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Why Age, i.e., Experience, Is Important, Too

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

If you look online and on LinkedIn, you will find a lot of Millennials and Gen Zs who serve as generational experts. They most certainly are. They know their cohorts well and they are masters at communicating with each other, especially Gen Z, the world’s first digitally native generation.

However, experience is part of expertise. According to Merriam-Webster, experience means knowledge that is derived from direct participation in events.

Part of being an expert on younger generations includes having the breadth of experience that comes from—dare I say it—age. Yes, veteran business executives have valuable experience, institutional knowledge, historical perspective and wisdom from watching business and society evolve over the decades.

It is not enough to be a member of the next generation. You must also have the perspective of history to help your business navigate the present and the future. This is why there is no I in team. This is why businesses do not succeed because of one person alone. It takes a village. I might add, it takes a village of people with diverse experiences.

That is a thinly veiled plug for older workers. Of course, I am talking about the older workers who are capable of embracing and leading change. Not the ones mired in tradition, who answer every question by saying, “We aren’t going to try that new thing you’re suggesting, because we’ve never done it that way and the way we do things works just fine.”

That type of attitude does not lead to growth in your business and, if you have any of those workers in your company, I suggest talking to them. If they cannot embrace change, outline an exit package for them immediately!


Excerpted from Dr. Joanna Massey’s upcoming book “Culture Shock: Surviving Five Generations in One Workplace."

Please join our mailing list for updates on my upcoming book and to be alerted to new blog posts. You can also check out my LinkedIn profile for posts with interesting information on how to navigate the cultural revolution.

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