The life and times of putting generations into boxes


I just made it up. Please add to the cacophony of labels like X, Y, Z, Boomers, Millenniums’, Yuppies Alpha etc.

Yawn. I am going to write a book and do lots of presentations to support my new label – not!

Just came of a ‘phone call with @Kimberly_Roden, another HR Pro.  We both have grown kids (not together I hasten to add as mine have English accents!) who would typically be classified as being GenY.  Our conversation revolved around how people will write books based on labeling groups of people, putting those groups into stereotypical “boxes” and how we should treat or not treat them.

Is this what we do to make ourselves important?  Make up labels and theories based on those labels for the sake of making tons of money on presentations and consultancy, look good in front of the bosses?  Well I am just a straight shooting Business- HR guy and I am here to tell you if you do this to please quit it!  Humans have enough labels: engaged, disengaged,  etc. Business has enough issues. Let’s get down to basics and treat people like people, regardless of their dates of birth.

Last time we peeked at a CAT scan,  our brains looked the same. Our cognitive thinking remains intact and unchanged.  We learn that babies still put stuff in their mouths and that toys are, well toys!  The last time I looked at photos of kids born in the 1950’s they looked pretty much the same as one born today. Yup brain, head, arms and legs all intact.  Nothing different except the clothing.

I agree our “world has changed.” Why do I agree because we tell each other how different it all is and therefore we are different? Gadgets came and go, people remain.  So why do we make up a lot of stuff when we can get by with much that never changes?  When we have kids, we teach them to be good people and have a wonderful life. When they grow up they need to be great mothers, fathers, employees, friends, grandparents and so on.  Today’s kids still love the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, the classics.  Last I checked, teachers are still teaching the 3 “R”s at school and the difference between right and wrong.

So let’s stop putting generational labels on all of US!

There are grandparents out there who know more about iPad2 then many kids. There are Wii bowling leagues springing up all over the place in old folk’s homes.  Heck there are travelling leagues too!

So let’s get back to basics. Treat people as people. We all love to sit on Grandma and Grandpa’s knees and listen to what life is about. We always have and your next kid will be no different!  Compassion, love, attention while looking out for the best for them.

What shouldn’t change is how people take care of people. It’s simple and it makes sense.  Want a label for that? Use your heart for the best and people will give of their best and the rest is a win-win for all.

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About HRMexplorer

Managing Director - Human Capital Europe and USA - My ability is to recognize ingrained assumptions and patterns of operation that aren’t productive, and offer practical, cost-effective and value-based solutions.

Posted on March 11, 2011, in HRMexplorer Blogs. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I agree with Steve. As a generation U (universal) member, the only difference is that I no longer run for the train!

    Thanks,

    Ian

  2. Great post. I learned the golden rule a long time ago and it still applies…Treat others as you would want to be treated.

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