Windward Insights

The Power of Generations at Work

Published
Written by Katie McDermott

Video screencap of Jessie Newburn

Insights from an interview with Sean McDermott and Jessie Newburn in the AIOps Evolution Podcast

Sean McDermott, CEO of Windward Consulting Group sat down with Jessie Newburn, consultant at GenerationWorks to discuss AIOps and organizational change management. Throughout this post, we will put organizational change management into context. We’ll also explore how understanding the 3 different generations in the workforce will help IT leaders increase collaboration. We will then talk a little bit about what leaders need to do to make organizational cultural changes. This includes what processes should be used, especially in terms of how to interact with customers. Jessie Newburn provides tips on different ways leaders can resolve conflicts, whether they are internal conflicts of people just being concerned about technology or generational conflicts of leadership.

The Boomer Generation

According to Jessie Newburn, the boomer generation is known as the asserted visionary. They’re the generation who came of age during the consciousness revolution. Because of that, they learned to tackle situations from the inside out. Their worldview asks questions first and expresses the moral wisdom they’ve gained in the workplace. Because they are the asserted visionaries, they are not afraid to ask the big, important questions.

Boomers successfully radicalized the work environment by encouraging creativity and individualism, and have atomized everything from big corporations to smaller businesses. So yeah, they’re kind of workaholics.

Some might consider that a negative trait, but we shouldn’t forget the risks they have taken by asking the big questions and bringing meaning to conversations and corporate environments. We can really thank them for that.

Generation X

Generation Xers really are the first generation to grow up with vast changing technology. They are the creators of category killers like Amazon, Google, eBay, PayPal, Tesla Uber, Airbnb, and Zoom. These advancements in technology are one of this generation’s most profound contributions to society.

Members of Gen X are natural-born entrepreneurs. They are independent and free-thinkers willing to gamble with different outcomes and solutions. This is a “willing to try” generation. One of the primary things about Generation Xers is that most grew up with very little safety net and very little protection. So they sort of go through life with the mindset that “no one’s got my back, so I have to build my own or I gotta figure it out myself.”

There’s a profound pragmatism and resilience with Gen Xers. We can really thank Generation X for bringing work-life balance back to the corporate world because Boomers carry a much more workaholism attitude.

Millennials

Millennials are an achievement-oriented generation. They’re very supported, however they face immense pressure to achieve and be special. This generation tends to be very connected to their peers, their family, and their support networks.

Collaboration is especially important to Millenials. Most have trust in big institutions and our government to take care of them, surprisingly leading us to believe they strive for a conventional life. One of the main things that millennials bring to the workforce is a strong presence of “good cheer” in a team environment, and insightful contributions to collaboration.

Gen Xers, on the other hand, are very good at systems and working together, but it doesn’t come from a heart space. It comes from a bottom-line perspective. Whereas Millennials align their work, and value collaborative teams with good cheer and good spirit.

It’s important to understand how to maximize the zones of genius for each generation in the workplace. We can look to Boomers to set the vision and point to the direction we are headed. And then they must step out of the way so their Gen X leaders can execute that vision, with the help of their collaboration and achievement-driven Millennials.

Generations are formed by their worldview, from their experiences in childhood, and their coming-of-age years. How one grows up, how one handles situations in the outer world such as cultural events, political events, and economic events create the differentiating traits of each generation.

Here at Windward the success of AIOps and, and general IT strategy is hinged upon operationalizing change throughout the organization. This can not be done without a strong organizational change management strategy that leverages the power of multiple generations in the workforce.

Want to dive deeper? Watch the full episode below, listen here, view the transcript below to catch the highlights.

Show Notes:

Jessie Newburn, consultant at GenerationWorks

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessienewburn/

Transcript:

Speaker 1 (00:01):

Welcome to the AIOps evolution podcast. This series features visionary IT leaders who are paving the way for the next evolution of the IT industry. Discover the truth about where we are in the adoption of artificial intelligence for ITit operations and actionable tips that you can implement to become a more effective IT change agent. In this episode, we’re joined by Jesse Newburn. Jesse is a leading expert in generational intelligence, focused on helping executives drive organizational change in a multi-generational workforce. She focuses on unlocking the superpowers of every generation and empowering each to step into its role with the purpose of accelerating organizational success or recommendations, reduce friction, speed up, change adoption, and eliminate false stereotypes. She has a deep understanding of the world views of each generation and the cyclical patterns of society. She leverages that knowledge to provide actionable insights for organizational leaders to understand the cycle we are in today, the role each generation plays in that cycle, and how to align individuals for rapid organizational change toward a generationally empowered future. Now let’s join your host, Sean McDermott, a mission-driven serial entrepreneur, IT engineer, and AIOps visionary for this exciting discussion.

