“I’m having an ah-ha moment,” the Gen X manager said. Everyone in the conference room turned her way. She indicated a Boomer sitting nearby. “You think I don’t hear you.” The Boomer nodded. “It seems to me that you focus on the technology and lose the content.” The room was quiet. Something important had begun.
In my work, I think of these as moments when the fish sees the water.
Bear with me here. In this analogy, the generations are fish and the water is history. No, this is not one of those which-fish-are-you Facebook quizzes. But if it is, dibs on shark. Tweet This
Each generation is born into a specific time in history. In fact, that’s want makes a generation a generation—a shared address in history. As a group, each gen absorbs the mood, social behaviors and technology of its era into its very bones. Yet we never really see our era, we just swim in it.
The ways we think, talk and work seem perfectly normal and reasonable to those of us in our generation.
But not to everybody else.
Naturally. They are a response to our times, and our times are all we know. Unless we read a lot of history or anthropology, we are hardly aware of how particular and unique our orientation is to the world, or of how odd it seems to people who grew up in different times.
But now and then, in our ah-ha moments, we do manage to see the differences and to understand them.
That’s when the magic happens (Boomer speak). That’s when efficiencies emerge (Gen X talk). Awesome (Millennial parlance). Tweet This
Which brings up back to the conference room. As the Xer and Boomer talked, each glimpsed the way the other thought. They even laughed and shook hands across the table. (Did i mention I love my job).
President of Generational Edge, Amy Lynch has written and spoken about the generations for 15 years. She has spoken to 100s of groups from MTV and Comcast to Boeing, J&J and the staff of the U.S. Senate. Amy has been quoted in national publications, including The Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune and NBC Evening News, among others.