“OK, Boomer” is, IMHO, yet another symptom of the divisive dynamics that continue to pervade our culture and our communications; ultimately undermining the very goal for which we all ought best to be striving, collectively.
This is, effectively, another smugly dismissive response between disparate groups, contributing to the not-so-gradual extinction of common ground…common ground that we all need to fertilize, nurture and stand.
This ageism on the part of youth seems just as egregious and just as negative as that same dismissiveness on the part of the Boomer-pluses that more or less catalyzed this bridge-burning in the first place.
NOT that they don’t have reason to feel the way they do. They do. Boomers as a generation have blown it. That responsibility does not, though, apply to every, individual Boomer any more than any generalization applies to any group being generalized.
There is a lot of talk and a lot of writing taking place that addresses the differences and cites the powerful potential inherent in respectful communication between and collaboration among all of The Labeled. Standouts on stages and platforms are Simon Sinek, Chip Conley, and the eminently insightful Brené Brown.
These three accomplished individuals represent to me three of the most important pillars of The Way Forward From Here. Their writing, speaking and the sharing of their philosophies hold, I think, the crux of an answer to an effective destination point of this Age of Disruption.
(Which isn’t to say that Disruption is “bad” or should stop; but at the other end of any disruptive process might best be sought an evolved, enlightened and productive resolution. N’est-çe pas?)
Sinek, in his conversation on “Millennials in the Workplace”, articulates and shares a generous, authentic and, I think, accurate perspective on how this demographic came to be perceived as it is. He does this in a way that has visibly moved audiences of Millennials, simply from hearing themselves accurately and empathetically perceived.
Conley, with his concept of the Modern Elder, makes a salient point in this talks of the potential multilateral learning and vastly enhanced productivity and revelation possible when the disparately-wired brains of aspirational younger minds engage in collaboration with experienced perspectives offered by the open minded Elder.
(…and, btw, that “open minded” thing is essential in all cases; or it just…won’t…work.)
Brown, one of my personal Heroes, is about self-awareness, listening to and examining and knowing oneself as an ongoing process and a perspective through which to perceive others. It’s virtually impossible for me to choose just one link for her; as I learn or recognize something of myself almost every time I hear or watch her. This piece, on “Blame”, and this, on “The Power of Vulnerability”, are two that illustrate her insight and relevance.
Then, of course, my all-time favorite one on “Empathy”; this one kills. You will relate.
All across the web and on convention and conference stages, everywhere; intelligent and enlightened people are talking and sharing and pitching the inherent value in the concept of multigenerational collaboration and urging corporate leaders, HR experts, entrepreneurs and visionaries to reassess the the value to their specific and particular vision, businesses or quests that lives in the minds, hearts and Experience of Those Living Under the Grey.
Yet. I sense that so much of this perspective-sharing is being intellectualized rather than actualized; that audiences hear and agree but don’t have the tools or networks to access, familiarize and appreciate those of the other demo’s… And, in most cases, I think that the concepts are embraced, academically, without a practical avenue for realization.
Thus, it doesn’t happen. It’s not happening. Progress is slow. Bots and HR parameters (in general) still tend to filter out individuals of vast potential value with SOP and old tools already in place.
What I see missing (and I could be wrong, but I ain’t seen it) is the proactive facilitation of bringing these minds together in physical space where free-form conversation can be had in the context of discovery.
So that’s what I am throwing out there for consideration, for discussion, for Action.
Could a Next Step not be the creation of informal forums for the mixing of the disparately categorized with one another? Speed-Familiarizing? (Get it? Speed-dating reference.)
I believe that this would, of necessity, need to be curated by the credible in order to be perceived as and actually BE credible.
How to enable actual, fruitful cross-generational discovery; to make Pheromonal Connections and discovery of like minds in unforeseen packages: to allow the divided to experience among themselves the energy and power that is possible in the very collaborations that such understanding can foster.
I don’t actually know how this would look. It calls, I think, for personal engagement in the curation of the mixed group by leaders with acuity recognized within given contexts – national, local, whatever. A more directed inspiration for the shared conversations that helps to open windows into the personae of one another beyond business; yet not at all a set of “exercises” or a structured formality.
In fact; one of the tenets of such informal conversational gatherings might be a restriction on talking business and suggesting that life lessons, anecdotes and discoveries be shared, one-to-one. Individuals interviewing one another and gaining a sense of the person facing them and let the qualifications and perspectives shine through.
AND, it calls for open examination and eradication of preconception on the part of all.
Someone want to take this on? Chip? 😉
Still popular throughout the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies, “IMHO : Creating Compelling Experience” remains a free download from the Apple bookstore and iTunes.
Seriously: Free. IKR?! Read it. Link: IMHO : Creating Compelling Experience