FAQ 6: How do you make the most from young people in an older company?

FAQ 6: How do you make the most from young people in an older company?

Lindsay Herbert, keynote speaker and author of the acclaimed book ‘Digital Transformation’ continues her series answering frequently asked questions on the subject of digital transformation.

Here Lindsay answers the question, “How do you make the most from young people in an older company?”




“Hi there and welcome to this Friday’s answered question which is;

“How do you make the most out of ideas from young people in your organization?”

Now, the worst thing you could do I think is to just assume that because they’re young they know everything about technology or that they know how to apply new technology in the context of your company. Don’t do that.

Instead, I would suggest that you get them working with the people who have been in the organization for a very long time. Put them together on a project with some people who have been around, with the company for 20 or 30 years and see how their opinions and their ideas resonate with some of the people who have been around for longer.

Now, this might lead to disaster if people in your organization are very, very set in ways of working and in processes that were established before the average millennial was born. If that’s the case, then you’re going to want to include some coaching and include some guidance from someone who is used to running a project with a mixed team like that, as to how they can make sure that everyone in that group gets to have a fair say and provide input without being shut down and also for the people who are older, to give them the feeling of a safety net, that if they allow the ideas of a young person that sound radical to go ahead, that it’s not going to be their neck on the line if something isn’t as successful as everyone had hoped it would be.

But yeah, definitely bring the young people in, let them have a say, but don’t just assume they know what they’re doing just because they grew up with Facebook and Twitter and smartphones.”

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