And so this project has taken an interesting turn – the nature of managers themselves

I mentioned working on a project where the client is looking to shift the formal training courses to some other (dare I say ‘informal’) delivery method.

Yesterday, it took an unexpected swing … not just a turn, but a dizzying swirl …

The courses are designed for new – and relatively new – managers … typically individuals who are beginning the climb up the management ladder … so they’ve been given a small team to lead/manage.

When interviewing the owners of the content I heard on several occasions (and because this was brought up much more frequently than I anticipated, I have to incorporate this into my work now) that there is need to … and this is a direct quote from someone … “engage and entertain better.”

Why, might this be?

Because these new managers are young-un’s … they’re the beginning wave of the Net Gener’s … the Millenials … Gen Y … Digital Natives … pick your label …

The point being that the client (and they can be easily pegged as being quite conservative in their approach and views, so this surprised me even more) wants to figure out ways to make learning experiences relevant, meaningful and effective for this new crop of managers. 

My shock was not so much that they recognized this demographic shift. It was that they saw this demographic shift as requiring a new way for them to respond … not just to complain about these young whippersnappers.  They know, although perhaps not quite yet able to articulate it, that this requires change on both sides of the generational divide. 

Up until yesterday I was led to believe that the prevailing perception was that the youngsters were the ones who had to change … to get on board with corporate life … to grow up, as it were.

Since yesterday, the client has voiced a desire to change themselves.

I knew that this was going to be a fun project!

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About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
This entry was posted in informal learning, instructional design, Net Generation, project work. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to And so this project has taken an interesting turn – the nature of managers themselves

  1. nkilkenny says:

    Change is Happening! This is awesome to hear. I’m very happy for you. Never thought that they/Net gen would have to change, in fact I was hoping that all groups could bring their skills, quirks, talents to the table for collaboration and one group would not dominate over the others. Though I’ve found unfortunately enough that sometimes the Baby Boomers can dominate the efforts or declare that they don’t want to use the new technology because it’s not what they’re used to. I would just like for us to all get along, but honestly I think that much of the resistance to new tech is motivated by fear and most likely insecurity. Half the battle is showing, demonstrating and training folks so it isn’t scary.

  2. Rory says:

    There is a give-and-take that I’m now only just beginning to see emerge. Up until now I was sure that the Boomer-types would essentially ‘pull rank’ and play the ‘you gotta get with the program’ card.

    At least for this project, the older-curmudgeonly client group is actually thinking outside their normal habits. Partly because they’re realizing that the talent pool has changed. Better to tackle it head on right now than wait until its too late.

    That’s the breath of fresh air in this project for me.

  3. nkilkenny says:

    Maybe the issue with us is that there aren’t a lot of younger people in our company. It would be nice to pull in perspectives from younger generations.

  4. Rory says:

    My client company is global and quite diverse in age throughout their enterprise. So, I think they’re seeing the writing on the wall as boomers are preparing to retire and the young-uns are moving up into positions of leadership.

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