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News & Views

January 25, 2016

Generational differences or age differences?

Elevator Event: Leadership for a new age?

On Thursday 21st January 2016 over seventy members and invited guests gathered at Clevedon Hall near Bristol for the latest in our series of The Glass Lift Elevator Events – Leadership for a New Age? With our guest speakers and leadership panel we explored the latest research and thinking on the generations and discussed diverse approaches to leadership with particular emphasis on the differences the different generations may (or may not!) bring to leadership.

JAMES PRIOR, Head of Talent & Development at Dentsu Aegis Network, talked about his career to date and in particular his experiences of working in organisations with range of differing cultures. James eloquently described the fast moving pace of the media industry and in particular in his current employer DAN. With over 50% of DAN employees below the age of 30, James gave a unique insight into his experience of developing talent and leadership capability of young adults in a growing industry with a fast turn over of staff that literately seems to change over night.

Margaret Davies, Occupational Psychologist, The Glass Lift presented the latest thinking and information on the difference between generations she proposed that this “generation babble” actually the reinforces the age stereotypes. Many psychologists who study age diversity in the workplace agree that like most stereotypes, those blanket assumptions on generations and age are often wrong. In fact, such generalizations can be harmful and likely drive wedges among co-workers and generate miscommunication.

Even if some of the stereotypes have a basis, it’s hard to know how many of the things we are seeing are about generational differences or age differences both. Many wonder how today’s research will hold up in 30 years when Boomers are scarce, Gen X is retiring and the Millennials are mid-career!

The Glass Lift Members and Guests

The Glass Lift Members and Guests

Margaret emphasised the need for a better understanding of diversity and inclusion in particular diversity of age and the need for us all to engage in an inclusive leadership culture

Leadership Panel The Glass Lift Elevator Event

Leadership Panel The Glass Lift Elevator Event

Our speakers where joined by individuals representing the various generations; Ruth George, Operations HR Director, Unite Students, Georgina Biggins, Planned Care Commissioning Manager, Bristol CCG and Tom McNellis, recently graduated student. In an interesting debate, the panel discussed the implications for leadership and how to get the best out of all generations.

The Glass Lift Members

The Glass Lift Members

A very big thank you to our speakers, the panel and all those who attended the event, we look forward to seeing you at our next Elevator Event in the Bristol area in June.

James Prior DAN & The Glass Lift Team

James Prior DAN & The Glass Lift Team




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