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Berger Blog

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

A looming reality

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Before jumping in, I’ve re-done my website, reflecting the changes that have taken place in my business – both in what I’m doing it and where I’m doing it. To see it, go to www.transformational-consulting.com.

A few recent bits of information I’ve come across recently around the continuing shifts in our generationally diverse world.

For one, two different studies have come out recently about Gen Y/Millennials and their workplace habits, especially around social networking. A recent Lexis Nexis study shows that 62% of Millenials and Gen Xers go on social networking sites at some point during the workday, and more than half of these workers believe what they do in their social networking activities is none of the company’s business – even though it’s happening on the company’s dime. The notion is where some take breaks for a smoke or a cuppa, younger employees go on Facebook.

Furthermore, a Deloitte study showed that two-thirds of Boomers think the increased use of technology and internet – Blackberries, iPhones, text messaging, Facebook, etc – is damaging workplace etiquette. The counter argument is that people want to, (and feel the need to) be in contact with friends and family, and this enables them to do so, for reasons that are important to them.

Are any of these things big surprises? Not to most people. However it does point to the continuing struggle that is on the verge of tipping over. In the next 5-10 years, the Boomers will see their share of the workforce shrink even more. As it is, combining the Gen Xers and the Millennials gives a slight majority of the workforce. And while senior managers are more likely to be Boomers, that, too, is changing as Gen Xers are now moving into more and more executive leadership roles.

And if you wanted any other proof that this matter is moving from the interesting to the front-and-center, you should look at his month’s issue of Harvard Business Review. There’s an article in it, “How Gen Y and Boomers will reshape your agenda, drawn out of a big study from the Center for Work-Life Policy. The study is about the “bookend generations” of Boomers who are dwindling but still having an impact and the Gen Yers, who are representing a larger and larger role in the workforce. While the study points out that these two generations share some similar workplace values, one of the central points is that the younger workers are the present and the future, and we’ll have to make adjustments to deal with the ways these younger employees are not like the older, familiar ones.
posted by Michael Berger, 6:26 PM | link | 0 comments |

How are you showing up?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Before jumping in, I’ve re-done my website, reflecting the changes that have taken place in my business – both in what I’m doing it and where I’m doing it. To see it, go to www.transformational-consulting.com.

Lately, the recession has been creating some interesting wrinkles to the practice of leadership. We are witnessing the greatest economic downturn in at least three generations, and despite the recessions that have hit since the 70’s, leaders seem quite ill-equipped to deal with the current economic crisis. It’s quite easy to lead when the economy is growing, but when times are tight, money is scarce, and fear is high. A different leadership presence is needed.

It brings to mind a bit of work I’ve done with some clients around their presence. How are they showing up each day in their role? What lots of senior executives don’t remember is how contagious their moods are to the entire organisation they lead. When the CEO is anxious or gloomy, people see it and smell it. And it spreads – like a germ. The simple question about how a leader shows up each day – calm or anxious, engaging or evasive, open or closed – has a profound impact on every other person in his or her organisation.

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posted by Michael Berger, 8:28 PM | link | 0 comments |
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