The younger generations feeling that the older generations are holding them down in the business world has been going on since business was created back in the caveman days when young hunters got tired of gathering food for the older dudes back at the camp. Over time, those feeling softened when the older dudes went out in the field to show the young bucks easier ways to gather more food.
Today, the resentment of the younger generation of their older predecessors is still part of the corporate workplace as well as in the attitude of many young business owners.
The issues that eats at the younger business people about their older peers or bosses is based on the irritation they develop over minor issues. In both cases neither generation like to be told what to do what the other. Especially younger generation who feel their advanced education sets their booked learned theoretical knowledge base as being far superior to their senior bosses who have limitless proven practical experience in what works and does not.
Now that I am no longer in that environment I am now in a position of finding the processes businesses can use to bridge this issue so business can move forward. What I have found and have proven to work in many cases is to prescribe that the company strongly suggest each party to play golf with each other in different formats and over an extended period of time that would generate a number of rounds played together over a moderate range of time. If they don’t play golf then a prescription of having them attend a golf school for several days will get things started.
Yes, there were a few of these rounds I witnessed that did not work out but it was not the golf that was the problem. It was the deeper burning resentment that golf flushed out the individuals that showed to be more than a minor issue reflected in the workplace. However, overall, or 86% of the time to be exact, during the rounds of golf there was common ground discovered amongst the two parties which carried over into the workplace.
What was at the core of what was development after playing golf with each other was the respect each generation developed for one another. What usually was discovered during the chats after the rounds was the younger generation found out that the older generation was like them when they were their age. Then the older generation found out during this same chat that what the younger generation was more concerned about the lack of interest they felt their company had for the fresh knowledge they have.
Could this be discovered and develop to the same level by using another activity besides golf? The simple and validated answer is NO.
Golf has build in processes a golfer has to demonstrate during a round of golf that is based on respect each players has to execute along with using their skill and knowledge of the rules of golf. There is no other sport or game where the players are left to referee or officiate themselves during play. The result of a round of golf is based more on how well you carried yourself on the course than how many strokes you report you made. If you are honest during play then trust is built on what you posted as a score for a hole is the actual score.
This trust developed on the golf course runs over into the workplace but only after several rounds that validates consistently the person’s trustworthiness.
So my suggestion to these businesses with generational issues has been that if morale in the workplace is a result of the generational gap, then prescribing the use of golf to the organization will develop the bridge needed between the two attitudes to produce a higher level of business operations.
I am interested if you have experienced this issue and in hearing how it was dealt with. Let me know what you think and how I can help.