Inclusive leadership builds social cohesion as everyone pulls together to build long-term value for the business and – for a service business like ours – for clients.
Generational divide or generational diversity?
Today there are four generations in the workplace: traditionalists/silent generation, baby boomers, Generation X and millennials, each with its own experiences and preferences.
These differences can be a great strength – or a great weakness – depending on how they are managed. As we all know, one generation’s fun can be another’s friction (mention the word selfie to post-millennials for a quick example).
Not that frustration doesn’t occur within a generation – far from it. While each generation has common tendencies and cultural experiences, the individuals within it remain just that – individuals, full of complexity and contradictions.
By focusing on what people share – the business purpose – leaders can channel diversity and spark innovation. While it can be challenging at times to manage diverse points of view, the payoff is more complete, more robust solutions.
Could technology make inequality worse?
We are living in transformative times as advanced technologies – fueled by enormous amounts of data – are enabling new ways of living and working. In health care, artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to detect pneumonia in 10 seconds instead of 20 minutes. In the energy industry, utilities are using real-time data on digital grids to predict and prevent blackouts. In cities, local governments are using real-time traffic, weather, accident and geometric data to route traffic, predict crashes and improve safety.
Amid such transformation, we face the risk that these advances will fragment us. This is what the foes of globalization charge, that too many were left behind. And it is a charge often leveled against the world of tech – that its development, datasets and testing are too narrow. Too much is being developed by teams that aren’t representative of society.
So how can we ensure that technology meets everyone’s needs regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or ability? How do we avoid creating “digital refugees” and bring along the whole of society?