Generation Blend: Managing across the Technology Age Gap

Overview

Technology and demographics are on a collision course. Digital Natives, Boomerang Boomers, and Generation X-ecutives are all grappling with the transformative implications of Web 2.0 technologies, and organizations are scrambling for the best ways to unlock the talents of a multigenerational workforce in a connected world. Generation Blend ventures deep into the technology age gap and provides real-world solutions to combine the best that younger and older workers have to offer....

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Overview

Technology and demographics are on a collision course. Digital Natives, Boomerang Boomers, and Generation X-ecutives are all grappling with the transformative implications of Web 2.0 technologies, and organizations are scrambling for the best ways to unlock the talents of a multigenerational workforce in a connected world. Generation Blend ventures deep into the technology age gap and provides real-world solutions to combine the best that younger and older workers have to offer.

Generation Blend explores how generational attitudes toward technology affect issues as diverse as recruitment and retention, employee training, management decision-making, collaboration, knowledge sharing, work/life balance, and ordinary workday activities. How can your organization promote the continuity of knowledge and culture in the face of the coming demographic transition? What hidden factors put new technology deployments at risk? How can IT departments manage the growing demand for social and collaborative software while maintaining governance and security? What initiatives can you launch to bridge the divide in work styles and tech-savvy that separates veterans and newcomers in the workforce?

In Generation Blend, author Rob Salkowitz builds on the groundbreaking work of Don Tapscott (Wikinomics, Growing Up Digital), William Strauss and Neil Howe (Generations, Millennials Rising), and many others to connect the dots of sociology, technology, and management, and trace a roadmap for decision-makers. Generation Blend is rich with research and includes two original in-depth case studies from organizations that have developed unique approaches to bridging the technology age gap: Microsoft’s Board of the Future project, which assembles college-age students from around the world to discuss a wide range of workplace issues, and Older Adults Technology Services, a New York based nonprofit dedicated to intergenerational technology training and reciprocal mentoring programs. Organizations of all types and sizes can profit from their methods.

The retirement of the Baby Boomers, the arrival of the Millennials, and the impact of Web 2.0 technology in the enterprise create unprecedented complexity for employers and workers in the 2010s and beyond. Organizations looking to solve the puzzle of productivity across the technology age gap should start with Generation Blend.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423360018
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 3/21/2008
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Salkowitz
Rob Salkowitz is a writer and a consultant specializing in the social implications of new technology. He has worked with leaders in the IT industry, including Microsoft, to help formulate market strategy and articulate business goals. Rob is coauthor (with Dan Rasmus) of Listening to the Future: Insights from the New World of Work. He lives and works in Seattle, Washington.
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Table of Contents

Preface     xiii
Introduction     1
Technology as the Locus of Conflict     4
Technology as the Enabler of Potential     8
Why Should We Care about Generational Attitudes Toward Technology?     10
Generation Blend     13
Changing Workforce, Changing Work     17
The Looming Skills Shortage     18
How Technology Changes Work     27
Disruptive Impacts of Technology     35
Outlook     42
Understanding the Generations     45
Life Stages and Generations     45
Generational Analysis as a Forecasting Methodology     48
Generation vs. Generalization: A Few Caveats     50
What Is a Generational Attitude?     53
Generational Attitudes and Workstyles     56
Outlook     61
Older Workers: Blending Experience with Technology     63
The Silent Generation     65
Older Boomers     68
Growing Up Pre-Digital     71
Technology Issues Facing Older Workers     75
Why It Matters: Capturing Knowledge     85
Outlook     88
Younger Workers: With Great Potential Comes Great Expectations     91
Who Are theMillennials?     92
Millennials and Technology     96
Millennials in the Workforce     102
Why It Matters: Managed Innovation     120
Outlook     125
Generation X-ecutive: Leadership from the Outside In     131
Late-Wave Boomers     132
Generation X     135
GenX in the Workforce     140
Midcareer Workers: Technology Created in Their Image     145
Why It Matters: Becoming Leaders     150
Outlook     152
Reintegrating Older Workers into the Connected Information Workplace     155
The Digital Age Gap     157
Serving the Technology Needs of Older Adults     159
Learning Style of Older Adults     162
First Steps     163
Moving Beyond the Basics     169
Bringing Skills and Experience to the Connected Workplace     172
Becoming Comfortable in the Digital Culture     174
Navigating Unmanaged Information Space     176
Connecting the Generations     182
Keeping Pace with Rapid Change     183
What Other Organizations Can Learn from OATS     185
Outcomes     187
Ambassadors of the Future: Turning to Younger Workers for Strategic Insights     189
Microsoft and the Future of Work     191
Scenario Planning     193
Following Up: Board of the Future 2005     197
Technology and Society: The Perception Study     200
Refining the Scenarios: Characters and Narratives     203
Forecasts     205
Outcomes     208
Across the Digital Age Gap     211
Are You Clearly Explaining the Benefits of Technology?     212
Are You Providing a Business Context for Your Technology Policies?     217
Are You Making the Technology Accessible to Different Workstyles?     220
Does Your Organizational Culture Support Your Technology Strategy?     225
Are You Building Bridges, Not Walls?     231
Final Thoughts     237
Acknowledgments     241
Index     245
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