Speaker 1 (01:24):

SEAN: Thank you everybody for joining me.

Speaker 2 (01:26):

SEAN: On this podcast today, I have with me, Jesse Newburn. Welcome Jessie, to our podcast.

JESSIE: Thank you so much. Happy to be here.

SEAN: So this podcast is about AIOps evolution, and some people are probably wondering why I have a generational expert on a podcast talking about AIOps, which is a very technology-driven strategy. One of the things that we do here at Windward … we know that the success of things like AIOps and general IT strategy, really, hinges on operationalizing that strategy. and operationalizing that strategy hinges on change management. So we here at Windward actually do a lot of work around operational change management. What I find very interesting, and one of the reasons I wanted to have you on this podcast, is that we now have multiple generations in the workforce. And I’d like you to clear up something … because I’ve heard that we have four generations in the workforce. Do we have four generations in the workforce right now? Or do we have three?

Speaker 3 (02:37):

JESSIE: Well, it would depend on how you would define “in the workforce.” So if you’re including people who are in their late 70s, then the answer is yes. If you’re including people who are 15 and under and are babysitting and mowing lawns, I’ll say four or five. But as a general rule, generations are about 20 to 22 years in length. And so he just looked at those numbers. You typically have three. One generation is typically in childhood. So over an ADC or span of life …20, 40, 60, 80 … you know what I mean? It’s three.

Speaker 2 (03:21):

SEAN: Sure. So as we live longer we get five generations in society … three at any time in the workforce. We’re hearing a lot about older people coming back into the workforce. And so, good. I’m glad we cleared that up because I’ve had conversations with many people and the numbers are all over. So why is it important that we understand that there are three generations in the workforce right now?

Speaker 3 (03:51):

JESSIE: Well, generations are formed by their world view, and their experiences in their childhood, and their coming of age years. So how they grow up what’s happening in the outer world, the cultural events, political events, economic events … whatever’s happening that forms who they are, your worldview travels with you through time. And so as people move through time, in their generation, they have different social roles, right? So when you’re zero to 21 years, in your childhood, you’re receiving the values and the protection and the support of the adult world to grow into a person who can launch into adulthood. When you’re in young adulthood, you’re starting careers, starting families, learning, and your role is to be the muscle and the might of the nation. So your social role shifts as an individual and as a generation. When you move into mid-life, mid-life is more … when you have more experience, you’re understanding the values that you have received …

Speaker 3 (04:59):

JESSIE: You’ve tested them in your young adulthood years and you know who you are and you can apply that. So that generation that’s in mid-life applies its values more to the operations of society and the management of institutions. And then in elderhood … each of these are about 20, 22-year legs …so sort of 21 … 22 to 42-ish … whatever, they’re not exact numbers … kind of fuzzy at the edges …but kind of your forties in your fifties or your mid-life years in your sixties and seventies and eighties … more into elderhood … and elderhood is more of a time of stewarding. It’s more like senior leadership and transferring and passing on value. So as these different generations move through time and they move into the corporate world, they bring their world view and their social role changes. So right now that the constellation … to use a fancy generational term … is that in elderhood we have ..our boomers are senior … are people who are … the wise elders … are our boomer generation … our midlife managers are our pragmatic, resilient Gen X-ers. And our young adults at this point in time are the millennials who are a very good “cheer team” oriented collaborative generation. And we have in childhood another generation that is receiving the protection of adults at the time.

Speaker 2 (06:26):

SEAN: So, I just want to set a baseline. So we move this conversation and apply it to AIOps … people have an understanding of our generations based on time or based on events? Because I’ve always said, “Oh, I’m a Gen X-er because I was born in X date.” But you actually contend it’s different.

