Who makes better decisions? Are boomer decisions better, or is it millennial decisions?
Talk to enough people about how decisions are made in their workplace and you’ll likely find someone who has a viewpoint different from the path typically chosen. While it might be common to find disagreement with courses of action handed down from the high rise offices of the c-suite, it also might be common for people to believe that past experience will yield the strongest results.
We often generalize that baby boomers (born 1946-1964) will have much more experience when compared with millennials (born 1977-1994) and as such will make better decisions. This idea of experience based on time may have its fallacies though, and in a recent blog post I wrote about how traditional wisdom regarding workplace generations and experience may sometimes be incorrect.
So what generation is best equipped for decision making? It seems it really all depends.
More experience sometimes leads us to self-deception or data anchoring. While less experience may sometimes mean no previous trials and errors (failures) exist and as such you can’t possibly know or understand the best course of action. Which one is correct, or is it both?
It seems there are two golden rules about decisions and generations:
- Past experiences drive choices, but more experience doesn’t always mean better decisions.
- Every generation has values and beliefs relational to their experiences, not to their age.
Popular wisdom suggests that things like false perception and self-deception, data anchoring, palindromes, and other components of critical thinking, including life experiences and patience, will drive decision quality. In addition, how we approach solving problems such as through technology, innovation, or what has worked well in the past will also be a factor.
Are you solving problems by working across any generational boundaries, or are you locked into traditional thinking and methods?
Originally posted on March 15, 2016, last updated June 13, 2018
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.