With 5 generations in the workplace for the first time, we have the opportunity to create a delicious intergenerational potluck. However, our respective generational wisdom is almost in hermetically sealed containers with the wisdom trapped inside, like isolated countries that share a border but don’t necessarily trust each other. Breaking down these walls, there is just so much that we can all learn from each other. Based upon my experience as a Boomer in the land of the Millennials (Airbnb in Silicon Valley), I'm convinced that intergenerational wisdom exchange is the ultimate future workplace trade agreement.
This new collaboration may take the form of “mutual mentoring”: Millennial DQ (digital intelligence) for Boomer (and GenX) EQ (emotional intelligence). I experienced the benefits of this trade agreement as I evolved in my role at Airbnb while I was Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy and the in-house mentor for CEO and cofounder Brian Chesky. From my younger colleagues, I learned to love Google docs and create an Instagram account, but more importantly, I learned how to curate my life more adventurously as this generation is focused more on being “outwardly mobile” than “upwardly mobility,” more focused on experiencing the world than climbing the corporate ladder. They’ve helped me become a content and inspired “digital nomad” and break free of the chains of the three-stage life (learn, earn, retire).
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.