My employer had a wonderful workshop last week on collaboration and communication, specifically in a work environment that includes all four generational groups:
- Pre-boomers: born before 1945
- Boomers 1946 – 1967
- Generation X born 1968 – 1984
- Generation Y born 1984 – 1993
The facilitator, Olivia McIvor from The Organizational Culture Group assured us that the beginning dates of each population segment vary by researcher or article. But the workshop explained so much to me. Obviously it is copyrighted and I will honor that requirement. But her comments drove me to the web to do lots of research of my own.
Making predictions about the future is more of a guessing game now than at any other time in history. Technological change is exponential rather than linear. Society can’t begin to comprehend the changes that are coming. We won’t see them until we are living in them because the rate of change is faster today than ever before.
WARNING: this video includes a soundtrack
I think about my Grandmother, who was born in 1898. She emigrated to Canada from the US in a wagon. At one time they drove a team of horses, then a Model T Ford. She was never convinced that the pictures of Neil Armstrong on the moon were real: she didn’t believe we could do something so outrageous and send back pictures to ‘prove’ it. On the other hand, my four year old granddaughter discovered ‘Angry Birds’ on my phone a couple of weeks ago. She played for at least thirty minutes, managing to change the settings on my phone at the same time. Then she moved to my tablet and played for a while longer. She’s four! And now her eighteen month old sister has discovered the game and loves it.
I’d like to tell you that she’s a genius but I am not sure of that, so I won’t go down that path. But I do think she’s part of the new generation for whom technology is normal. Her parents have always had computers, laptops, cell phones, tablets and notebooks around. Both of them work in the Tech business. And all of this is a normal part of her life.
While I remember not having a telephone, and then getting a party line, a corded landline and eventually a cordless phone. Finally I have a smart phone. Life is good.
I can only hope that my forays into the world of technology allow me to keep one step ahead of my grandchildren…at least for the next few years.