Speaker 3 (06:49):

JESSIE: Well, it’s kind of a both. So the thing that is true is that generations are not created by demographers and things. The only generation that the United States Government has ever deemed a generation is the baby boomer generation. But according to generational theory and generational intelligence, they actually got those numbers wrong. Generations are created by the world and by experience. The experience then puts the dates on it. So, for example, no Gen X-er has a memory of Kennedy’s assassination, even though some of them were alive when Kennedy was assassinated. No Boomers have a memory of the prior … what was sometimes called a crisis era, the period between The Great Depression and World War II, right? Millennials were born when society started to fall in love with babies. Again. So no Millennial knows the neglect and the under-protection that the Gen Xers received en masse, et cetera. And just like the generation in childhood … now, the children born 2005 and afterward, will have an experience of extreme sheltering and extreme protection. And that will be part of their memory. It’s the world events, it’s the outer events that create the experience, but those outer events have dates.

Speaker 2 (08:12):

SEAN: That’s great. I wish I actually had memories of the moon landing.

Speaker 1 (08:19):

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Speaker 2 (09:10):

SEAN: So let’s kind of shift now … we’ve got a baseline for generations and what that means. What are some of the superpowers and weaknesses that boomers bring to the workplace today?

Speaker 3 (09:25):

So the boomer generation is known as the asserted visionary. They’re the, they, the boomer generation comes of age during the consciousness revolution. And so they have a, they go inward there. Their worldview is they first go in, they ask the questions and then they express their moral wisdom that they have gained in the workplace. They are the asserted visionary. They asked the big questions. They ask the important questions, you know, prior to the boomers, being the young adults who came into the workforce and the, when they came in, you know, it was the company, man. It was the gray suits. It was the IP, you, it was the come in, you know, punch your clock, you know, your time clock, timesheet, you know, get your huge corporate pensions, you know, the handshake of a career for life. So they radicalized the world work environment by, and also, um, creativity, individualism, they atomized business, they went from the big corporations. They atomized smaller, smaller businesses. So yeah, they, they’re also, um, you know, they’re perfectionists and they’re kind of workaholic social some of their negative traits, but really asking the big questions is one and bringing meaning, you know, to conversations and corporate environments, as important as what they are really, we can really thank them for

Speaker 2 (10:48):

Good. So what about people like me, gen X-ers, what do we bring to them? What do we bring to the workforce?

Speaker 3 (10:54):

So I’m an early wave, Xer too. So, uh, you know, I have a, I have a lot of love for our generation. Um, we are the natural-born entrepreneurs. We are the independent of freethinkers where the out-of-the-box thinkers, we’re the risk-taking, um, you know, willing to, to gamble, willing to try a generation. That is, those are, I mean, there’s many other aspects and all, but those, those are the primary thing is that Gen Xers grew up with very little net and very little protection. And so they sort of go through life just going like, well, no, one’s got my back. So I might as well, or I have to build my own or I gotta figure it out. And so there’s a profound pragmatism resilience capacity. There’s a cunning, um, gen X-ers tend to be colorful. Um, when they went through the military, when the military looks at, um, over years, the different recruits that come through hands down, you know, gen X-ers are their best recruits of all, millennials are happy and upbeat and team-oriented and collaborative and have good cheer, which is also a benefit.

Speaker 3 (12:06):

But in terms of like this like cunning capable, um, capacity to, to, to get things done. And one of the primary creeds of gen X is the bottom line. It’s always the bottom line about what needs to happen. How do we get this done? Whatever the resources are, how do I get the mission accomplished and also results-oriented. And also with the shortest amount of, you know, the least amount of time, least amount of effort so that they can all go home and be with their families, Prince, the gen X, we can really thank gen X-ers for bringing work-life balance back to the corporate world, because boomers have a lot of martyr, workaholism kind of attitude.

Speaker 2 (12:48):

There’s one story I think I share with most of my gen X friends, and that is as a kid, we would get on our bikes on Saturday morning and leave and ride all day. And your parents wouldn’t know where we were. There’s no cell phones, no way to get a hold of us. And we just kind of made it home for dinner time. And so, okay. So let’s talk about millennials. So what, what are their strengths and weaknesses?

