The M-Factor: Why The Milennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace

I’m putting in a little plug here for my friend Debra Fiterman who recently bought a company called Bridgeworks. The company focuses on getting people of different generations to understand each other better, thus improving conditions in the workplace.Today the company put out a new book called The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace.

Book: The M-Factor: Why the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace

Authors: Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman

Here is a blurb from Publisher’s Weekly:

Lancaster and Stillman, consultants and coauthors of When Generations Collide, give a David Attenborough–worthy documentation of the lifestyle and habits of the Millennial Nation, the generation born between 1982 and 2000. Marked by attentive, “helicopter” parents, schools  that propagate high self-esteem, and an ingrained comfort with/dependency on technology, the Millennials are tarred as flighty, entitled, self-involved dilettantes, but Lancaster and Stillman encourage managers not to judge but to coach and tap into such Milennial talents as speed, social networking, and collaboration. Lively stories illustrate the generation gap and general communication failures between “Traditionalists,” “Boomers,” “Generation X-ers,” and “Millennials.” The authors do an earnest job in encouraging the generations to attempt to understand each other. Their thorough analysis of how various generations can complement each other makes a strong case for the value of younger people in the workplace—though anyone over the age of 25 will be horrified by the tales of young workers’ parents agitating for their offsprings’ promotions—with said offsprings’ full blessing.

I think the difference between the generations is a facinating topic. I’m always called a “baby” at work when I ask about something that is common knowledge to the generation ahead of mine. It goes both ways because when I talk about certain things I get those looks as if to say, “What the heck are you talking about?” There is definitely a disconnect between the generations in any job. I categorize myself as a millennial since I grew up with technology always at my fingertips. This has certainly affected my teaching and how I relate to students and it is easy for me to see how different generations could have a different take on things than I do.

How has being a member of a certain generation, Traditionalist, Boomer, Gen-Xer, or Millennial affected you at work?

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4 Responses

  1. Interesting blog, Julie, but it’s missing an important part of the equation: Generation Jones (between the Boomers and Generation X). Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten lots of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press’ annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009.

    It is important to distinguish between the post-WWII demographic boom in births vs. the cultural generations born during that era. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. And most analysts now see generations as getting shorter (usually 10-15 years now), partly because of the acceleration of culture. Many experts now believe it breaks down more or less this way:

    DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
    Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
    Generation Jones: 1954-1965
    Generation X: 1966-1978
    Generation Y/Millennials: 1979-1993

    Here are some good links about GenJones I found:

    http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20090127/column27_st.art.htm

    http://generationjones.com/2009latest.html

  2. I feel like Gen X’ers think that Millennials (or Gen Y as I like to call us) have a horribly entitled attitude. The difference is that Gen X’ers suffered from an utter lack of jobs due to the number of Boomers. Thus, they had to fight tooth and nail in the job market. Gen Y’ers still face such problems but I sometimes feel like Gen Xers think we have a permanent silver spoon in our mouths.

  3. I’ve only worked two years and during that time, saw all the Millenials give the office a whole face-lift! Most of the fun in office has been thanks to my gen. But other than that I have not noticed much effect.

    Good book. I’ll be looking this up!

  4. I haven’t heard of this book, but I love reading things like this. I was born in 1978 so I am right on the border of the two generations. I think that growing up as computers evolved helped me to understand them more than most – I was writing simple computer programs when I was 8. I’m not sure I’d have found it so easy if computers were complicated from my birth.

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