Five Resources (and a bonus) to Inspire 2020

Five Resources (and a bonus) to Inspire 2020

Happy New Year!

After reflecting on last year’s endings, let us move on to build upon new beginnings. My favorite aspect of the New Year is that it allows us to start afresh. With that in mind, I’ve gathered five resources and a bonus report to inspire you in 2020.

1. Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020

Date: October 21, 2019
Source: Gartner
Hyper automation, blockchain, AI security, distributed cloud and autonomous things drive disruption and create opportunities in this year’s strategic technology trends.

2. Top edge computing trends to watch in 2020

Date: Dec 9, 2019
Source: TechTarget
Edge computing is still an evolving technology domain and enterprises should expect continued evolution in the year ahead. Here are the top trends CIOs and IT leaders should be looking out for.

3. Top 10 Tech Predictions For 2020 From IDC

Date: Oct 29, 2019
Source: Forbes
The focus for the 10 predictions for next year and beyond is the rise of the digital economy. By 2023, IDC predicts, over half (52%) of global GDP will be accounted for by digitally transformed enterprises. This digital tipping point heralds the emergence of a new enterprise species, the digital-first enterprise.

4. Spiceworks – The 2020 State of IT

Date: Fall 2019
Source: Spiceworks
IT budgets rise as businesses replace outdated technology: 44% of businesses plan to increase tech spend in 2020, up from 38% in 2019. Many businesses will have the ability to deploy more cutting-edge technologies in the workplace.

5. 11 Trends to Inform Your 2020 Cybersecurity Budget

Date: Oct 15, 2019
Source: Security Intelligence
The global average cost of a data breach is now $3.92 million — a 12 percent increase since 2014. Fortunately, the average cybersecurity budget is also increasing alongside breach cleanup costs. Cybersecurity services are on the rise!

As a Bonus:

And last, but far from least, the Info-Tech 2020 IT Talent Trend Report. The war of talent is very real with unemployment sitting at around 2.4%. With the ever-growing crisis for resources, IT leaders are benefiting from taking a much greater role in the talent acquisition process. My question to you all is – Are you ready? I am here for you if you want to discuss!

As a reminder from my December 24th article and a gift to my readers, I am hosting a complimentary 90-minute webinar on January 29 from 1-3 MST. During out time together, I will walk participants through my IT Strategy Planning Template. All participants will receive and editable copy of the template. Registration is limited. I hope to see you there!

To register: IT Strategy Planning Webinar

Until next week! Happy New Year!



Mary Patry
IT Executive Advisor and Leadership Coach  
 480.393.0722 (AZ)

Let’s Talk sponsored by an IT Executive Coaching and Advisory practice targeting CIO’s challenge of leading and delivering business solutions with a focus on effective people and process capabilities. Discover the possibilities by scheduling a complimentary strategy session with Mary Patry. 

Self-Review: A Gift to Oneself

Self-Review: A Gift to Oneself

As I wrap up our annual performance review discussion, I would be remiss if I did not explore the importance of a self-review. Let’s face it, accountability to oneself does not always come naturally. It is too easy to forget to celebrate or ignore your shortcomings. We do ourselves an excellent service if we take the time and effort to reflect on our year. At the risk of sharing my vulnerabilities, I will openly share my 2019 vision and roadmap review as an example in the form of a case study.

If we start with the end in mind, we assume full ownership of our goals for the year. We all have goals of some nature that we hope to accomplish. For me, putting them on paper turned them from deep thoughts to tangible steps that required action.

For the past two years, under the encouragement and guidance of my advisors, I created a vision with a roadmap for achieving my goals. As a consultant versed in helping my clients with their strategy, you would have thought that I had the wherewithal without encouragement. The reality is there are times we all need a coach. I benefited from the guidance of a coach who helped me to see the trees beyond the thick forest.


Along with the vision, I went as far as defining milestone goals and success factors. I call this my “Strategy on a Page.” This is not rocket science, it is merely applying project and strategy disciplines to personal goals.

My Strategy on a Page was printed and posted on my wall beside my monitors. Each day I could not help but see the journey and the commitments I had made. You can trust that I was filled with self-doubt in the first few months of the year. My secret self had a lot to say and it was not all very pretty. As each milestone was checked, my self-talk moved from the negative to positive, and my confidence soared.

