“I assembled all of us in the same room explaining that we were in control and responsible for ensuring our bank’s success. Boomers, Xers, Millenials, everyone – as one bank –, we were accountable for one result.” So said one community banker when asked how she went about securing commitment and a multi-generational, team-based approach to strategic success at her bank. Direct? Yes. Effective? You bet.
All of us are aware that several generations are at work in our banks: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. While demographics provide generalizations to understand overall trends, being born in an era does not cement our working styles and behaviors to a particular template. Truth be told, there’s a bit of every generation in all of us. The experiences, knowledge, and cultural understandings of all are central to succeeding in a business that serves so many generations.
At your next managers’ meeting, brainstorming session, or strategic planning getaway, plan to include a member from each generation at your bank. For each issue or initiative discussed – and from each generation – gain the pros and cons of each topic. Of course, with cons, make sure a solution is offered with the response. Following this beneficial and robust discussion, you will begin to discover concepts and strategies that all agree upon and can begin to execute. This is a productive stride in leading many experiences toward a definite focus for your bank.
From an organizational leadership standpoint, generational differences are ideal add-ons to: experienced interaction; direct collaboration; technological aptitude; reliable relationships; and, constant learning from one another. In a nutshell, multi-generational leadership is about expecting, gathering, and implementing insights freely across generations. Many times, it begins with getting all generations in the same room.
Jeff Rendel will discuss this this topic (and many more) in depth at the 2014 IBA Bank Management Conference, February 12-13, 2014 in Des Moines. Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with financial institutions that want elite results in leadership, sales, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 financial institutions and their business partners.