Senta Čermáková is a Director of Innovation at Deloitte Czech Republic. Her main role comprises the development of the firm’s strategic projects in the area of new technologies and innovation. She is also involved in the acceleration and support of start-ups to facilitate their development and growth both on the domestic market and abroad. At present, acting on behalf of Deloitte, Senta teaches Critical Thinking in Business Futurology as part of the CEMS international programme at the University of Economics in Prague and engages in social innovations in education and mentoring. She also leads the SheXO program, which empowers women in C-suite positions, the KidsXO program, which educates talented kids in the technologies of the future, the 3XO program, which brings together seniors with a business background, and lastly, she launched a leading internship program at Deloitte Czech Republic. At Deloitte, she won the Central Europe Regional Impact Award twice, for the Startup program and for transforming the company.
Senta graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague, specialising in bio cybernetics. Technology has accompanied her entire professional life; prior to joining Deloitte she had worked for Hewlett-Packard, most recently as Worldwide Director of Customer Programs. In 2011 she became the first woman awarded in the Manager of the Year competition.
Senta Čermáková’s lecture will deal with the relations between individual generations, especially with regard to project management. Generation from generation differs from each other, in terms of authority, different degrees of individualism, but also in perception and approach to a wide range of historical events. Some contain more people with a leadership mentality, while others take a much calmer attitude to life.
According to sociologists William Strauss and Neil Howe, an interesting idea is the fact that the characteristics of individual generations alternate at regular intervals, so their behavior and values can be predicted. Strauss and Howe claim that there are four generational archetypes. What does this mean for project management? Assembling generationally diverse teams is the easiest way to achieve diversity. As a rule, people of different ages hold different opinions and values, so they can influence and complement each other. Team critical thinking can be ensured by diversity, and the multigenerational one works reliably.
For Deloitte, generational diversity is part of the company’s DNA and has been emphasized in recent years. The oldest employees mentor the youngest ones, and vice versa, thus applying the principle of so-called reverse mentoring. And it is also the principle of all Deloitte communities (KidsXO, TeenXO, SheXO, 3XO) that strengthen civil society, but also the principle of intertwining up to five different generations in joint projects simultaneously.
Differences between generations have also recently become apparent this spring in connection with the so-called coronavirus crisis. Members of different generations reacted to the emergency differently: otherwise they adapted, cooperated to varying degrees, tolerated limitations. Some generational traits have been confirmed, others have proven to be stereotypes that do not always apply. And it is these phenomena that the conclusion of this lecture will address.