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Tag Archives: Baby boomers

Radio interview – preventing the boomer brain drain

boomer brain drainBracing for the boomer brain drain was the title of my regular column for The Globe and Mail that published on August 6.  In it, I outlined five strategies to retain crucial institutional knowledge (and prevent corporate amnesia).

It got a fair amount of interest and positive feedback, including a call from the folks at the More than Money radio show on 770 Newstalk CHQR.  Dave Popowich and Faisal Karmali host this weekly radio program that focuses on planning for retirement, lifestyle and everything in between.  They were interested in advice I could offer on how people contemplating retirement could pass on their knowledge before departing their organizations.

Transferring knowledge wealth at retirement

Here is the link to my segment in the podcast of their show on August 18; the entire segment lasts about 10 minutes.

https://omny.fm/shows/more-than-money/mtm-aug-17-seg-4

What advice do you have to offer to add to what I shared on the show?  Are you contemplating retirement and find yourself in a similar situation?  Or have you experienced a situation where this “ boomer brain drain” was not recognized, and key people left the organization with critical information about processes and relationships?  Please share your perspectives by adding a comment below.

Bracing for the boomer brain drain

As the last of the Boomers move through their 50’s and beyond, those who elect to take early retirement often take decades of tacit knowledge with them.  This boomer brain drain – the loss of undocumented, intuitive experiential information about people, business processes and informal procedures can leave huge gaps in an organization’s cumulative intelligence.

The boomer brain drain can cripple your company

This corporate amnesia can cripple a company, so if you’re a leader, it’s up to you to actively identify and work to mitigate this possibility.  And the time to do it is now, well in advance, and not just in the months and weeks before a key employee is due to leave.  In my latest column for The Globe and Mail, I offer five strategies to brace for the boomer brain drain, and retain crucial institutional knowledge.

Bracing for the boomer brain drain

Bracing for the boomer brain drain

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Apparently ageism is more prevalent than you may have realized

One week ago I blogged about ageism in the workplace and whether we have an unconscious age bias, without even realizing it (see Is age discrimination alive and well in organizations?).  In response to this post, a client forwarded this video link to me, with a short comment that he has seen many examples of “upward ageism” in his organization.  Published by AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons), this video at four minutes is a little longer than the usual YouTube video, but watch it through to the end, I think you’ll find it interesting; I certainly did.

My favourite two parts come near the end (at the 3:30 mark) when 70-year old Parvati says “As long as I’m growing and learning, then age doesn’t matter”, and when 75-year old George says Continue reading

Is age discrimination alive and well in organizations?

Ageism Gets OldRecently, I came across an article written by Dan Lyons (author of a new book, “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Startup Bubble“), in which he shares his personal experience with age discrimination.  Here’s a link to his article – When It Comes to Age Bias, Tech Companies Don’t Even Bother to Lie.  It’s not very long, but if you don’t want to read it for yourself, here’s a quick summary.

Lyon’s article opens with – Imagine you’re African-American and working at a 500-person technology company where everyone else is white, and one day the CEO declares in a national newspaper interview that his company’s lack of diversity isn’t an accident. In fact he prefers to hire white people because when it comes to technology white people simply make better employees. That statement would be unthinkable. But what if a tech CEO made the same comment about age?   Lyon goes on to explain that about nine months after he joined a software company called HubSpot (where the average employee age was 26; he was 52), Brian Halligan, the CEO and co-founder, explained to the New York Times that this age imbalance was not something he wanted to remedy, but in fact something he had actively cultivated.  HubSpot was “trying to build a culture specifically to attract and retain Gen Y’ers,” because, “in the tech world, gray hair and experience are really overrated”.  Ironically, no one (not the CEO, nor the media, nor company employees) saw anything wrong in this publicly-made statement. Continue reading

Motivating employees of different ages

FoodService_Spring2015What does it take to inspire and motivate employees of different ages? Over the years, I have blogged several times about different generations in the workplace (see Intergenerational conflict arising from dated policies and procedures? and Five things every leader should know about the multi-generational workplace), and it still continues to be a topic of huge interest to clients in just about every industry. The food services industry is no exception. Recently, Food Service & Nutrition magazine (published by the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management) invited me to pen an article for them for their Spring 2015 issue on this very subject, and you can read it here: Continue reading

Millennials in the workplace – CKNW 980 NewsTalk Vancouver interview

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a link to my latest column in The Globe & MailWant respect, millennials? Here’s how to earn it is the third in a series, and like the first two, it has gone viral, stimulating both positive and negative feedback, but definitely instigating conversations!  Some of those dialogues have included me, but far more important are the thousands of discussions that have started around coffee stations and water coolers, as people have commenced and continued to work on improving communication between different generations in the workplace.

