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Jun 11

Grumpy Old People and Bright Young Things

generations
I must be getting old as police officers are now looking young.  The millennials (Generation Y) are here and they are the next generation to drive change through business leadership.  They’ve got different attitudes to everything and they are uber technology savvy and modern work style adoptees.  Well that is what every marketing team in the world seems to be shouting from the rooftops.  Now before I’m accused of being a grumpy old man I do believe that we constantly have to change to meet the needs of the younger generation – I have some Generation Z folks asleep in various rooms of my house right now.  And just as back in the day I was adept at programming on a ZX Spectrum and my elders of the day were impressed I now see my Gen Z’s interacting with touch devices, and I’m sure the generation after that will be comfortable with the miniature devices and interfaces of the 2030’s. 

So I want to make some arguments that will help folk not just focus on millennials, and my argument is two fold:

  1. The whole world population is ageing.  We are all getting older, including the millennials.  As the population ages we need to focus on that multi-generational need.  The need to ensure we have experiences in the workplace that enable each generation to work together, to collaborate and share knowledge is critical.
  2. My second point is that I don’t believe its the Millennials who are driving change.  I believe it is innovators and disrupters who are driving change – they are from each generation; although I will bow to the fact that the millennial generation seems more comfortable with challenging authority and are hence more likely to be disrupters.  I do however affirm my stance that some of the most disruptive people in my networks are much older than me (and I’m getting into the grumpy territory!).

Finally a giveaway (well its really a giveaway with attribution) is a visualization of data from the United Nations on average age to show my point that we really aren’t getting younger:

age profiles