Speaker 3 (13:12):

So millennials are an achievement-oriented generation. They’re very pressured to, um, achieve and be special and they’re supported they’re, um, they’re very connected to their peers, their family, their support networks, they believe. And they trust in big institutions in government, and they want a surprisingly conventional life. You know, Jen, you know, boomers just wanted this creative expression and they wanted to be left alone to do their own thing. And gen X-ers are very much like, um, you know, again, this risk-taking gambling, you know, whatever, you know, like if I win a great, if I don’t millennials really want a conventional life, they want to have a pleasant work environment. They want to have a job that they like, and they contribute to, and they move along. One of the main things that millennials bring to the workforce is actually a return to the team. A return to collaboration. Gen Xers are very good at systems and working together, but it doesn’t come from a HeartSpace. It doesn’t come from an emotional space. It comes from a bottom-line perspective. Whereas millennials really, really bring back to the workplace, the feeling, the desire, the value around collaboration and teams and good cheer and good spirit, you know, working together inside of an organization.

Speaker 2 (14:31):

What about the millennials too, is that they’re, they’re very technology savvy generation. And to me that’s great because as a, as an engineer, I, I, I’m, I’m very attuned to process and, and, and technology to apply in being a technologist, it’s great to be working with, um, the younger generation so that because we move through technology questions and things very quickly, whereas some of my, my gen X, you know, staff, you know, it’s like, I’m dragging them along. It’s like we have a, we used to, we, we do it like this. We photocopy these things. I’m like, stop, stop. We just, we, we want to do everything online. Yeah. So,

Speaker 3 (15:14):

Well, gen X-ers actually really are the first generation to grow up with vast changing technology and because of their market orientation. And, you know, when we look at how the world has changed, we really have gen X-ers to thank so much in part for the technological revolution, millennials adopt and use it with greater alacrity and greater speed. But gen X-ers, you know, we think about the companies, Amazon, Google, eBay, PayPal, Tesla, um, Uber, Airbnb, um, zoom, I mean, these are all gen X, um, exec. These are all gen X founders. So, so the creation of the technology is really something that the gen X generation and, you know, as history goes on, this is, this is one of our profound contributions to society, millennials, adoption of it, and desire to use it is part of what makes it easier for us as a generation to make more of these technologies. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (16:19):

Good. So, uh, okay. So now that we kind of got this basis, so when we start talking about AIOps and change management and organizational cultures and mindsets and processes and things like that, what types of conflict typically arise between generations during a time of organizational change or the introduction of new products, new technologies, and new processes into the workforce?

Speaker 3 (16:50):

Right. Great question. So obviously there are different constellations in different times, but we’re talking about now. So how boomers and extras engaged when boomers were in midlife and extra certain young adults is not so relevant. So now at the constellation that we have is that the boomer generation is in elderhood again, primarily in elderhood Xers are primarily in midlife. Millennials are primarily in young adulthood or only in young adulthood. And so the boomers tend to be very good at the vision and the picture. So they tend to be very good at, you know, where are we going? Why are we doing this? And having that communication and gen X-ers tend to be very good at the systems, the implementation, finding the tools, finding the information, making sure we’re getting the best price, setting up the systems and millennials are going to be really good at the receiving and the, um, like, like, uh, like taking it and adopting it and having like a good spirit about it and like helping the organization, like instead of all the boomers and gen X-ers tend to be very cynical and pessimistic and have a lot of friction.

Speaker 3 (17:56):

And what happens a lot of times in organizations actually, when millennials come in is that we can remember to be sweet. Again, we can remember to have a positive attitude. Again, it’s a, it’s kind of these are kind of psychological things that are going on. But, um, with the friction, you know, sometimes you have boomers who want, who will talk like big vision, but don’t pay as much attention to the details. Gen Xers tend to be very good at the details. So one of the things to remove some of the frictions for boomers to point the way, and then to support their gen X leaders, primarily gen X, mid, uh, middle management leaders and all to just let them do what they need to do. And then I think all the generations really need to turn into tune into the profound power that millennials have to make things pleasanter.