The world is imperfect and so am I. As you can see, a couple of key milestones were not met. Assessing the root cause enabled me to determine that the benchmarks were still relevant. Once I confirmed they were still important, I built a plan to address the capabilities and skills needed. What better reason to reflect on the past than to learn from it?

Throughout this process, I was forced to reconsider success factors. For example, my scheduled weekly Let’s Talk articles and posts were fun, but very time-consuming. I believe they played a pinnacle role in building my brand as an IT Leadership and Management thought leader and have resulted in significant growth in social media readers. As my IT leadership coaching​ calendar is filling up fast, I am reconsidering continuing them at the same frequency in 2020. Might there be a better way of contributing value to my peers?

Also, I cannot ignore my continued limitations in asking for help or asking for the sale. As a woman growing up in the early days of IT, I developed a pretty solid habit of having to prove myself. The realization that many other women hold this same habit, drives my passion for helping and advocating for women in IT. With the insights I have gained, I will continue the journey by building my 2020 vision and roadmap with excitement for the new year to begin. It is a small investment in myself that I have confidence will return dividends.

Most importantly, reflecting on my year also helped me to celebrate the beautiful relationships built, the enlightening conversations held, and the fantastic successes of my clients. After all, the people in our lives make it all worth it.

Until next week! I am very excited for next week as I have a gift for you!


Mary Patry
IT Executive Advisor and Leadership Coach  
 480.393.0722 (AZ)

Let’s Talk sponsored by an IT Executive Coaching and Advisory practice targeting CIO’s challenge of leading and delivering business solutions with a focus on effective people and process capabilities. Discover the possibilities by scheduling a complimentary strategy session with Mary Patry. 

What’s Next? Seven Tips to Your Future Life

What’s Next? Seven Tips to Your Future Life

We all start our careers eager to learn and anxious to demonstrate our value. Along the way, we may marry and become parents. We contribute to our retirement fund and plan for old age. We assume we will leave the work force ready to relax and do whatever it is that retired people do. Rarely do we consider preparing for the potential of leaving our careers before we are ready.    

Throughout the forty plus years of an average career our enthusiasm for our profession ebbs and tides.  Some of us plan for early retirement only to discover we aren’t ready. We realize we have so much more to give.   

Several times a month I am contacted by a friend, a connection, or a stranger with comments like;   

It is clear I am being encouraged to leave. I am not ready to retire. What do I do?”  
I know it is time for me to leave, but I still need an income. What else might I do?” 
“I want to do something different but have not clue as to what. How did you figure it out?”
“I am not ready to retire. I have so much more to give.”   

The saddest situation is when a person in their late 50’s tells me: My job was eliminated. I fear my age will prevent me from finding a new one.”    

When I first started to receive these messages, I questioned if my articles or posts were accidently presenting me as a recruiter. I discovered that if you search for a recruiter on LinkedIn, I show up. I need to fix that, but in the meantime, it has given me many great opportunities to talk with senior people looking for a new job.    

My discussions revealed a prevailing common thread. Almost everyone I talked to was either not prepared to take on searching for a new role or not ready to consider their options in retirement. Most had not thought to plan for a career change later in life or what they would do after their current career.  As such, they were finding their options to be limited.   

It is unrealistic for a person to be thinking about their next act at the beginning of their career. They are all too consumed with making ends meet and paying off student loans. It is most helpful to begin planning near the middle of your career, no later than your mid-forties. This will give you 15-20 years to figure it out beyond financial planning.    

I am no expert at life planning. I can share lessons learned and scars earned layered on the ever-wise hindsight. With that I offer these rambling thoughts for anyone thinking about their next act  

