Diversity: Bridging the Generational Gap: Baby Boomers

In the previous posts, I discussed the Matures

Baby BoomersPicture credit to Bloomberg Business Week

In the previous post, I discussed the general characters of the Matures Generation. Continuing the sequence of the generations, we meet the Baby Boomers who were born in a post-war era. The Vietnam War erupted, the civil rights movement was shaping up, and taking on a life of its own. The cold war started, John and Bob Kennedy, as well as Martin Luther King, Jr., were assassinated. Woodstock was the event of the century. The Baby Boomers era also marked the beginning of the Women’s movement and the emergence of Feminism.

The Baby Boomers period was a very complex one in terms of how this generation’s world was affected and is reflected in their behaviors, values, beliefs and characters. The Matures laid the groundwork for the United States to become an influential member of the world community. The Boomers came behind them, with their intense work ethic and their competitive nature; they got  US productivity to the forefront of the world community.

Today, the Boomers are in control of business, government, and culture. They are the CEOs of most companies, executives, faculty professors, supervisors and managers; they dominate the workplace.

Boomers are still working very hard, but questioning whether it was worth it, as they have seen massive layoffs and downsizing caused by the tough economic conditions. Boomers are currently changing their outlook on work, and reexamining their values concerning work, family and culture.

• Baby Boomers’ generation marked the highest birth rates ever in the US.

• Famous examples of the Baby Boomers’ generations: Bill and Hilary Clinton, The Beatles, President Obama, Oprah, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Bill Gates and Steven Jobs.

• Their music rocked. Rock and Roll was an expression of their generational identity. They listened to the Beatles, Motown sounds, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and The Supremes. The real revolution was the transistor radio that was portable and could be carried everywhere. Colored TVs as well as the Peace symbol also mark the era.

• Workplace: Boomers started the “Workaholic” expression. They care about getting the job done no matter how long it took. They believe that teamwork is a key to success, as well as building relationships. They love face to face long meetings. They are competitive and defined by their works and their work ethics.

• Family: Work came first; they worked very hard and for very long hours. That affected their families, hence the high rate of divorce of the Boomers’ generation. Two income homes started to bud, as women entered the workplace in big numbers.

• Leadership: They changed the McGregor’s management style from Theory X to Theory Y, a participative and collaborative style of management. They respect power and achievements.

• Culture Ethos: Individuality, the “ME” generation. Rebuilding was their motto. Demanding personal freedoms, individually seeking personal fulfillment. They looked at education as a birthright.

• Communications: Somewhat formal and through structured networks. They choose face-to-face conversations, and practice diplomacy.

• Recognition and motivation: Public acknowledgement and career advancement counted the most. They love to hear how much they are valued and how much they are needed. Success is displayed by certificates, trophies and plaques.

• Technology: Necessary for progress and advancement.

• As a customer: They worked too long and too hard, interested in products that save them time and put them in control of their lives. They want products customized for them, the individual. They want also want products that reflect status and success. Famous brand names reflect these qualities: Mercedes, BMW, Cartier etc…

Generation X will be discussed in the next post.

Till then, remember Diversity starts at home,

Sahar Andrade
Diversity Consultant – Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC.
http://www.saharconsulting.com
(818)861 9434

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3 thoughts on “Diversity: Bridging the Generational Gap: Baby Boomers

  1. Great info provided for the Matures and Boomers generations. Would have been great to see the same type of info provided for GenX and GenY too.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Diversity: Bridging the Generational Gap: Baby Boomers « Saharconsulting's Blog -- Topsy.com

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