Speaker 3 (18:45):

Like. So it’s a lot of times when there’s change, there’s, um, flights and infighting and this and that. And when the millennials just, they really don’t get their due credit as a generation for how much they soften and sweeten make kinder the work environment. And we really, whenever there’s change management, I think organizations will do technology change management. Organizations will do very well to tap into the task of their millennials, to do more, to make sure that this is successful. They’re going to love projects like that. Like, you know, to be asked to make sure that this is successful. And however they do that,

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Speaker 3 (20:27):

I’m in a unique position. I’ve launched multiple companies. And one of my companies is actually headquartered in Orlando and we are, uh, we are in a shared office space, you know, much like a, we work. It’s not a we work, but, um, I am by pretty close. I think the oldest guy there, right. I’m 53.

Speaker 2 (20:49):

And so I’m seeing a lot, everyone there is pretty much a millennial, and one of the things I’ve heard a lot is that millennials are lazy. Right. I don’t see that down there. Like I don’t see that at all. I see them, uh, I see a lot of collaboration. I see a lot of, you know, groups of millennials. Um, there they’re very social, they’re very social. Um, and I think in some cases like if you’re a gen X, you’d be like, Hey, you know, like, can we just get back to work? You know? And, and I, I will say sometimes I do see that I walk by and I’m like, Hey, you’re back at the coffee, you know, coffee bar again. But, uh, I, I see them working really hard and, and I also do, but I do see things like, I tend to be the last person out, you know, come five o’clock, you know, I’m, I’m still there.

Speaker 2 (21:43):

Uh, and you know, most people are kind of moving out around five, five 30. So I think that there’s, to me, there’s, there’s a lot of misperceptions about the millennials. The other thing that my experience is that when I hear things like that I’ve been working. I work a lot in the academic community. I do a lot of guest speaking at universities and work with different programs in the Washington DC area, as well as my Alma mater and the thing that I’m seeing. It’s interesting when I hear people might, especially my peers say, Oh, millennials are lazy. I go to these universities and I sit down with so many students I’ve been doing this for 10 years. So some of them, a lot of these students are now in the workforce, right? They are super smart, like wicked smart. And they’ve been, they’ve also had, uh, been able to tap in and the universities have really invested pretty heavily in technology. Uh, they’re they work hard, you know, they just work differently.

Speaker 3 (22:46):

And that is you just, you just summed up,

Speaker 2 (22:49):

You know,

Speaker 3 (22:51):

In those few words, the generational clash that every generation experiences between the young adults, the midlifers, the elderly, just like millennials will equally when the next generation comes into the workforce, the millennials will be disappointed with them, but for completely different reasons, that we sometimes find disappointment with them because people look down the older generations, look down at younger generations and think I wasn’t like that. So I think you’re quite accurate that millennials are very, very achievement-oriented in a way that gen Xers and all it’s different they’re millennials are a stepped progress, common man, average Joe generation in a way that we don’t understand. And they, what they want is they want stepped progress there. You know, when you talk about some of the misconceptions about them and people look at them and think like, Oh, they’re not working hard. Well, what they really desire is a well-rounded life gen Xers want work.

Speaker 3 (23:44):

Life balance is different from a well-rounded life. And so the perception sometimes that they’re not working hard is because they have a D they have a value system around a well-rounded life, kind of what happens with generations. There are four generations. And so there are shadow relationships. There’s a shadow relationship between the midlife parents and the children. So there are these shadow relationships. So boomers are the primary parents of millennials and boomers are workaholics and martyrs who are kind of loners and isolated, and they don’t have work-life balance. And, um, and so gen Xers come and start to break that and to have to demand it. It’s one of the few things that gen X there’s actually demand in, um, and advocate for in the workplace. And then millennials come through and they want a well-rounded life. So there are nuances.

Speaker 3 (24:34):

It’s, they like working from home. They like this and that, but they want this conventional life. But, um, I totally agree with you that they tend to get slammed. A lot of the issue is that they don’t have soft skills because they’ve had boomers and Xers above them who were trying to break a lot of the, um, corporate structures and rules and stuff. When I was a young woman, I dressed because I was still at the tail end. I’m a few years older than you. I was at the, of an extra, but I was in the workplace when the attire, I mean, my attire and the way I dressed as a secretary in my early twenties is a better wardrobe than most executives have today. I’m running a multi-million dollar corporation. I mean, I just, it was a different time. Millennials grew up with the increasing, um, relaxing around rules and stuff.