  1. Find the hobby the feeds your passion.  My biggest challenge when attempting to retire was and is that I did not have a hobby or interests that fulfilled my overwhelming need to contribute.  I am working on that now by exploring various volunteer opportunities and by trying my hand at creative outlets. If I keep working at it, I think I might be there by 70. In the meantime, I am finding joy in spending time with family and friends.   
  2. Renew your basic office skills and keep them current.  Seriously. Many people leave their corporate executive role, aspiring to become a consultant, without understanding they will no longer have administrative assistance to plan their travel, create their proposals, or to create presentations. These basic skills will serve you well no matter what you have decided to do. 
  3. Consider a transition role before retirement.  One of the best career decisions I made (by accident I might add) was to leave a CIO role to take on a transformation leadership role. My last two corporate “gigs” were heading large transformation programs reporting to the CIO. These two roles helped me to renew my tool kit and prepared me like nothing else could to take on consulting. 
  4. Read “Threescores and More” by Alan Weiss.  The subtitle, “Applying the Assets of Maturity, Wisdom, and Experience for Personal and Professional Success” says it all. Every time I feel a sense of ageism, I pick up Threescores and allow Alan to set me straight. We can choose to let ageism get in our way, or we can choose to harness the power of wisdom our age grants us.    
  5. Read “Lifestormingby Alan Weiss and Marshall Goldsmith.  This book, written by two of my most favorite authors, guides you through exploring life in a bit by bit way. One of my favorite paragraphs is found early in the book. “Many people arise each day simply awaiting what occurs, without the intention of exerting themselves on the world.”  I believe that we all make a huge difference in creating our own lives, bad stuff happens, and we are best positioned when we are prepared for it.


    Let me pause by sharing my perspective of Alan and Marshall.  

    • Alan Weiss is THE consulting guru. He bills himself as the Contrarian Consultant. One of the BEST decisions I’ve made in my post retirement journey was taking courses from Alan. He is contrarian. He can come across as an ass. He challenges me every time we meet. At the same time, there is no one I respect more or have learned more from. If you are thinking of consulting as the next step, look to Alan to help. He has written over 500 articles and 60 books, including his best-seller, Million Dollar Consulting (from McGraw-Hill) now in its 25th year and fifth edition. It is on my bookshelf, well dog-eared and tagged. 
    • Marshall Goldsmith is my coaching hero and the role model I aspire to. I am blessed to have had the honor of meeting and learning from him live. He opens his website with “My mission is simple. I want to help successful people achieve positive, lasting change in behavior; for themselves, their people, and their teams. I want to help you make your life a little better.” He means what he says. Two of my favorite books authored by Marshall are: What got you here, wont get you there” and “How Women Rise with Sally Helgesen. I highly recommend adding both books to your reading list along with Lifestorming.  


  6.  Network! Get off your duff and build relationships.  I get that many IT professionals lean towards the introverted side on personality tests. I get that that the idea of networking can bring on anxiety. Guess what, it does for me too, and I am an extrovert. At the same time, waiting until you need a network is way too late. I’ve found the best way to get over the discomfort of networking is to be actively involved. By actively involved, I mean join in the conversation. Make a game of it such as how many new people have, I met and how many new friends have I made tonight. Join in conversations that interest you on LinkedIn, demonstrate your thought leadership. No, lurking does not count as networking. Do something that works for you. Remember, doing nothing provides nothing. Enough of the preaching on the value of networking. I found this great resource for you: 4 Reasons You Don’t Like Networking (and 4 Better Options You Will Like!) 
  7. Don’t be afraid to seek outside assistance.  Everyone goes through transitions in life. Being confronted with change often leaves people feeling stuck, confused, and frustrated. This makes it difficult to see the positive opportunities that lie ahead. At other times, you know something needs to change, but you don’t know what and you don’t know how to start to figure it out. Coaching will guide you as you set new goals. If a change is being forced on you, acoach will help you figure out your options.  

 In Closing 

 One of my favorite quotes is, “And in the end, its not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years.”   

 Do you know what you are looking for in life? There are no right or wrong answers – only your answers.  I am here for you if you need a little help in figuring it out.   

 Until next week!  


Mary Patry
IT Executive Advisor and Leadership Coach  
 480.393.0722 (AZ)

Let’s Talk sponsored by an IT Executive Coaching and Advisory practice targeting CIO’s challenge of leading and delivering business solutions with a focus on effective people and process capabilities. Discover the possibilities by scheduling a complimentary strategy session with Mary Patry. 

Finding my Why

Finding my Why

I need to tell you a story. It is an integral part of my story about how coaching supported me on my journey towards becoming an IT Executive Coach. It is also a story about the power of partnership and trust in another.

For those who have followed my articles, you most likely already know that I have self-identified as an IT professional for the past 40 years. I started working in IT in 1977 at time when women in IT were quite rare. Because I worked in infrastructure, I did not have a female co-worker until 1984 and it wasn’t until 2006, that I had the pleasure of working with a female peer.

