Generations

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In February 2009 Jamie Notter and I launched The Hourglass Blog. We did so in order to explore a specific issue related to generational change in the workplace--namely the impact those changes would have and were having on leadership in our organizations and organizations like them. As members of Generation X, we were interested in documenting the changes our generation would bring to our leadership environment as we moved into positions of authority in greater and greater numbers.

Over nearly three years, we explored many facets of this issue--and I personally learned a lot about generations and the frequent hype that surrounds them. We chose the hourglass as the symbol for the blog both because GenX is sometimes called the Hourglass Generation (pinched, if you will, between two larger generations) and because we were sensitive to the time-limited nature of the topic we were exploring. There would come a day, we knew, when the changes GenX could or could not bring to our society would no longer be a matter of speculation or challenge. One way or the other, they would be an established fact.

Although we stopped publishing on The Hourglass Blog in December 2011, generation-specific workplace issues and leadership styles continue to be an interest area of mine. Here's an index of posts related to generations that appear on this blog:

Baby Boomers

01/02/12 - Dear Older Generation: It's Not Just Your America
You're right. The America you know, love and understand doesn't exist any more. So what?

12/05/11 - Calling Everyone (Not Just Boomers): Which Battle Are You Fighting?
Are we all destined to act in the manner of these Boomers in this opinion piece? I have to battle, I have to provide, I have to succeed, or that success will have no meaning in my life or in the lives of the people I serve. Is there a better way?

Generational Divides

09/10/12 - Is American Exceptionalism a Generational Thing?
It seems to me that it is members of the younger generations who have more often than not gotten over this thing called American Exceptionalism, especially its most rabid form, in which a believer must agree that not only is America exceptional, but that it is the most exceptional country in the history of the world.

03/26/12 - Online Privacy and Generational Divides
I think progress is on the side of the younger generation on this one. The older generation will go kicking and screaming, but eventually we will enter a time when the very concept of "online privacy" will lose its political force. No one will care about it enough to ensure that online systems even take it into consideration.

Generational Myths

11/28/16 - Tell True Stories About Your Members
Chalking up the preferred activities and habits of our conference attendees to their generational proclivities oversimplifies and obscures what is really going on. Like all of us, they are much more products of their culture and socioeconomics than of their generation.

Millennials

09/19/11 - Millennials Are the New Slackers
Millennials are the new kids on the block when it comes to the workplace. And like the Xers that preceded them, they are coming of age in a time of massive joblessness and economic uncertainty. They have youthful enthusiasm and a fresh way of seeing things, and we're witnessing what happens when ideals like that collide with the powerful status quo, protected ever more preciously by an older generation not quite ready to let go.