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The Folly of the Birth Certificate

August 24th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips

Basing decisions on a person’s age is a bad practice and always has been.

Individual persons areĀ  just thatā€”individual persons. Groups have tendencies. Oh the horror of that statement, but it has some truth behind it. One of the greater follies of this post (post(post)) modern era is that of the “digital native.” Now proven to be false (see this study), don’t expect someone to be a whiz at technology based on their birth certificate.

The knowledge of mankind is at our fingertips. This was predicted several decades ago and it true. Ever sat in a room of college students and asked a fact-based question? The answer doesn’t pop back as fast it would seem. They don’t know how to turn questions into queries and return answers. Forget all that stuff in the newspapers. It doesn’t work that way.

Some persons in their 50s, i.e., born in the last millennium, can do that. We learned logic and rational thought. We also learned how to learn. (Amazing stuff that meta-learning!)

And forget the stuff about younger minds being quicker. Quicker minds are quicker than slower minds. Of course that is the definition, but it holds true.

All this makes a manager’s job tougher. Well, it makes a manager’s job a manager’s job. Knowing the persons who work with you and what they can do is just about as fundamental as anything in a manager’s job.

Darn. It sure would be easier if we could just look at the birth certificate and make lots of assumptions.

Tags: Culture · Differences · Expectations · Generation Y

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