Unconference: Chapter 1

Unconference at Collaborative Climate

We are happy to share that the first Unconference that we hosted was a much success. While the credit goes to the entire team for organizing and hosting, even our guests contributed so much to make it meaningful and valuable for everybody.

An Unconference, generally starts on a casual note and the topic(s) for discussion are picked in the moment. The audience is always like-minded and mostly represent same line of work.

In this Unconference, we picked the topic of discussion as ‘Need for Collaboration at Work’.

Everybody shared their experience about what makes Collaboration work and what drains the Collaborative Spirit from an individual and a team. Overall, many insights flowed, ranging from ‘the importance of Collaboration’ to ‘how to make Collaboration happen’.

Stefan's Insights

Anju Sabharwal, AVP-HR at Vodafone, did mention that it’s a good thing to be collaborative and generally people do their best. To this, our Advisor – Dr Rupinder Kaur, L&D Head at Securitas – agreed that inherently people hold good intentions and they want to contribute for the better.

Stefan Gebert, our Principal Consultant, shared many ideas about how we can devise multiple ways of communication that are peaceful in nature and help create collaborative spirit.

Jalaj Vermani, Chief Manager HR at IndusInd Bank and Jasbir Singh, Director at Rayon Capital, shared many examples of collaborative teams across the globe and their best traits.

Rohit Awasthi, Director at Solomo Media, shared that how hard they have had to work in creating a collaborative culture in their organization and the amazing returns they get. He also mentioned that this is an ongoing process.

Shweta SA, our Principal Consultant, added that it’s important to identify each element that’s adding to the spirit of collaboration and the reasons for the drain.

Mr. Technology!

Vimal Makker, Director at Helios Global Services, added how technology helps in generating collaboration at work and Kartikeya Ahluwalia, Licensing Lead at Turner, shared his thoughts on how technology has helped them at Turner in creating strong systems.

We unitedly acknowledged that it’s ‘top to bottom’ approach for making a collaborative team, i.e. a leader’s responsibility in this is very high and also affirmed that it is also upon individuals that make it work. And that essentially, it’s very important to create the right environment.

The intense 2-hour discussion sparked much energy and ideas on the topic of discussion and we all ended on a highly collaborative note!

Look for this space for Unconference – Chapter 2 with a new topic of discussion.

 

Bridging Generations at Work

 

http://www.brittonmdg.com

 

Generational gap is a phenomenon of nature’s swiftness depicting process of evolution, and evolution always moves forward, never backward. Whether it is really in progressive and prosperous direction may be questionable to some!

This means that whatever and wherever we are today in mind, body and spirit, we will not be that and there in a certain duration of time. While time is the biggest contributing factor to this progression, importance of space and environment cannot be under mined. This process is so slow and gradual that there are no panics; there may be surprises, but no panics.

And since we humans are a product of this nature, we just cannot by-pass this process; and so the forever existing generational gap.

In present times, generational gap is broadly categorized as per birth-year:

Generation Birth Year
Baby Boomers 1946-1964
Generation X 1965-1980
Generation Y 19981-1990
Generation Z 1991 and after

Source: As Reported by UN.

If you closely look at the categorization above, you will observe that the gap-years have shrunk – for Baby Boomers it is 18 years, Gen X – 15 years and for Gen Y – 9 years.

So does that mean nature is not swift anymore – what happened to the gradual and slow process of evolution here?

Multiple sources of information regard this gap to aspects such as victim of wars, witness of civil upheavals, boom of industrialization and dawn of information technology.

And all of these aspects have contributed immensely to the space and environment factors, including the shrinking gap. Each of these aspects has evoked different emotions and energy to the generation to not only sustain but also propagate itself – the prime purpose of nature.

Currently, information technology is the biggest environmental factor that is increasingly shrinking this gap. The focus is shifting from back-ground and experience to what one brings to the table!

How does this gap affect an organization and its culture?

It affects immensely as a workplace relation consists of multiple layers – communication channels; feedback methods; commitment and dedication etc. Let’s consider these observations to distinguish the psychology:

 

 

Generation Communication Feedback Commitment & Dedication

 

Baby Boomer Little/negligible reliance on technology such as email communication. Gives direct criticism, little or no appreciation, and no fixed frequency of giving feedback. Extremely high commitment and dedication towards work and related systems. Much contribution to stabilize country’s economy.

 

Gen Y Active use of technology and related communication channels. Believes in giving feedback and little appetite to receive feedback. Feedback-frequency is not moderated Commitment levels are high but may not be so for dedication. Wants to explore more options than available.

 

Gen X Active use of technology and related communication channels.

In fact, dependency is high.

Believes in giving feedback and truly receives from selected set of people they trust and respect. Moderated frequency of feedback. Lower commitment and dedication towards systems only till the time they don’t find what they are looking for. Work is sought as a medium to not only lift status but also spirit.

 

Gen Z Very high dependency on communication through technology. In fact little reliance on face-to-face communication. Actively believes in giving and receiving feedback. Very low commitment and dedication towards systems only till the time they don’t find what they are looking for.

Extremely interested in entrepreneurial ventures to explore self and world.

 

 

Here, take a minute or two to reflect upon the information in the table above and answer these questions:

1 What patterns do you observe?

2 What else would you add to this table?

Well, as we started, evolution happens – one can clearly note the process of Natural Selection in the information above, i.e. pick what’s best and discard the rest!

So is it possible to bridge the Generational Gap without unpleasant surprises?

Of course it is, co-habitation is extremely central to us, we are social animals. We need a societal construct and we actively categorize. It’s just that this construct and categorization is happening at a very fast rate now. We are now very actively forming groups of similar interests so we can share and collaborate more effectively. As process of evolution, we are moving towards a generation that wants to collaborate with the best in a certain field and not just with anyone, not just by chance. The reliance and focus on specific knowledge, skill and attitude is at an all time high.

And the more we progress with years, the more this generation will take over. So it is upon the earlier generations that how best they pass the baton and how best they assist in this process of ‘pick what’s best and discard the rest’!

Some methods that can be adopted to bridge the generational gaps, in your organization, across age-groups:

1 Promote Networking: Create groups within your organization where people with similar interests get to network. Let these groups explore – from technology to arts!

2 Feedback Channels: Train your teams in importance of giving and receiving feedback and ‘how to’ do that.

3 Appreciation Days: Host focused appreciation days every week/month wherein the entire day the team-members have to give appreciation to each other or at least acknowledgement to what has been done.

Generation gap is a natural process and information technology has just accelerated its speed. So here the organizations need to learn to adapt to its most important assets – people – and create more and more ways to ally them and align them!