Even though I have achieved the status of CIO a couple of times, nothing has given me as much joy and pride as helping great people to achieve their career goals.    

As proud as I am of my overall career accomplishments, I am most proud of the most recent five years. I left my corporate life in 2013 with the intent of semi-retirement, focusing on part-time consulting while attempting to discover the meaning of life and perhaps picking up a hobby in the process. I found out far too quickly that I was not ready for retirement. I jumped at the chance to get back to work when a young CIO, who I had the honor of mentoring, asked me to help him in a new role less than a week into my retirement.  

At the same time the CIO Executive Council, a premier membership of Chief Information Officers, invited me to “coach” IT Executives as a member of their CIO Emeritus coaching team. My first reaction was to chuckle and respond “Coach?  I am not a coach.” They replied that I was as I had volunteered as a group mentor coach over the eight years priorand that they would pay me for my time. How could I resist that?  

With those two events, my stars aligned and ITeffectivity, LLC was born with the mission of helping CIOs and IT Leaders as an IT Executive Advisor.  

I did not intend to be focused on coaching. My husband played a role in my decision to formalize my coaching credentials. He often commented on my mood after sessions with my own coach. He called it my hobby job because, after each coaching session, I was so upbeat. Endorphins were flying to the point that he would remark about how happy it made him see me so satisfied.  

After one particularly productive coaching session, a light bulb came on – Why not become a coach? If I was going to be a coach, it had to be with the highest level of integrity and professionalism possible as proven by the ICF (International Coaching Federation) credentials. My passion grew out of the prevalent need for leadership and emotional skills amongst IT management. My intention was set deeper than any other professional commitment.

With this revelation, I went in search of a coaching program starting with the ICF list of training options and I talked with a couple of ICF credentialed friends. I landed on the CoachU program due to its ICF qualifications, flexibility, and references. I began the Core Essentials Program in April of 2016 andgraduated on June 12, 2017. I immediately started the Advanced Corporate Coaching Program that same June, completing the course work in May 2019, and have been on track to achieve the Professional Corporate Coach credential by the end of 2019.  

As a result of three years of hard work and commitment, I was awarded the Corporate Coach U Certified Graduate Designation earlier this month (August 2019). Like many professionals, I find it awkward and embarrassing to pat myself on the back, but dammit – it was hard work.

It required:  

  • Completing 39 coaching courses for a total of 365 classroom hours
  • Passing all the course exams with a score of 80% or higher
  • Being mentor coached by an International Coach Federation (ICF) Credentialed Coach for at least 10 hours (Trust me it took many more than 10 hours of mentor coaching
  • Receiving at least four written feedbacks on recorded coaching sessions supervised by an ICF credentialed coach
  • Coaching at least 25 distinct clients for a total of at least 500 coaching hours (In actuality, I coached over 80 clients)
  • Being recommended by an ICF credentialed coach who has observed my coaching and could verify that I coach at a PCC level or higher (the role of my mentor coach)
  • Passing the online multiple-choice final exam
  • Providing a written coaching experience case study
  • Successfully defending my application before the Certification Review Committee, which also included an actual oral coaching session target.

The graduation is enough to be proud of. However, what makes me most proud is that I was able to accomplish this while I was covering a full-time consulting client load, balancing family life,and balancing health issues. Many times, my family and friends asked if it was worth it. To be honest, I asked myself the same question more than once.  

Many have asked how I was able to stay on course. Simply, because of the trust and support of my coach, Lerae Gidyk. Through the faith we built, I knew she had my back when I was challenged with continuing. Our work together enabled me todiscover my way, my vision, and allowed me to formulate my strategy and roadmap. Ironically, I help my clients with developing strategies and roadmaps.

I have the tools! But like all good practitioners, I discovered how it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. As my coach Lerae helped me tackle my doubts and blocks, she partnered with me to clarify my WHY. You’ve heard me say – Every good strategy requires the clarity of knowing your WHY, your purpose, your reason for being.  

When you know your WHY the what and how are so much easier.


  • My passion for the coaching profession’s purpose and partnering with clients to find and unlock their potential, enabling them to realize a life previously unimagined  
  • The opportunity to enhance the leadership capabilities of executive IT leaders by utilizing my coaching experience and training combined with my professional IT leadership and consulting background   
  • My commitment to a life of continuous learning, includingthe required continuing education requirements and especially from all that I learn from my coaching clients  

And YES! – I will most certainly continue to work with Lerae as I continue my journey.  

