Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Quote for the Day

"Opportunity is often missed because we are broadcasting when we should be tuning in." - Anonymous

Where do you need to be tuning in?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Generational Gap...What Do Our Young Generations Have to Offer?

It's fair to say that generational gaps will always be a source of sour faces. Comparing stories of uphill journeys in the snow both ways only shows the push of ego against ego. Each generation has found their own secret to happiness and wants to stake their claim. So, which generations have come the farthest and what do our younger generations have to offer?

Marketing gurus are learning that Baby Boomers are becoming their newest consumer. Moving into their "third-age," as it's being coined, these mid-lifers are looking for new hobbies, interests and careers to keep them fulfilled as they enter a revised version of retirement. Most Baby Boomers no longer want to retire completely. Instead, they are seeking careers that fulfill their passions and keep them busy while still allowing them time to play. Marika and Howard Stone have written: "Too Young to Retire," a valuable resource for Baby Boomers faced with the dilemna of "what do I do next?"

Generation X has been dealt a different hand. Pressed to work hard for what they want, many have put family and lifestyle on hold in favor of their careers. Women have forced their way through glass ceilings at all costs. With the cards on the table, some are finding that they have a choice: start a family or continue with the career they have worked so hard to build. It's a very real problem that Lia Macko and Kerry Rubin write about in: "Mid-Life Crisis at 30-How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation and What to do About It."

Critics come down hard on Generation Y saying that they want instant success, more time off and less work. I think it's important to notice the need among this generation for healthy work-life balance. It is a lesson they learned from previous generations. From my research over the past year, I have found that most Generation Y workers feel they can get more done in less time thanks to advancements in technology. As a result, they often ask to use their extra time for personal reasons because they can finish the same amount of work in less time. Many are irreplaceable in their companies as they continue to increase productivity. In addition, this generation is starting their own companies, chasing their dreams and taking chances. Fear is an afterthought to success.

Business Week recently did an article on the most successful startups by this generation. It might surprise you.

Learning from older generations, duplicating their success and failing to repeat their mistakes is smart business. Improving the system and creating a life we love to live is our responsibility. Perhaps we have something to learn from younger generations as well.