Age is just a number
Every organization is currently trying to ensure they have sufficient diversity in their ranks. The benefits of the different views in a team have been well documented.
But is this a new phenomenon ? Do you think we never had diversity in our ranks? Think again, we had lived with generational diversity through out our lives, be it professional or personal.
In any typical Indian family, we tip toe around lot of topics, while dealing with huge generational gaps between parents, grand-parents and teenage and young ones. We are so used to it ,that we no longer feel we are dealing with diversity challenges. This works in families because, there is no exit strategy.
But, professionally, it is more challenging. We know there is an exit strategy, and hence it becomes more difficult. Let’s first eaves drop in a small team huddle before we delve deeper.
Three varied age people sitting together in a meeting room. A seems the oldest in the age range of 50 above pushing 55 years. B seems to be in early forties, and C is in late twenties or early thirties.
C : “ I can no longer work in this team. This team works too atypically in an old school way. “
B: “Hang on, what is the problem ? We have been doing this for over 2 years together now, why all of a sudd….”
A , interrupting B: “C is totally disregarding, how we have been delivering the solutions till date. I have over 30 years of knowledge of how to deploy codes, and there is no way we can let this testing go on till last day of sign-off. If it does not work, then we need time to roll back.”
C: “ But, how do you propose to implement your 30 years technology knowledge in an application which is here for only 6 months. This is surely more agile and we can roll back in shorter notices.”
A : “Impossible, at the heart they are all the same. All applications need time to roll back.”
B : “A, please let us listen to C. Yes C go on show us your strategy.”
A: “But we don’t have time.”
B, smiling : “We will always have time for each other. We all want to achieve the same thing, a smooth cutover.”
C starts demonstrating, and expression of A started changing from frustration to curiosity and finally total agreement . Even few nods of agreement are given as a topping. After all, A used to be a maverick developer in his hay days of code development.
The last time I checked, the mentioned team is still functioning and doing great. So, you think there is no further conflicts ? Of course not. They had tons of conflicts. But each time the conflict surfaces, they realize they will always have time for their team.
So long the teams are aligned to common goals, they will find a path. Generational diversity works for all organizations. It has been working for ages. It works because each one understands the final goal. There is no confusion in that aspect, and we all know that to complete the journey, it requires each ones views to reach the goal.
In summary, it does not matter if we call a meeting standup or checkpoint call, end of the day both has the same objective.