I know through my experience as a coach, and as a coachee, that coaching can have dramatic effects on the performance of individuals and organizational success. I love working with CIOs and IT leaders, knowing that I provide them with a safe harbor to share ideas and contemplate options. Many CIOs and upcoming talented IT executives find the quality of my coaching to be outstanding and genuinely different from anything they have experienced before.

Here is what a few of my coaching clients have to say:

Mary possesses great listening capabilities and is a trusted advisor, committed to providing unbiased guidance in a safe/confidential environment. She focuses on eliciting information rather than telling you what to do. She helped me make improvements in terms ofenhancing my visibility within the organization and improving my perceptions among leadership which, has led to an increase this year in the scope of my responsibilities.”
Sr. IT Director, Leading Building Management Firm

As a new Global Executive Director, Mary’s assistance was instrumental in preparing me for the expectations and challenges ahead. She provided practical examples, roadmaps, templates, and her experience to assist me in this new role. We worked extensively on my first 90 days and how I would be demonstrating executive leadership and developing my vision. All of which were successfully completed.”
Global IT Executive Director, Life Sciences

“Mary’s extensive knowledge, quest to educate and challenge herself coupled with her excellent coaching/mentoring skills, thoughtful & probing manner,and caring attitude are invaluable assets that truly make a difference.”
CIO, Global Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Firm

Moving Forward

Coaching is for everyone in times of change and challenge. Whether you are facing an outstanding new opportunity, or you want to take command in new and powerful ways, coaching will help. It is always individually focused on guiding and helping you with the challenges associated with your role and career, both now and in the future.

My high impact IT executive coaching is tailored to individuals and designed to meet your unique needs. As a result, career advancement is very often achieved while also developing your skills to become a highly influential business leader. Mycoaching is designed to help you take control of your development and move your performance to the next level.

You can choose from a range of approaches, including:

  • Career boost, diagnostics & coaching for when you want to immediately take your career to the next level, or create new and exciting options for your future
  • IT Executive development coachingfor when you want to deal with issues that are impacting your performance or those in your team
  • Group and Team Coaching:  a new offering that enables the coaching experience for middle managers or teams at an affordable price point

Do any of these approaches resonate with you? For a confidential and complimentary discussion on how coaching can help you achieve your goals – Let’s Talk!

 We will continue our discussion next week by exploring communicating as a leader.


Until next week!


Mary Patry
IT Executive Advisor and Leadership Coach  
 480.393.0722 (AZ)

Let’s Talk sponsored by an IT Executive Coaching and Advisory practice targeting CIO’s challenge of leading and delivering business solutions with a focus on effective people and process capabilities. Discover the possibilities by scheduling a complimentary strategy session with Mary Patry. 

The Day the World Took Notice

The Day the World Took Notice

September 11, 2001, the day the world stopped to watch in horror as the World Trade Center’s two iconic towers came tumbling down. The day the largest and most influential country’s military headquarters, the Pentagon, was attacked by a single suicide attack plane. The day the voices of the cockpit recording of the highjacked United Airlines Flight 93, before it crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, would be etched in our memories forever. The day the USA was attacked by foreign terrorists resulting in the loss of 2,996 people with over 6,000 people injured not counting the brave first responders still fighting to recover from toxic exposure.   

The September 11th terrorist attacks put the world on notice. The terrorists underestimated our resilience and capability to love one another. The world banded together as we worked through the grief and shock of such a horrendous act. No one old enough to understand the significance of the events has forgotten where they were and what they were doing that day. I still feel the fear and emotions of not reaching my NYC based daughter for over 24 hours after the event. It was a day we all promised to never forget.    

Yet, we seem to be forgetting.  

Today, there is a growing divide fueled by extremists and purposeful rhetoric intended to break us down as a society. The way we behave to each other as fellow citizens makes it hard to remember the promises we made to each other after 9/11.   

The division and hate we are seeing expressed every day in the news and social media is tearing us apart. Acts of domestic terrorism and mass murder threaten with the potential of becoming numb to them. The use of toxic, derogatory, and even vulgar language between professionals on business sites like LinkedIn in incredulous. The acceptance of bias threatens to push us back 100 years as a society.    

