Stereotyping is a limiting thinking style that is the antithesis to innovation and erodes teams.


Imagine this: You're in your mid-twenties, developing ideas and opinions fuelled by your innovative spirit, and you're new to the unit. The CO lays out a seemingly impossible task, your team groans, lost for ideas. As the youngest member you pitch an innovative idea and its met with ‘you're just a millennial’. This brief article reminds us that as a thinking style, stereotyping is lazy and can represent strategic risk. Fact: Humans involuntarily contextualise information and its meaning using their own frames of reference; people prioritise differently based on their age group and lived experiences; our next wave of decision makers are from the millennials. Interestingly, Rand Corporation's survey on whether Millennials Worry Less About National Security Than Baby Boomers Do - For Now found that Gen-X and millennials share similar views. So, to avoid missed innovations and group-think, assess ideas on merit, embrace diverse ideas, challenge stereotypes, use critical thinking, and work within ‘the-art-of-the-possible’.