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Manage the Gap -Achieving Success with Intergenerational Teams

This book was both a surprise and a revelation. I had fully expected it to be another focus on Millennials and the disruption they are bringing. But it’s not. Quite the opposite – it contains a well-thought-out narrative that explores the changing demographic of the modern workforce. It’s a major wake-up call for many organisations: as the
pipeline of young talent dwindles in many countries, it is the older workforce that will become the critical focus. Longer working lives, dwindling pension returns and more active later years are driving a steep forecasted rise in an older workforce. However, for Steve Butler, this isn’t a problem, it’s an opportunity.

Bemoaning Gen Y and castigating them for every negative thing under the sun has kept us preoccupied for far too long, and the creeping change of an older workforce has gone largely unnoticed. That said, Butler sets a very positive tone on these changes, although the stats he uses will sound alarms, the advice he gives and the potential wins he highlights are practical, achievable and highly relevant. He talks from his own experience and uses solid examples of where intergenerational working can be achieved.

Who should read this book? Firstly, any managers with an age-diverse team – Manage the Gap is a great resource to help you ease tensions in the team and use age-based strengths to their full. Secondly, it’s a must-read for anyone who is involved in setting the rewards and benefits agenda within an organisation. One of the biggest points for me was the need to
consider age-related benefits, with a particular skew towards thinking smart around older workers. Also, on a practical note, Butler talks about how to communicate these benefits in ways that capture people.

My final, unrelated thought on the book was ‘why has he written it?’ Clearly Steve Butler is a successful, busy man in his primary industry. Then, on the last page it became clear as the last statistic was revealed – 100% of the proceeds from the book will go to charity. He’s written it from the heart – a passion for the subject and a passion for helping others.

Chris Preston is a culture expert and one of the founding partners of The Culture Builders

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