Skip to main content

Sticking Points

Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart by Haydn Shaw

Cell phones in the middle of a sales meeting, right?  Have you ever wondered why people from different generations under the same roof have such a tough time working together?  In steps Haydn Shaw, reasearcher, speaker and leader in the field of bringing together business people of different generations.  His new book, Sticking Points, is a look into how people and businesses can bridge the generational gap.  Engendering more productivity is not a one step process, for the younger generations technology is the standard whereas boomers are more inclined to different modes of communication.  The book is broken up into two large sections; the first section is devoted towards an understanding of the generations and their default positions, and the second section looks at the twelve places they come apart (from dress code to meetings).  The great strength of the book is that Haydn is committed to moving beyond old stereotypes about generations and asking the tough questions about these groups with a surprising amount of clarity on how to help people work together.

Haydn brings together a description of each generation from Traditionalists to Millennials.  When speaking of the Millennials he writes, “The Millennials’ consumer approach  in the workplace often gets interpreted as an entitlement mentality.  When I was doing a presentation for McDonald’s, a woman said, “I’ve been here thirty-six years, and some of these new employees seem so entitled.  They ask for things in the first six weeks that I never got until I’d proven myself after six or seven years” (98).  These comments can come off brash, rude, or arrogant if there is not a generational understanding here.  Part of the Millennials grew up with their parents giving them seemingly everything they wanted and more, while some Millennials closer to the Recession were in a different situation.  Millennials are incurring more debt and the cost of college has skyrocketed which is leading them to enormous piles of money issues.  Yet, as Haydn pointed out to the McDonald’s worker, the Happy Meal was and is a ticket to children that says you are entitled to a toy with every purchase.   I have to admit that I laughed at this point because there have been many times when my daughter cares nothing for the food in the Happy  Meal but only for the toy. 

In understanding the issues of dress codes, Haydn has a keen sense of seeking to come alongside each generations view before making a decision.  He writes at one point, “On the other hand, a call center I worked with a couple of years ago allows flip-flops because customers never see their workers’ feet.  The president is not a big fan of flip-flops, but he is a fan of happy employees, so he didn’t let his generational  preferences interfere with his business results” (135).  The age and generation of your customers truly helps one gauge the dress code of your employees.  The issue of Facebook at work is another issue that Haydn dealt with.  At one point, he told a company a friend that if you ban Facebook from your work computers, your employees will just look at it on their phones.  In turn, what he found out was that if clear work objectives and production was met, Facebook was not that big of a deal.  All of these issues take a stepping back and looking at how the generations respond to work issues.  It might seem that a Millennial cares nothing for your meeting if he’s texting on his phone, but asking him how works best might just be an opportunity for further dialogue.

I enjoyed this book and think it would be of great use also in the church.  There are so many different voices trying to achieve different results, that a look at the generations and their ideas would be a great blessing.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review.


Popular posts from this blog

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

The Paraclete Poetry Anthology, Edited by Mark S. Burrows

Bringing words to life on a page is hard work, and no work is harder than poetry.  Poets take the visceral, the mundane, and the disjointed and frayed things of life and put them on their head.  This new anthology of poetry put out by Paraclete Press and edited by Mark S. Burrows, takes the best poetry of today and brings together old and new poems from these gifted creators.  You find poems from Scott Cairs, SAID, Phyllis Tickle, and others.  The collection stems the span of 2005-2016 and includes both religious poems and themes, as well as themes covering a broad swath of topics.

One of the beauties of this collection is the array of poems that the anthology includes in its pages.  One poem in particular stuck with me as read through the collection.  Anna Kamienska is a wonderful Polish poet who interacts with the wider lens of faith while looking carefully at the world we live in.  She says in her poem named Gratitude, (44)

A tempest threw a rainbow in my face
so that I wanted to…