play

Role Mismatch: Role swap with ops leader playing role of technology leader and young leader becoming ops specialist

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