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Berger Blog

Expanding the discussion of Generatonal issues in organizations, Leadership, and Individual & Professional Growth.

Still more...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

An interesting article appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s online version a couple of days ago.  It was about what companies and Grad schools are expecting out of the batch of Millennials entering MBA programs in the US.

The article, “Millennial MBAs prompt B-Schools to Shift Gears,” did a very nice job painting a broad picture of what’s already happening in a lot of grad schools and businesses.  

In essence, grad schools, recruiters, HR departments, and front-line managers are going to need to be ready for this youngest generation and all of the support and strength that they bring…from their parents!  And I don’t mean the traits of hard-headedness or empathy one of their parents may have passed along.

No, I mean the way their Boomer parents set up school conferences to argue their grades (in elementary school!), the way their parents made sure that their lives were totally structured, supported, and protected, the way their parents showed up for all of the little league games and screamed at the Ump for blowing the call or at the other team’s coach for running up the score.

The way it will be translated as this generation enters the workforce is parents advocating for little Billy’s mid-term grade at the Fletcher School of Business.  Or in disputing Sally’s year-end review that was, in her parent’s eyes, one-sided and biased against her.  There will be parents coming along on job interviews and entrance interviews.  There are other issues about workplace dynamics, technology, collaborating, and job meaning for this generation, but we’ll save that for later.  

posted by Michael Berger, 7:38 PM | link | 1 comments |

Gaining Momentum

Friday, February 17, 2006

A colleague of mine in British Columbia sent me a news blurb that talks about the Generational realities that are emerging inside of organizations with a bit of the force I’ve been awaiting. The blurb, from Knight-Ridder, read:

For the first time ever, four generations are active and critical to the American work force--the Silent Generation (ages 61 to 79, baby boomer (ages 42 to 60), Generation Xers (ages 25 to 41) and Millennials (24 and under). Experts also say that managers and their companies will have to deal with 70 million children of baby boomers joining the ranks of management and supervising workers who may be old enough to be their parents. Many businesses are moving quickly to adapt to these trends, and they are hiring generational consultants to help them do that. Much like a management analyst, generational analysts analyze work environments and recommend changes to improve the effectiveness of an organization's initiatives. Although generational consultants typically convey their knowledge by speaking in front of groups, they sometimes work one-on-one with clients.

While the phenomenon of this is very well known to me, as are the specifics and the implications, what is interesting is how the momentum around this issue is building. I’ve been seeing, reading, and hearing more buzz about the Multi-generational issue in the past four months than I have in the past five years I’ve been working with this dynamic. The dynamic has moved from theory and into reality.

One of the most interesting conversations I had around this recently was with the HR manager in charge of a sales and marketing group for a financial services company. His group was made up primarily of Millennials and the turnover rate in his group was almost 70 percent within 18 months of hire. After hearing his story, I asked him a few questions about what they are doing and made a few suggestions to start thinking about this group of people differently. It was like someone had turned on the light. And once that light was on, the whole scene looked a little differently to him. In this era of ultra competitiveness for market share and talent, some of the little tweaks and changes are what’s going to make a great deal of difference.

posted by Michael Berger, 2:50 PM | link | 0 comments |
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