Who Am I Talking To? Or, To Whom Am I Talking?
Tall, Taller, Tallest

The Too Hard Box

Have you heard the joke about leaders who have three boxes on their desks:  IN, OUT, and TOO HARD?

In 2024, TOO HARD boxes must be overflowing.  At 80-something, I probably won’t see many Too Hard problems get solved.  But here’s a problem that we might tackle now—our workforce.

There are five generations in today’s workplace.  The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. However, Generation Z has 3,000,000 fewer people than projected and that could mean an insufficient future workforce. On the other hand, some members of earlier generations want to (or must) work longer than anticipated. We need to find the easiest way for generations to work together. That requires tapping the best of each generation’s communication methods. 

Older generations worked face-to-face or communicated by telephone and typewriter. More recently, email and texting became the preferred methods.  Today, the Millennial generation prefers texting and social media.

When all five generations are working side by side, communicating among them should not have to be in a TOO HARD box.


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Barbara Chatzkel

Judy -
That was a very thoughtful post. I nodded in agreement at every sentence. I believe the key is your statement, "We need to find the easiest way for generations to work together." That part doesn't occur after a 45-minute meeting. Culture change takes years as people rewire everything about them to make the desired change.

Going slow with small bits of culture change has worked better in my experience. It took three years, but a client changed from angrily waving a pizza slice at me to no more 'It's their fault" being used to explain a question.

Keep fighting the fight. There are many of us adding to the change-making one bit at a time.

Barbara in Arizona

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