Posts Tagged ‘generations’

What Does the Workforce of the Future Look Like?

September 12th, 2010

Hi All!

I’m going to keep this short because I’ve got lots to work on today. But on Wednesday I’m heading to Chicago to conduct a presentation for a large corporation, along with 5 other Thought Leaders, on the “Future of the Workforce”.

We’ve been asked to discuss trends and our insights about how work environments, and the role of HR, will shift over the next 5-20 years…everything from generations at work, diversity training, communication tools, technology, management, recruiting, retention, employee benefits, global teams, and much more, will be covered. Cool stuff!

During my research I came across some interesting info about this hot topic, and here are links to a few articles and websites that contain great info to check out:

1. Shaping the Workforce of the Future by Barry Salzberg

2. HR 2018: Future View by Ed Frauenheim

3. Meet the Future of the Workforce PriceWaterhouseCoopers website

4. Get Ready to Swarm: 10 Changes to the Way We Work in the Next Decade by Tom Austin

There are quite a few interesting insights, so be sure to look at these resources! And if the company I’m working with in Chicago is okay with me sharing content from the event this week, I’ll do so when I get back from my trip!

Bye for now,


New Study Reveals What Gen Y is "Really" Looking For in a Job

May 14th, 2010

Hi All!

A new study is coming out in the Journal of Management that some employers may find surprising (or not!) regarding Millennial job seekers and employees. Here is the overview…

Much has been written and reported about the altruistic aspirations of GenY –– those born between 1982 and 1999. The notion that they value interesting, fulfilling jobs that provide them with an opportunity to “give back” has influenced how corporate America recruits and retains this younger generation of workers.

But according to a new study forthcoming in the Journal of Management, GenY (also known as GenMe or Millennials) is actually a bit more focused on “having their cake and eating it too.”

“Many times the media make it seem like GenY is the first generation to want a meaningful job, but according to our findings, that is not the case,” says Stacy Campbell, co-author of the study and professor of management at the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. “Our study found that the most important thing to Gen Y workers is finding a job that pays well and gives them more free time to do what they want outside of work.”

According to the study –– the first to provide hard, empirical data to support how work values differ among the GenMe, Generation X and Baby Boomers –– these surprising results have significant implications for companies as the Baby Boomers continue to retire and GenMe populates the work force.

To learn more about this study, click here to read a recent article in the NY Post.

Good pay and flexibility…while wanting good pay is not a big “shocker” for employers, adjusting “old school” cultures to provide flexibility, is (for many). I just had this conversation with a colleague today…employees, from all generations, are wanting to work differently. And if companies want to better engage and retain their talent, they need to start changing their workforce “ways”…now.

Bye for now,


Twitter @GenerationsGuru

New Report Reveals How Changing Demographic Trends Are Affecting US Politics

March 09th, 2010

Hi All!

Here is some very timely, interesting info to be aware of. Without me re-hashing their overview info, here are the details that were provided to me:

This new report, authored by NDN Fellows Morley Winograd and Mike Hais and based on a 2,500-person poll, takes an in-depth look at how America’s population is changing and how the two political parties are responding to these changes.

America is going though profound demographic change. Its population is moving to the South and West. New groups – particularly Hispanics and the largest generation in American history, Millennials (aka Gen Y) – have emerged. Large waves of immigration have helped put America on a path to become a majority minority nation by the mid century. This new American Electorate of the 21st Century is creating a “new politics” in America, forcing both the Democratic and Republican Parties to forge new political coalitions and new electoral maps very different from the ones they built, ran on and governed with in the 20th century.

This new report takes an in-depth look at how America’s population is changing, and how the two political parties are responding to these changes. Critically acclaimed authors and NDN Fellows Mike Hais and Morley Winograd present the findings of a new major market research project designed to help policy makers and political leader better understand these changes and how they might impact the 2010 and future elections, for both parties. At the core of this new presentation will be the findings of a just completed new 2,500 person national survey, whose large sample size will allow effective comparisons across generations and groups.