Social media is not the cause, nor is it the mainstream media. We own it.  

Social media is a tool with the potential to positively impact human behavior. Social media gives us access to diversity of opinion and thought from different cultures and regions of the world. This access has the power to broaden our minds and challenge our thinking. Most importantly, it gives us knowledge and access to people across the globe, enabling respect for people outside of our small circle of life.  

The divide we are now experiencing is something we have done to ourselves by our own closed mindedness. We’ve dug our heals in and built a resistance to question our commitment to our position. Closed minds, close minds all around us.   

The Challenge 

If we own the problem, can we not also own the solution? A famous George Bernard Shaw quote states, “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.The challenge is that closed-minded people don’t know they are closed minded. When was the last time you heard anyone brag that they were closed minded?  

Another challenge is people’s natural fear of being wrong. Fear locks your mind like a death trap. People, especially leaders, are stubborn and confident in their convictions. That is what makes them leaders, their convictions. The fear of failure further hardens their convictions. They avoid looking weak, foolish, or “wishy washy.” Unfortunately, this can lead them into a state of bullying through disagreements in their position.  

Opening Our Minds 

We have choices. If we open our minds, others will open their minds to us. It will take courage to express and accept your closed mind and understand that there are some things that are very hard, if not impossible to change. For example, my first reaction to this was to say, “my core values are nonnegotiable. Even when writing it I could tell that my mind was closed to changing my core values. Should I not be open to testing the bias and beliefs they are built on?  

When was the last time you learned anything while talking? Never. Our biggest prohibitory to an open mind is our mouth. 

Who do you hang out with? Are they all like-minded? When was the last time you intentionally sought to understand someone with a difference of opinion or someone who could expand your thinking? 

When was the last time you said out loud, “I don’t want to hear it.” I know when my last time was. It was a few days ago. Fortunately, a dear friend gently called me on it. (Thank you, Friend. You know who you are.)    

What is the risk of listening? What are the risks of trying someone else’s ideas? As a person who likes to be in control (yes that would be me), I find that when I give up control, it is like taking a vacation.  Interestingly, when I sit back, I can see how others feel respected, valued, and energized.    

If you are still reading, thank you for allowing me to share my heart.  

Until next time, I will leave you to ponder your thoughts as we take the time to remember the day the towers fell, the memories of lives lost, and our promise to never forget. My hope is for you to stand with me as leaders in a quest to close to the divide.   


Mary Patry
IT Executive Advisor and Leadership Coach  
 480.393.0722 (AZ)

Let’s Talk sponsored by an IT Executive Coaching and Advisory practice targeting CIO’s challenge of leading and delivering business solutions with a focus on effective people and process capabilities. Discover the possibilities by scheduling a complimentary strategy session with Mary Patry. 

Bridging the Generational Gap

Bridging the Generational Gap

Last year about this time, I went in search of a local web designer to help me make a few adjustments to my corporate website. With that, my working relationship with Lauren Medelberg, a young, very bright, and high energy Millennial was born.   

Over the year, we became unlikely friends with a gap of 40 years between us. She has stretched my imagination and prodded me to be more courageous. Most of all, she has helped me realize that our future is well taken care of because of the people of her generation.  

Recently, Lauren expressed frustration after reviewing a negative comment made by a reader against Millennials. Lauren wanted people of the older generation to get beyond the generalizations of her generation. They want to be treated with respect. They know they need to earn it, but don’t feel that older generations are open to it. I offered to let Lauren tell us what she needs on behalf of her millennial peers

Here is her ask   

It is 2019 and instead of bridging the gap between our generations and learning together, we make the choice to dislike each other simply based on age. We have so much to learn from one another, yet we choose to point out the faults. Growing and working together to build our society up should be our focus, instead of bringing each other down.   

I was born at the tail end of the Millennial Generation and I often hear that people of my generation are lazy whiney children who have no idea what we are doing with our lives. However, in technicality, we are some of the most educated adults in history and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest generation currently in the workforce as of 2016.  

Now, I will not deny that we do have our downfalls, just like the generations before us and the generations to follow. I really do feel that we have a lot to offer society. We are the generation of technology. In my lifetime alone, I have watched technology change so rapidly that it has become an all-consuming part of our lives. This is an amazing thing and a terrible thing all in one.  

