And the Twain Must Meet Accelerating the Digital Change

 In Leadership

Curiosity changes its colors with age – generally!

From the physical to the emotional, material, financial, scientific, technological, religious et all and finally, perhaps for some, spiritual!

The chronology, the type and the extent of curiosity may differ for each person. A few of us would have savored the delight of experiencing Curiosity in all its forms and some us may have had limited desire and appetite for curiosity in some of its forms.

The curiosity to know, to figure out, to understand, to experience is the engine of development at all stages of life.

It is also said that extreme ends (low or high) of anything can be de-railers or barriers.

Therefore, on the one hand – to become incurious about everything would limit growth of children and young adults and at a later stage of life may result in complete stagnation.

While on the other hand, extremely high reckless curiosity in irrelevant or toxic matters, may, as they say – kill the cat!

Fortunately, the phenomenon that faces all of us today is absolutely clear on its stand on curiosity – the change driven by COVID 19.

It has brought in our lives the need for nonnegotiable response to change.

Two generations of the workforce must adapt with speed to two different competencies. With speed and immense curiosity driving the response.

The first generation of 50+ age brackets, let us call them the Eagles. Why? Because they have the experience the foresight, the strategic view and have reached heights for the “big picture”!   The Eagles (most of them) need to ensure their effectiveness in the fast paced & technology induced change. They have at least another 15 to 20 years potential available to contribute to society and to their Organizations. All this could become a lost opportunity if they let go of their curiosity to understand the change happening around them.

(Disclaimer: some Eagles are naturally adept and curious about technology and may not face this challenge.)

The second generation the 25+ age brackets, let us call them the Eaglets – Why? Because Eaglets take only 2 months to take wings thereby ensuring speed and desire to take on the new. For, this bunch of high caliber youngsters or Eaglets the new digital age is their comfort zone. It comes naturally and easily to most of them. However, they may lack the understanding or experience of areas where technology and digitization can be applied to create the multiplier impact.

These are therefore issues for the individual as well as for the systems to which the individuals belong.

Fortunately, we would normally have both Eagles and Eaglets in the same system.

So, if in these Systems (Government, Corporate, NGOs etc.) we can facilitate a process whereby the Eagles and the Eaglets can collaborate on finding solutions/opportunities for Growth by pooling their respective strengths , we would create synthesis where the experience and strategic strengths of the Eagles would combine with the youthful curiosity of the Eaglets on possibilities of the Digital tech to create enormous wealth for the System.

Additionally, the extended relevance of the Eagles with their newfound comfort with Digital Era and the learning of the Eaglets in matters strategic, would be an exponential collateral gain!

This gains and collateral gains are only possible if the system enables openness, diminishes the shackles of hierarchy culture promotes curiosity for the Eagles and Eaglets in areas they need to be curious in.

This challenge is for leadership to show the way by opening the doors of the Executive Floor to young enthusiastic voices so that both the Eagles and Eaglets can together visualize the possibilities of the Digital Era in strategic areas.

It’s a unique WIN-WIN-WIN scenario, for Es and Es and the organizations!

It’s a scenario possible – when The Twain Do Meet!

But, can it really happen? What are some steps organizations must take to make this happen?

Let us know in the comments.

Stay tuned for part-2 of this blog!

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