Bruce Tulgan Examines the Changing Workplace

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bruce Tulgan, who studies leadership and performance management in the workplace, addressed delegates during Monday’s opening general session. His research, based on 23 years of interviews with employers and employees, leads to a key finding: “The workforce is changing.”

An obvious conclusion, he acknowledged; the question to focus on is why and how it is changing. Four to six generations currently work side by side. Tulgan explained the perceived differences among them. For example, each generation has grown up with different economic and technological experiences. He joked by asking delegates, "Didn't you grow up walking around with a supercomputer in your pocket?"

Tulgan’s recommendation is for leaders to emphasize critical thinking (how to extrapolate best practices and how to puzzle through a problem), people skills (being aware of how others work and conceptualize work), and attitude (how you project your inner beliefs to others). “Teach leaders to recommit to the fundamentals, Tulgan concluded, and the future is yours.