The presentation and report will take a special look at one of the big questions in American politics today – Can the new Obama Coalition become the new Democratic Coalition? Is the way President Obama won in 2008, with a very different map and different voters, a road map for future Democratic success or a coalition unique to him? And what does this all mean for 2010?



Thanks, Morley, for letting me know about this and sharing the info! GREAT WORK!

Bye for now,


Terrific New Book: What's Next, Gen X? by Tamara Erickson

January 30th, 2010

Hi All,

I recently received a copy of Tamara Erickson’s new book: “What’s Next, Gen X? Keeping Up, Moving Ahead, and Getting the Career You Want”. It’s really an interesting read (especially if your a member of Gen X), where she accurately (I think) discusses the issues Xer’s face being the “stuck in the middle” generation, but follows that up with a framework Gen X can follow for shaping and creating a meaningful career. I also totally agree with her overview of “who” Gen X is as it’s completely inline with how I describe them in the books I’ve written and in the seminars I conduct.

Below is a clip from a Press Release about her book that will explain it far better than I. But, after that, I’ve also included a terrific interview with Tamara for more insights. You’ll also see  her complete bio and contact info at the very bottom of this post.

Here’s a clip from the Press Release about the book that can explain it a bit better than I:

MEMBERS OF GENERATION X—the 30-to-44 age cohort—have drawn the short stick when it comes to work. The economy has been stacked against them from the beginning. Worse, they’re sandwiched between Boomers (with their constant back-patting blather and refusal to retire) and Gen Y’s (with their relentless confidence and demands for attention).

Gen X’s are stuck in the middle—of their lives and between two huge generations that dote on each other and that are taking up a little too much of X’ers’ room.

But they can move forward in their career. In What’s Next, Gen X? Tamara Erickson shows how. She explains the forces affecting attitudes and behaviors in other generations—Traditionalists (born 1928-1945), Boomers (born 1946-1964), X’ers, and Y’ers (born 1980-1995)—so X’ers can start relating more productively with bosses, peers, and employees.

Erickson then assesses Gen X’ers progress in life so far and analyzes the implications of organizational and technological changes for their professional future. She lays out a powerful framework for shaping a satisfying, meaningful career, revealing how X’ers can:

  • Use their unique capabilities to become effective leaders
  • Identify work that matches what they care most about
  • Succeed in a corporate career or an entrepreneurial venture
  • Spot and seize newly emerging professional opportunities

For example, she explains how X’ers can find a type of work and a place of work that suits them—by identifying work activities that engage them, that feel effortless and energizing, and that activate “life lures” such as the opportunity to create something of lasting value, to be part of a winning team, or to take on interesting challenges.

Provocative and engaging, What’s Next, Gen X? helps the 30-to-44 set break free from the middle—and chart a fulfilling course for the years ahead.


You wrote a book for Boomers and one for members of Generation Y. Why a book for Gen X?

Each of these generations faces unique challenges and brings specific strengths to today’s workplace. For organizations to succeed in the challenging years ahead, they need a combination of the best from each generation. In Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation, my message to Boomers was to find ways to remain productive contributors. And in Plugged In: The Generation Y Guide to Thriving at Work, my message to Y’s was to blend their strengths with the realities of the corporate world.

For Gen X, the challenge is that they’re wedged between two huge generations competing for the same opportunities. X’ers need to maximize their peak career years to their full advantage, given today’s turbulent economy. And the steps they take over the next decade will shape their long-term financial stability and achievement of other goals. I wrote this book for them—to invite them to reflect on what they’ll do next and to offer ideas for exploring new possibilities.

In one of your new book’s chapters, you explain how X’ers can “make the organization you work for work for you.” Can you provide an example of how to do this?

