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Re: 8 ways to be an effective leader for change


Jos, what is your experience in terms of how different generations manage change? I expect that boomers are different from Gen-X vs millenials, but I'm curious as to what your practical experience has been.

Paul Muller has a wealth of experience working with CIOs and VPs of IT improve IT performance and business alignment.
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Paul Muller leads the global IT management evangelist team within the Software business at HP. In this role, Muller heads the team responsible for fostering HP’s participation in the IT management community, contributing to and communicating best-practice in helping IT perform better.


Jos, what is your experience in terms of how different generations manage change? I expect that boomers are different from Gen-X vs millenials, but I'm curious as to what your practical experience has been.

Johnny Ito

Hi Joshua,

I would have the same perspective on the leadership and those key elements you described.

I would think, although the changes and/or the steps to change are really tough for the members involved, creating/showing the vision and clearly indicating/discussing the steps of changes can remove the fear on the changes so that those things can also effectively convince the members involved.

A leader is not a superman who can do all the things (and can resolve all the problems) only by him/herself.

But, for the changes, the important thing on the leadership should be to take that approach I feel too.


Thanks Johnny and  Paul for your comments.


Paul, to your questions:


When in change all generations are responding the same: they want to safeguard what they have, which means let go of the old, embrace the new but with the same or better perks.


And that’s where the difference is. Each generation looks at “rewards” different. They are all are stimulated with a fair and reliable mix from Maslow’s pyramid; however a baby boomer builds a stellar career while Gen-Y builds parallel careers. For baby boomers, money, title, recognition and the corner office are important while for Gen-X freedom is the ultimate reward. For Gen-Y work has to be meaningful. The baby boomers and Gen-X find work / life balance important, the difference is that Gen-X wants it earlier (before they turn 65).


For Gen-Y work isn’t everything. They need flexibility so they can balance all their activities. The “newest” generation talks about work / life integration: working 40 hours a week but not necessarily mon-fri from 9-5. Baby boomers are motivated by the personal approach, getting consensus and assured involvement while Gen-X prefers to have control over their work, and for them fairness and equity of recognition are important. Gen-X is not too excited about perks, but resents it when they are not distributed fairly. For them freedom is most important. Give them the latest technology and they feel appreciated. Gen-Y is resilient, works hard / plays hard and sets goals to achieve their dreams. They need a clear picture of goals, expectations and rules to operate to motivate them. In the latter they are like the baby-boomers but the objectives must be more “output” measured rather than “time” measured.


Thus when in a major change leaders must build a “new comfort zone” (we all know that the old one is gone) which means that  - based on the generation – “rewards” need to be kept the way they are or improve.


Last note: it’s always dangerous to generalize…I have worked with baby boomers that behave like Generation Y and recently worked with a few Generation X and Y employees that showed the same behavior as a baby boomer. As a leader you need to be aware of that too :)




Agree!  I truly believe MOC is a key differentiator in positioning our solutions.  Just spoke to a customer today who said he didn't know HP provided thess types of consulting as he's always perceived us to be hardware providers.  Well.....that's about to change. :smileywink:

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