From PDG Elvio Munzone
Lions Club of Lugarno
Diversity covers many things, including age, gender (women in Lions), individuality and the often overlooked, or barely tolerated, diversity of opinion.
We’ve got four generations in Lions at the moment?
Why do we need to recognise the true meaning of diversity?
Since arriving in Australia at the age of four with my migrant parents I’m glad that Lions celebrate our diversity and multiculturalism.
Many organisations including Lions are now finding that managing age and talent/skills diversity means new challenges in relationships.
The needs of different generations in the many varieties of Lions, Lioness and Leo Clubs should be reflected by each Club in their organised activities (e.g. Meetings, projects, social functions and welfare). Favouring one group or age should be avoided. The needs of all members should be recognised equally, otherwise keeping members becomes an issue.
However, being recognised equally does not necessarily mean being treated in the same way: wise leaders learn
the truth of the popular saying ‘different strokes for different folks’!
A recent study found that 98% of generation Y workers (born in the early 1980s) wanted access to strong mentors. To satisfy this need requires the retention of older members and the possible adoption of more flexible club meeting arrangements, providing activities (projects), involving new members in decision making and embracing individuality.
With the demand for” skilled” younger members increasing, so too will the need for mentoring. It makes sense to retain older more experienced members in mentoring and training, if it means retaining and developing younger members. Growth and stability results from a properly managed age-diverse membership.
Combining membership growth and retention by managing age and talent diversity makes sense, implementing a mentoring program is part of this management and a key to overcoming future adversity.
Lions Clubs International has a very comprehensive Mentoring program which can be found at the following link.
It is not going to be easy, but good organisations are putting some time into it to see how to make the (age) differences work.