Monday, August 24, 2009

Bookends versus books

Get ready for a bunch of articles like this one, that herald a new day brought to you by the two biggest generations in our history: Boomers and Millennials. The Center for Work-Life Policy just put out a report called "Bookend Generations: Leveraging Talent and Finding Common Ground" that talks about how these generations are shaping the workforce:

Two dominant demographic cohorts—Gen Y and Baby Boomers—are redefining what it takes for a company to be an "employer of choice." The 78 million Boomers and 70 million Gen Ys crave flexibility, personal growth, connection, and opportunities to "give back." The Bookend Generations are remapping old ideals of success as they pursue a "Rewards Remix" that prizes meaning and choice over money.

The report is $40, so I'll pass for now. I'll have to go check out the article in HBR. I agree that the size of the two generations is significant and that they are a major force in the workplace. But please remember that generational differences is a topic within the general field of DIVERSITY. Would you ignore 25% of the population if they weren't like you? I'm not convinced that it's only the "bookend generations" that are remapping old ideals of success. I don't think it's that simple. I'm thinking the books might be involved in that process too.

2 comments:

steveroesler said...

Jamie,

At the risk of sounding "bookendish" (I'm not), I've been paying into social security since 1961. So I've seen a few generations come (and go) and am still "out there" every day in the corporate workplace.

This is totally anecdotal and based entirely on life experience to date: Generational "statistics" and alleged "influence" in the workplace is great for selling fear and books, but I simply don't see it as having any impact of any consequence in workplaces.

Because someone or some group "feels" a certain way has little or nothing to do with how they perform unless genuinely discriminated against based upon age, etc.

I also don't know of many execs who aren't aware that thousands of years of history show that it's good to ask, "Hey, what are the (younger, older, middle aged, Gen PDQ) folks thinking these days?"

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Thanks for shining a light on the "issue". . .

ConnectingTheDots said...

Interesting blog, but it’s missing an important part of the equation: Generation Jones (born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and Generation X). Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten a ton of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press' annual Trend Report forecast the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009. Here's a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones: http://generationjones.com/2009latest.html

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