Speaker 3 (25:29):

So one of the problems is that we Xers and boomers grew up with more soft skills. And so we have them naturally, but we didn’t create an environment where millennials learned them. And one of the things that millennials actually want is they want to be successful. They don’t want to disappoint their bosses. They do want to make sure that they’re doing the right thing. But when we don’t recognize that they didn’t learn something, and we and corporations and businesses actually have an opportunity to help them with soft skills. Whereas gen Xs would not have wanted anyone to tell them how to dress or tell them how to whatever or tell them whatever, you know, all these things millennials are like, please help me, help me learn, help me know how to be more successful. So when we look when we’re managers or the older people in the, in the corporate environment, and we look down at a generation, it’s not to look not to say, what would I have been then? Because we’re not them. It’s what do they need so that they can be successful and so different? A reframing?

Speaker 2 (26:29):

Yeah, I, I looked back to my early career. Um, I worked for the government right out of college. So I wore a suit and tie every single day. I had a lot of conflict with my boss who was a boomer, you know, who got into work at seven o’clock in the morning, left at 4:01 PM. Every single day, I would get in around nine and sometimes leave at 9:00 PM. And I work longer hours than most people there. And I still had a lot of conflict with my boss, and I was always telling him, like, I just need more flexibility, right. Working four to seven to four isn’t for me. And that took some time, but there’s a lot of conflicts. My, one of my other bosses, he used to smoke in his office. So I think that as a generation next, you see a lot of things, you know like that’s not what I want my workforce to be like at all.

Speaker 2 (27:19):

Right. Because we were, you know, when I started my first company, 23 years ago, uh, I started it out of a policy of, of cooperation, kindness. You know, I got yelled at enough at my old, my jobs prior to that, I’m like, there’s no reason that anyone ever raises their voice at our office. This is not how we operate. And, and giving people balance and say, look, we want you, I’m going to hold you responsible for getting your work done, but I’m not going to sit here and explain to you that you need to come in at eight Oh one and leave at five Oh one and take one-hour lunch break people. So I think our generation, I, I, as, I didn’t really realize it until you’re talking about it now, but I think our generation broke down. A lot of those barriers, a lot of that.

Speaker 2 (28:05):

And thank God we don’t smoke in the workplace anymore because I, I look back on that, just thinking, Oh my God, like my boss, like, we didn’t have windows, you know, and he’s chain-smoking and meetings anyways. All right. So we’ll be on the, um, so we’re in S so this is an interesting time for us right now, and I’d been doing some math. So we are on a 12-year bull run, which I think may be the longest in the history of tracking the stock market. I’m not entirely sure, but it’s one of the longest, right? We’ve got a generation of people who really don’t know any better. You know, that for the last 12 years of economic prosperity, and, and I’m talking, you know, back to the 2008 financial crisis, and then you have our generation who, you know, we worked through 9/11, right.

Speaker 2 (28:57):

Which is, you know, it’s hard for me to try to explain to my kids who weren’t even alive or have no memory of it, what it was like. And so we were in this time where we got this bull market, that there’s a lot of talk about, it’s going to slow down and just economics. It’s going to slow down at some point, right. And we’re going to end up in a recession at some point. And there’s other possible unforeseen events that are going to show up that make celebrate that. So we have a group of people here, and this is the math I was doing. That if you’re under 37, you have really no memory of 9/11 from a workforce perspective or no leadership experience through an event like that, because you were probably just coming into the workforce, you were 21, 22, right.

Speaker 2 (29:50):

If you’re under 30, you have no real experience with the 2008 housing crisis. And you’re, again, you’re just coming into the workforce. You have no leadership. You probably have no leadership experience trying to navigate through something like that. So right now we’re kind of sitting here saying we’re experiencing economic prosperity. That’s going to come to an end. We have to kind of think about that, or it’s going to slow down yet. We have a lot of leaders who are in their thirties and forties that actually have no experience managing through crisis. So what should, what should they, what should leaders be caring about? Not only, you know, boomers and gen Xs, but this new generation of millennial leaders, right? Because you’re, as you’re saying, you know, millennials are on the tail end of what, 38 now, right. 35, 38. So a lot of these millennials haven’t experienced this. Yeah. So what is your advice to them? And, uh, on that,

Speaker 3 (30:48):

So per generational theory, which is what I ping to the work from William Strauss and Neil, how the time that the alignment of the generations is actually quite perfect right now if everyone kind of does their thing. And so gen X leaders, gen X-ers do what needs to be done, they don’t ask for permission. They don’t ask for reward. They don’t ask for a thank you or anything. The gen X-ers are a generation that solves thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of problems concurrently each their own connecting when they need to connect and just doing what needs to be done because their worldview is the world is broken. So gen X-ers know how to fix problems with, or without centralization with, or without collaboration and coordination. They make the collaboration happen to the moment, to the end result, because Xers are always focused on the end result.