Almost 95 percent of X’ers work in organizations that are owned or managed by others. To get whatever they want in those organizations, they need to be perceived as valuable contributors and work effectively with others. This is especially critical during economic downturns. Probably the most important thing they can do is play to their strengths. They need to cash in on the returns they acquired from the time and energy they spent during their twenties and zero in on what they’re really good at and what they’re not. I present a list of questions that can help them identify how they can stand out from others, communicate their “brand,” and cut out the things that aren’t their strong suit.

In what respects can X’ers provide needed leadership in the coming years?

Future leaders in all spheres will have to contend with a world characterized by finite limits, no easy answers, complex problems on multiple fronts, and an increasingly diverse range of viewpoints. I’m convinced that X’ers will bring important leadership qualities to that world. They’re richly multicultural, as their awareness of global issues was shaped in their youth. They bring a more unconscious acceptance of diversity than any preceding generation. And they’re incredibly pragmatic. They’re the ones who’ll manage crises by applying toughness and resolution; questioning long-held truths; and breaking the destructive norms of corporate life, such as long hours, narrow-minded perspectives, and a language of combat. Their unique strengths will enable them to foster adaptability in organizations facing ambiguity and to spur the innovation needed for organizations to survive.


TAMARA ERICKSON is President of The nGenera Innovation Network ( She is both a respected McKinsey Award-winning author and popular and engaging storyteller. Her compelling views of the future are based on extensive research on changing demographics and employee values and, most recently, on how successful organizations work. Her work discerns and describes interesting and important trends in our future and provides actionable counsel to help organizations and individuals prepare today. Tammy ( has coauthored five Harvard Business Review articles (including McKinsey Award winner “It’s Time to Retire Retirement”), the book Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent, and an MIT Sloan Management Review article. Visit her blog, “Across the Ages” on

Random Generations News: Kanye, Swift, Williams, Swayze and Prince Harry

September 15th, 2009

Hi All,

What a weird couple of days it has been. So this is one of my random posts about stuff that has occurred in the news or world that grabbed my attention.

Sunday was all about Millennials Gone Mad. First, we had Serena Williams totally lose her mind at the US Open tennis tournament. She yelled continuously at a line judge, and said (quote) “I will shove this f**king ball down your throat!”. Yesterday she released an apology.

Then, that same day, Kanye West totally freaked out at the MTV’s VMA’s by grabbing the mic from Taylor Swift as she accepted her award, ranting that Beyonce’s video was better. He’s an idiot. But luckily Beyonce showed her usual class by letting Taylor finish her acceptance speech when she (Beyonce) won later that night for Video of the Year. Considering Kanye is good friends with Jay-Z, husband of Beyonce, I’m sure the discussions they’ll have (and have had) around this will be a tad uncomfortable. Beyonce was clearly mortified when Kanye went on his rant.

I was watching the show so was in total shock, along with most viewers, when this whole thing transpired. He is a mess. I like Kanye’s music, but he needs help, and has serious anger issues. Truly, the man’s filter is broken. Apparently he has called Taylor to apologize, but whatever.

Here is a link to a video clip of Taylor’s appearance on The View discussing the whole situation.

Then, yesterday, actor/dancer (Baby Boomer) Patrick Swayze of Ghost and Dirty Dancing fame, died of pancreatic cancer after a 2 year battle. Although I wasn’t shocked when I saw the breaking news yesterday, it’s still sad. He was only 57 and was well liked by the industry because he was said to be a terrific person. Swayze was also a 3 time Golden Globe nominee. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi.

And on another random, Prince Harry, Millennial son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, turned 25 years old today. With this birthday, he gets access to part of his inheritance left to him by his mother. No solid reports have been released about exactly how much it is, but a report in April estimated that he and his brother, Prince William, are each worth around $50 million. I’m sure he’ll have a very happy birthday today!

Okay…that’s all. Just stuff I wanted to write about, non workforce or business related…random generations news.

Follow me on Twitter for regular tweets on all kinds of stuff related to generations at work, business, and culture: @GenerationsGuru

Bye for now!


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