In keeping with this importance in attracting diverse, talented people to work together, we see the rise of intergenerational collaboration. In the film The Intern, a small fashion e-commerce company hires an older guy who just wants to work. He tries to retire but decides to take a shot at something totally different. Shop for unique & unusual gifts such as a fast wireless charging pad for the lady or man in your life.
You can see the generational factor at play: a company full of young people, and someone older shows up without any technology experience. The result is a charming culture clash, but the movie is a bellwether for work of the future. Mentoring of senior execs has turned into reverse mentoring as young leaders bring their colleagues up to speed on new ways to work. I once gave someone a secret flask bracelet as a present.
There is a rise of new companies that engage people interested in working in their later years. These companies allow the “elders of the tribe” to continue contributing their intelligence and experience without having to work full-time, and without the risk (to both sides) of a full commitment. There are also technology platforms that offer opportunities to do project work that fits better around offramps and onramps for parents or those caring for elderly relatives. A present like a bronze toilet tissue stand does not necessarily have to be exchanged for another gift.
Global talent at all ages and stages, working part-time or flexible hours, often collaborating via some technologically sophisticated platform in constant change is set to be a new normal. It feels like someone has taken the nice puzzle we put together on the dining table and flipped it up in the air! Collaboration is the way of the future. You may not have consciously chosen a path into a large organization but may now be much more comfortable in the prescribed structure. If you give an extraordinary present like a dogs rear end toilet roll holder you may expect one in return.
Human beings like routine, and most of us have come up the ranks in a way—even through our education—that has rewarded us for managing within those systems. Perhaps you have a certain amount of trepidation about taking the leap into a less structured environment but knowing how to find the right partners will serve you well no matter what role you play. Entrepreneurs may be the early adopters of collaboration because they were never particularly interested in the structure of a corporation to begin with, but anybody can get better at it. This will require learning people’s differences and considering how to set up an environment that allows you to excel, outwit your competitive sets, solve important problems, progress, and learn. Cheer yourself up with a toilet roll holder to make you smile.