“Cross-Generational Teams Adding Value to the Workplace” was not only the title of an all-day workshop held Tuesday at this year’s ATCE, but it also represents its purpose, which is to encourage people in the workplace to work in teams that cross generations.
“The workshop incorporates a diversity of perspectives,” said Susan Howe of Chevron. “It was an outgrowth of the SPE Soft Skills Council, SPE Young Professionals Coordinating Committee, and SPE Talent Council.” Howe, who spearheaded the workshop, explained it was sponsored by 2010 SPE President Behrooz Fattahi. Fattahi was present throughout the workshop and delivered the event’s kickoff speech.
“The idea of this workshop was controversial,” Howe said. “But SPE determined that soft skills such as ethics and interpersonal interaction are indeed within the purview of an organization dedicated not only to the dissemination of technical ideas but also to the idea of professionalism in and of itself.”
Five teams competed in this all-day workshop, including more than 30 participants from The Netherlands, US, Brazil, Canada, Qatar, Nigeria, and Colombia. “The goal was to have on each team a student, young professional, midcareer worker, seasonal professional, and retiree,” explained Michelle AuBuchon, SPE manager of conference programs-Americas. “It helped that we sent a survey to those who signed up to get an idea of demographics, so we got pretty close to that mix.”
The teams dissected and discussed case studies, developed on the basis of real-world situations especially for the workshop. They then presented the results of their discussions to the entire group and were judged by a panel of prominent SPE volunteers.
The following four people, deeply involved as SPE volunteers, formed the cross-generational team of judges: Maurizio Rampoldi, Roland Moreau, Leon Beugelsdijk, and Josh Etkind. They scored each team’s presentation and gave immediate feedback about the issues raised. Eight volunteer facilitators, who floated from group to group and gave feedback as each group wrestled with their case study, included the following: Jennifer Coconnier-Thomas, Ford Brett, Pavitra Timbalia, Herman Buijs, Serge Reuff, Sherry Stein, Andrea Hersey, and Shiv Patil.