The reason I say its terrible as well is because we have lost the person to person contact that has been such a large part of generations before us. This is why its so important for us to work with the older generations. We help with technology and older generations guide us in leadership and person to person communications. We need them and quite honestly, they need us. It’s a give and a take situation that helps society in the long run.  

I have included a reference document that explains the differences in generations and a guide to engage todays employees Generations by Ken Abrams 

This matrix outlines the positives and negatives of all the generations and provides good resources on how to communicate and work as team no matter what age groups are a part of your team.  

Although I do work with technology in my career daily, I reached out to a few of my colleagues to see what they have to say about the gap in generations. A great point that one of them made was the difference in routine between the generations. For example, balancing a check book was very common amongst the older generations whereas the younger generations have apps that do things like that for them. Younger generations often have the mindset of work smarter by using the technology we have at our fingertips. Though technology provides great tools, we have also seen where our generations have become so dependent on the technology that we struggle to go without it. Older generations have no problem because that is what they have been doing for years.  

A point another friend made was how the IT field needs specialized jobs such as Data Scientists or CyberSecurity Architects. In the past IT was everything technology related within the company. Now, with the field growing exponentially every day, the need for certain specialties have become in high demand. As the need for specialties has grown, there have shown to be more positions than people who know what to do. They also commented, “IT has always been comprised typically of individuals who are self-starters/learners. They have to be in order to keep up with an ever-evolving field.” I thought this was a great point because IT is always changing, so adaption is a huge part of the industry no matter what generation you are in 

No matter what age you are, I am, or anyone else is, we all have our strengths – be it the loyalty and strong relationships of the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers or the creativity and new ideas of the Millennials and Gen Zers. If we learn to work together as a team, as a society, we can use all our strengths. So, I challenge you all to reach out to someone from a different generation and learn something new. Let’s bridge the gaps between us and grow as one.  

Lauren is right. She and her friends are our future leaders. I’ve learned how much we need each other and how much we have to gain.  

Technology is driving changes in the workplace faster than I’ve ever experienced. Digital technology is changing the way we work, play, and live. Speed, collaboration, innovation, and engagement are no longer “nice to haves” but are necessities. We live in a world where the always available, always on mindset prevails. Employees and organization must grow and adapt to constant change. On top of it all, leaders are accountable for creating a workplace where all employees can thrive.  

There is a place for every generation alive in our workplace. We have the opportunity to work and learn together by understanding and meeting the needs of each generation.   

  • Baby Boomers (My generation) We’ve been working in the industry upwards of 40 years and are taking our experience with us as we retire over the next 10 years. Until we leave the workforce, we need (and struggle) to continue to develop new skills in a rapidly changing environment. At the same time, we have the opportunity to impart our wisdom and leadership skills on the generations behind us.  
  • Generation X This generations is often referred to as the over-looked generation. They are poised to take on senior leadership roles as we baby boomers begin our exodus from the workforce. Gen Xers are increasingly taking control of the company reins and will be charged to lead their organizations through the next wave of technology and corporate growth.  

  • Millennials Remember, they aren’t the new kids on the block anymore and there are a whole lot of them. The Millennial generation is expected to continue to grow as young immigrants expand its ranks.Many of them have been working for 15 years, and at the age of 37 they are already the face of leadership spanning many companies and industries. I have coached IT managers as young as 25. Yes, it impresses me as well.  


  • Gen ZThe newest generation of employees has entered the workforce. They have never known a world without digital technology or the internet. They are true digital natives with their own traits which include a quest for authenticity and connection.   

With the need for technology workers expected to exceed $3m new positions by 2025, there is a place for all generations. Most importantly, we have the opportunity to learn and grow from each other. With that, I accept Lauren’s challenge and look forward to our continued partnership.  

Will you join me?   If you want to reach out and tell her yourself, you can find her at 

Until next week!  


Mary Patry
IT Executive Advisor and Leadership Coach  
 480.393.0722 (AZ)

Let’s Talk sponsored by an IT Executive Coaching and Advisory practice targeting CIO’s challenge of leading and delivering business solutions with a focus on effective people and process capabilities. Discover the possibilities by scheduling a complimentary strategy session with Mary Patry.