I am speaking at the Central Exchange Lyceum in Kansas a premier leadership event this month on how to work with each other in a multi-generational reality. Click here to find out more.
One of the most common questions I get asked is, “isn’t generations content a gross generalization?” or I get asked, “isn’t it ageism?”
My answer to both of those questions is that there are always differences within a structure and in the case of generations of course there are differences among a group of Gen X’s as every one is unique and we have to factor in personality/gender/culture when talking about the generations. AND there is no denying that there is a values and perspective alignment that is part of the ‘groups’ we identify in the generations
For example the environment that shaped a Zoomer (a baby boomer who refuses to age) has contributed to the ‘culture think’ of that group and the environment that shaped a Gen X was different than that of a Zoomer. The biggest environmental change that has greatly influenced all of the generations is the influx of technology in the last few decades.
The things that ALL of the generations have in common right here and right now are:
– Change, fast ongoing change that is a result of increased technology advancement and access to information
– Global connection and influence on the cultures of each country
– Rapid disintegration of ‘structures and models’ of the past
Each generation is responding to the items listed above in their ‘generation/culture’ model of the world. This has created tension in families and in the workplace as we have a ‘crashing’ of ideals and viewpoints based on different experiences of the world.
Where once the ‘society’ was focused on owning material things or seeking security we now have generational influence impacted by an every changing reality of the Gen X and Gen Y who are questioning the ‘society’ that has been created by the Traditionalists and the Zoomers.
The imperative for all of us now is to focus on how we can work together , merge ideas, creatively include all perspectives and co-create a new future a new society and a new reality.
In order to do that it is helpful to better understand the events, the context and the thinking of each of the different generations. It is not about generalizing- rather it is about contextualizing the thoughts/values of each other so that we can better appreciate and therefore work together better.