Mind Your Farm Business — Ep. 78: The perks and pitfalls of the generation gap


One of the biggest rewards of working in a family business is the opportunity to work every day with multiple generations. This can provide mentorship, learning, and truly rewarding memories and experiences, but it can also present real challenges.

Generational differences are real but also sometimes misunderstood, as stereotypes skew perceptions and behaviours. For this episode of the Mind Your Farm Business podcast, David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, shares what we know about managing businesses with multiple generations in the mix.

Coletto says it’s important to note that generational turnover in a business in any organization has happened forever. New generations come in and, and old ones go out, and that’s normal. “I think every older generation, go back hundreds of years, has looked at the one that’s come after it and said, hey, something’s wrong with the kids, or they’re just not right. They’re lazy. They’re entitled!” So if every generation thinks they’re the hardest working, or the way they do things is the right way, how do you manage that?

In order to understand it, you’ve got to understand where different generations come from, including how they are raised and what role technology has played in their lives, Coletto says. Our collective experience as a generation creates different expectations about work and what work means.

Coletto discusses how to connect across generations, and why being willing to be wrong on something and recognizing stereotypes can be helpful in navigating multi-generational businesses.


Disclaimer: Royal Bank of Canada and its subsidiaries are not responsible for the information provided in this podcast, and this information does not necessarily reflect the views of Royal Bank of Canada or any of its subsidiaries. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its subsidiaries.

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