Thursday, September 18, 2014

Don't Gap the Boomer

Since moving in the direction of business development and doing a little consulting and on all sorts of things, I cannot help but take a particular interest in the Millennial Generation (Gen Y).  I figure I can take a little license on the topic, because I have been teaching Business (Dining) Etiquette for over a decade. While I continue to provide my popular program at the local Universities here in St. Louis, I thought it time to dig a little deeper into the grey matter of our youth.  For good reason.  

It's been a pretty significant jump into the psyche of those born post 1981 to 1994. I sought first to find out what is in store for my kid, who sits smack dab in the middle. Some folks think Millennials could be the most influential generation yet. I tend to agree with this but feel there is a significant disconnect between the two. Take senior management for instance, now often represented by the Baby Boomer.  Enter the Millennial, our beloved Millennials and the widening interpersonal communication gap. We both need each other, desperately.

I have immersed myself in many studies and reports on the topic, most outlining needs, likes and dislikes, peculiarities, values etc..  Being a Baby Boomer, I find it quite interesting the similarities. One being that we are consistent in the numbers that we represent during our periods of coming to age.  The Harvard Business review predicted that in 2016, Millennials will make up over half of the work force.  Way back in 1965, the same thing was happening, over half of the American population was over the age of 25.  

What makes this even more interesting is how advertising and marketing shaped the Boomers self-perception, and now shapes the Millennial; who they are, what they are entitled to and what motivates them.  Marketeers, just like back in the 60's, focused diligently on the volume to sell consumer products; music, fashion and technology, with less attention placed on other demographics by default. 

In my new module, we will discover together how the Boomers match up with the Millennial; how they line up with one another.  I will draw attention to the gap that has been created by (you guessed it) technology.  I will present compelling evidence that a focus on conventional relationship management still requires skill building and commitment. As obvious as the Boomer having much to learn about what ignites the next greatest generation, is the the gap by which Millennials communicate face to face. Don't Gap the Boomer!    

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