Speaker 3 (31:45):

Boomers are very, very good at asking the important questions at keeping the moral, um, you know, the pointing in the, where are we going? What’s important. Why are we doing what we’re doing? They’re, they’re, they’re, it’s just their natural skillset. They have a bit of a values war in a clash. So people don’t always agree, but it’s kind of in times of when things are tough, they can, they can be relied on to point the way. And millennials are really, really, really good at coming together collectively with good spirit. And what are the things about millennials? Like people always say like generations of rebel against adults, but generations rebel against the previous generations way of being young adults. So millennials to gen X, there’s all over the place, right? In young adulthood, millennials and young adults had which, where they are now, they, they take the demand that adults set of meet this goal, and then they exceed it so that, so they exceed what’s required of them.

Speaker 3 (32:50):

So the thing to do now is to let the boomers speak about what’s important to let the gen X-ers get things done in whatever way they need to get done. And then to pass on the love of the execution to the millennials, to be like, here’s the system, here’s the resources, here’s the whatever gen Xers are your generals. And they’re now your midlife generals. So when you need someone to marshal the troops, when you need someone to make something happen, this is the generation that has, like you said, with the math that you did, you know, they have the capacity to know how to handle and manage and lead during very difficult, very dark times. And so gen X-ers it’s like, I mean, it’s like my Facebook feed is just filled with gen X-ers or like, hashtag we got this. I mean, it’s like for gen Xers, it’s like, Oh, the world is broken.

Speaker 3 (33:39):

Things are difficult, like who to funk it, you know, for us there’s I think, I think in the, for a lot of the gen X-ers, there’s a bit of like, I was born for this. I was trained for this. My whole life has made me this. And from millennials there, we really need to honor and respect how team-oriented, how good they are at coming together and doing things with a good attitude and a desire. The gen X millennial energy is very good in that gen Xers are very good at systems procedures. This is how it’s going to be done. This, it scales and millennials are very good because there are steps, progress wants to be successful, achievement-oriented generation. It’s like, Oh, this is what I need to do to be successful. Thank you. And then what’s really good is to bring in boomers to help with mentoring. There’s a lot of talk about reversed the, I don’t know if they call it like reverse mentoring where boomers, mentor millennials and millennials mentor boomers in technology. So, um, but what

Speaker 3 (34:41):

Exactly. Yeah, but really one of the main things right now is for the boomers to get out of the gen X way and let gen X-ers run with whatever needs to be done to solve problems. And then really, really, really trust that millennials when given direction and know when they know that there’s, there’s, we’re going in the right direction, which is what the boomers sets. This is, these are huge gross generalizations, right? About generations and over tens of millions of people in them. But, in terms of you’re talking about the core personality of the generations, this is the energy of the times that works for making it through tough and difficult times. There are going to be many difficult decisions that are going to have to be made as you will know, as a CEO. Um, but we are also all aligned perfectly, you know, to, to, to, to handle these dark difficult times. So I think,

Speaker 4 (35:35):

I think the summarize message here

Speaker 2 (35:38):

Is, and I like what you said is let the boomers help on the grand vision, right? Let the general X-ers be the generals, but that set the plans in motion and rally the troops and give authority. And if you want to take a military approach to give authority to the millennials, to execute and give them room to execute and focus more on results, not on micromanaging, how they’re going to do it. Absolutely good. So, all right. So, um, I just want to kind of wrap things up here. Uh, one last question. So when we, when we come back to operational change management within, uh, enterprises and within it, what, what do you like, what are, what do you suggest to say? I’m a gen X leader right now who’s trying to manage, uh, generation, uh, manage execution of a strategy like AIOps, which is a multi-year strategy, which AI is, is, yeah.