CKNW980NewsTalkLast week, Bill Good, very popular morning host on CKNW NewsTalk Vancouver, invited me to join him on his show to talk about – you guessed it – generational differences in the workplace.  The conversation, not surprisingly, centered on the negative stereotypes that are often assigned to the millennial generation, and how to get past them.  Here is a link to the actual interview.  Continue reading

Want respect, millennials? Here’s how to earn it.

My newest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series just published this morning.

G&M061014

“Want respect, millennials?  Here’s how to earn it”

offers six specific pieces of advice to millennials on how to earn greater respect amongst their boomer and Gen-Xer peers and managers.

My last two columns on the subject of millennials (Four things millennials hate about you in March and Don’t gripe about millennials at work, appreciate their talents instead in April) created quite the commotion, so if history is a predictor of the future, I suspect this one will cause some conversation as well.  As always, the column will take you no more than a few minutes to read, and I know that it will be relevant, but perhaps more importantly, I hope it will be thought-provoking.

I hope it goes without saying – I’d love your thoughts!  Please … pass the link along to your staff and colleagues.  I suspect that they’ll each have an opinion as well!  And if you’ve got a millennial or two in your work or personal life, I’d love to hear from them too.  Please comment below, or add your perspectives to the Globe’s website.  You can also tweet me at @mergespeaks.

Here is a direct link to the article in case you need to cut and paste it elsewhere: http://tgam.ca/ECyp

In defense of Millennials …

My latest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series is live on the worldwide web this morning!

G&M043014

As most of you know, my last column caused quite the commotion!! In just the first two days, Four things millennials hate about you had over 50,000 hits and over 6,000 direct shares, and since then readership has continued to climb.   So … given the intense interest this subject generated last time, I decided to take another look at the same topic but from a slightly different viewpoint.

Stop griping and start appreciating millennials

is all about why we should focus on the strengths that this young generation brings to the workplace, rather than on their weaknesses. And quite frankly, all the things that irritate us most about the millennial generation were enabled by the rest of us, baby boomers and Generation-Xers, in the workplace. In other words, we created the monster that now frustrates so many of us!

So please, take a quick read through today’s column. It will take you only a few minutes, and I know that it will offer you a perspective you might never have previously considered. It will be relevant, and definitely thought-provoking! And please … pass the link along to your staff and colleagues. I’m willing to bet that they’ll each have an opinion! At minimum, it will get the conversation going. Feel free to add your thoughts to the Globe’s website (since they have a lot more readers, the dialogue is broader), or come on back to the blog to comment.  If you wish, you can also send me a tweet at @mergespeaks.

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Here is a direct link to the article in case you need to cut and paste it elsewhere: http://tgam.ca/EBsH

Millennials in the workplace – more radio interviews

radioMy latest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series, “Four things millennials hate about you“, continues to get a lot of interest.  Total views have exceeded 60,000 and direct “shares” have climbed above 6,000.  And the topic has become one that has captured the attention of several radio stations.  In addition to the interview I did with Gary Doyle, popular talk show host at 570 News Radio in Kitchener/Waterloo, I’ve now also been John Moore’s guest on Moore in the Morning on 1010 Newstalk Toronto, and on Talk to the Hand with Ed Hand on 1310 News Ottawa.  Two more interviews that have been taped but not aired yet are with Chris dela Torre on CBC Radio’s Alberta Morning and with Paul Ladd at WBC in Nashville TN.  The link below will take you to the archive page for these interviews, and we’ll add more as they air.

Radio interviews about “Four things millennials hate about you”

I must say that I am thrilled about the interest this topic has generated.  It means that people are talking to one another; and more dialogue means that there is a desire to better understand the differences between generations, which is a good thing!!

Please … share your experiences about leading and working in multi-generational workplaces.  We have so much that we can learn from each other.

Millennials in the workplace – 570 News radio interview

On Monday, I posted a link to my latest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series. Provocatively titled “Four things millennials hate about you“, it addressed the fact that just as Boomers and Gen Xers shake their heads at the attitudes and actions of Millennials, so do Millennials question and ponder about some of the things company veterans say and do. Well to say that it got a reaction would be a gross understatement. When all was said and done, the article garnered over 50,000 views with over 4,000 direct “shares” in social media. Many of the comments were positive, as the points I made resonated with readers across the country, but there were negative comments as well, most annoyed because they felt that the article perpetuated stereotypes.

570NewsThe viral storm caught the eye of Gary Doyle, popular talk show host at 570 News Radio in Kitchener/Waterloo and he invited me to be his guest on his show yesterday morning. Here is a link to an archived version of my conversation with him. It’s just over 13 minutes long so you probably want to get another cup of coffee first; but if you are leading (or work in) a multi-generational workplace, then I think you’ll get value from listening in. Continue reading