Fri. Jan 21st, 2022


Many of us work with – and manage – people 30 years older or younger than us. And sometimes it can feel like there’s a bit of a dissonance between the “wisdom and experience” that Gen X and Boomers can bring, and the “innovative energy” of those in their twenties and thirties. So what, and how, can both learn from each other?

Isabel (Gen X) examines how reverse mentoring programs bridge the generation gaps in a growing number of organizations. She talks to Alvaro Romero Artigas, a (Gen X) senior manager at Santander, the bank, and to his mentor, Philippa Whelan (a young Millennium) who has been in a reverse mentoring partnership since 2018.

Josh Chaffin, the FT’s New York correspondent (Gen X), talks about the different expectations of younger colleagues and the importance of making an effort to know colleagues with different cultural points of reference – and it’s not just an age thing.

In addition, Josh challenges Isabel’s firm ideas about corporate culture. He says younger staff and new staff can help change culture from the bottom up – it’s not just about older people transferring their institutional knowledge.

Want to read more?

Tips for Managers in a Multi-Generation Workplace, by Former Google Manager Sarah Drinkwater https://www.ft.com/content/f56d6a1b-9d64-4380-ac84-a44cb1bebb0f

The return of the corporate textbook, which helps to create workplace culture for all. By Emma Jacobs https://www.ft.com/content/b69d4fb7-9b6b-4507-bb0e-ac9a02de37ba

Why Reverse Mentoring Works and How to Get It Right – by Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2019/10/why-reverse-mentoring-works-and-how-to-do-it-right

What younger staff expect from their managers – tl; dr – they want a LOT of information and feedback. This is a very useful survey of IMD business school https://www.imd.org/research-knowledge/articles/making-generational-differences-work-what-empirical-research-reveals-about-leading-millennials/

We look forward to hearing from you. What do you like (or not)? What topics should we address in 2022? Email the team at workingit@ft.com or Isabel directly at isabel.berwick@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter

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Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial guidance of Renée Kaplan. Assistant Manufacturer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Roman.


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