Speaker 2 (36:47):

There’s a lot of discussion in the industry right now, right. AI, right. And you got Elon Musk saying AI is going to is the biggest threat to mankind there. The reality is, is that we’re a long ways off from that. The, but there’s a lot of things that are being done around machine learning. And there’s, there’s people that are talking about AI and interpreting that as, okay, this is scary to me because I’m going to get replaced by a robot or I’m going to get replaced by AI. That’s kind of what we’re dealing with AIOps right now. So it’s not only the idea of people feeling that these are job killers, right. And, but it also is going to invoke massive change inside these organizations, how they do things yesterday is not how things are going to be done tomorrow. Right. So what, what kind of parting thoughts can you leave with it? Leaders who are thinking about how to manage through change that they can implement and start thinking about over the next 90 to 180 days?

Speaker 3 (37:50):

Hm. Well, so we’re talking about this time, at this point right now. I think that there’s, I think that one of the things that for, for gen X, there’s not to forget, in other words, for Gen Xers to remember, and this is going to be a little uncomfortable for them is that it’s not just all about the bottom line. Now that millennials really, really, really are going to benefit. Everyone will benefit. The millennials in particular will benefit from a feeling of safety. And there’s tension and support on there, their skills, their emotional wellbeing, their, um, their job. I don’t know if you say job security cause who knows what job security is, but I just feel like there’s, this, these times are so different right now that one of the things that we need to really focus on is the, they experienced that everyone is feeling that they’re not just going to be a cog in the wheel that we all care.

Speaker 3 (38:54):

Like there’s a, there’s a, one of the things that is that this episode and this times are bringing is there’s bringing, um, we’re moving away from the atomization or we’re moving more toward the we and the collaboration and the us and the civic duty and the sacrifice. So I think anything that has to do with that kind of energy in that direction will have, if you tried to talk about sacrifice and duty, six months ago in a corporate meeting, it would have fallen flat, right? But this tone and tenor is just beginning. We’re already seeing it happening all over in government and citizens talking about this and all. And I think that this attitude will help organizations as well. It may not be as businessy, maybe a little on the softer side, but I think that the general sense of we together civic duty, um, duty to sacrifice and all that. There’s a resonance in these messages that will help all the other things, all the other pieces that need to move, and all, um, go more smoothly.

Speaker 2 (40:01):

Yeah, I think, I think what I’m hearing here is, is that, uh, understanding empathy, communication is, is really the cornerstones of, of trying to manage through conflict, whether it’s, uh, conflict, economic conflict, um, you know, macroeconomic conflict, or even conflict within companies that are trying to implement change, right, is, is really getting to the people who are going to be affected by a change in communicating with them and, and making, trying to get them to understand, helping them understand what all this means and what it means to them personally because when people are, and we see this all the time with customers when you implement a new project or a new initiative when people don’t understand what’s going on, they start making up scenarios themselves. And when that happens, they usually, you know, they probably a little more, um, fatalistic than reality, you know, and I think it’s incumbent upon leaders to when they’re mustering up resources to do that, to always be keen to the impact it is, having on people at a personal level and engaging with people and helping them understand.

Speaker 2 (41:16):

And if there is actually going to be an impact to them on a personal level, helping them through that, right. And giving them options and making them feel like, Oh, okay, you know, my company has my back, but I think in it, we, we tend to, we have a reputation for just kind of deploying new and things and not really spending that much time with the people that are actually affected by it. And, uh, it creates change, uh, resistance, right? And, and then ultimately that makes projects fail or not live up to their results when you’re getting this passive aggressiveness from the users of this new technology. So, great. Well, I appreciate your time. This has been awesome. How can our listeners find more about you?

Speaker 3 (42:02):

I am pretty easy to find on generations work.com and the associated social media and all around that. Thank you very much for this conversation today.

Speaker 2 (42:12):

Good. This has been a really, really interesting conversation, and I think it’s an interesting time to be talking about this stuff. So I appreciate it. And thank you very much.

Speaker 1 (42:22):

Thank you for joining us in paving the way for the evolution of AIOps and the next generation of it. Innovation. If you are inspired to dive deeper into the movement, check out all the resources available@aiopsevolution.com.