Sunday, September 09, 2007

The class of 2011 mindset

The Class of 2011: what Berlin wall?

Just think, most students entering college in September were born 1989. Ok, excuse me, but wasn't that the day before yesterday?

Beloit College has published the Beloit College Mindset List for the 2011. The list has 70 factoids for this group of freshman. The list gives you an incredible snapshot of how context is everything. Let me give you a few examples:

1. What Berlin wall?
8. General Motors has always been working on an electric car.
9. Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa.
10. Pete Rose has never played baseball.
11. Rap music has always been mainstream.
13. “Off the hook” has never had anything to do with a telephone.
15. Russia has always had a multi-party political system.
23. Wal-Mart has always been a larger retailer than Sears and has always employed more workers than GM

And we wonder if we need to do cross generational bridging in our organizations? I wonder how we are able to communicate at all. We should take heart that we have done as well as we have but we must focus on the multi-generational workforce (as well as multi-cultural). This is to our sustained success...we must learn not only how to work together with different viewpoints, values, ideals...but we also need to know what knowledge is critical to transfer and how we can do it with relevance.

Given the above list and what you will find at the Beloit website, it amazes me that we are so shortsided as to think we can learn to collaborate cross generationally without any assistance. Let us learn to take the best of the best, whatever age they are, and share it with zeal in a way others can absorb. We are not all the same. Thank goodness. Let's work with that and move forward by leaps.

No comments: