Morris Massey and “Where You Are Is Where You Were When”

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Back in the 70’s a Marketing professor at the University of Colorado had an interesting “generation” theory and some provocative videos starting with “What you are is where you were when”. I can still see him in his leisure suit addressing the large conference audience.

Basically he was talking about generations and their common value systems. Maybe this lecture was the beginning of my deep interest in understanding generational differences.

One aspect he discussed was what the defining moments were for each generation. Without a doubt, the oldest generation will never forget the bombing of Pearl Harbor and its impact. With the Baby Boomers, everyone was deeply affected by the assignation of President John F. Kennedy. Sometimes it is harder to determine the defining moment for Generation X. There were a number of major events when they were young, but often I have heard the Challenger Disaster when many were following the launch at school. For Generation Y (the Millennials), it is easier: 9/11.

Morris Massey took a close look particularly at people around the age of ten and what was happening at that time in their lives and connected the common aspects that resulted in defining the generation’s values.

With YouTube today, you can find his lectures and his takes on values and generational differences. His value analysis theory has had an impact on me and I hope you will check some of his videos out and see if it increases your understanding of why each generation is the way it is and why they have many common values.

Strategies and Variations in Playing Generations The Game

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The first thing I learned in human relations is “people are individual and different”. One size does not usually fit all. In this game there are different ways to play: you may play as single players, or you may play as a team. If playing as a team, it is advantageous to select players of different generations and areas of knowledge expertise for your team. This way you can cover more bases.

You can win by answering the first question on the card you draw correctly and then turning the play to the next team or, if you answered it correctly, you may roll again and attempt to answer a more difficult “challenge” question. If your team answers the challenge question correctly you can move ahead the number of spaces on the die. If you miss it, however, you will have to move back the same number on the die. It is like the theory of “the Tortoise and the Hare”, steady or risky.

Another variation is a “lightning version” allowing people to keep taking turns until they miss a question rather than turning the play over to next player after each turn.

Some play with a timer; others prefer the conversation that comes from the topics. Talk among your team; one idea might lead to the correct answer; you’re in it together.

I did write a disclaimer in the rules to address a controversy: “If people can prove their answer is right, OK, but it is only a game!”

Change the rules if you like; for example, let the next team answer a question the team misses and assume the turn. Remember the main idea is to learn and have fun. If frustrated, call for a rematch.

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Shopping by Generation

Shopping By Generation Picture

The changing face of retail from Amazon to CVS pharmacies is both exciting and sometimes confusing.  It is a learning curve, but a real convenience. In a recent article in the Guardian, Suzanne Bearne speaks about retail with no check-out staff, no queueing, grab and go, helpful robots, and the question whether there will be a need for physical stores.  However, many enjoy the social experience and stores who understand this will survive and even flourish.

The Millennials like the social aspect of shopping, especially in the specialty shops. They are savvy shoppers, continually using their smart phones to determine best prices. They maximize rebates, order online, like store pick up and appreciate loyalty programs. They like the security of using gift cards and they utilize social networks for information. They favor brands that give back to their communities. 

Gen Xers are like the Millennials, but tend to research more online and through e-mail and then purchase off-line. Gen Xers are less trendy, preferring to create their own unique style and, although thrifty, are more interested in quality and customer service.   

 Baby Boomers have been big spenders, but love bargains, coupons and sales. They shop online, but are less likely to their digital devices at a retail location. They are influenced mostly by retail websites, advertising and salespeople. They place high importance on customer service and are loyal to their favorite brands.

As far as the oldest generation, it varies. Some are technically savvy. Their buying habits tend to come out of what is needed and useful since many are downsizing or de-cluttering.  They also will spend more on a great experience rather than purchasing too many material things. They may also be concentrating spending on family members.

With the tools available today, smart retailers will spend time to know their customers and learn how to satisfy their individual needs.  

Careers for the Future

Careers for the Future Picture

It is always interesting to see what the top college majors are and where the best opportunities lie for a successful career. Today, Business Administration is the most popular major, but graduates do not command the highest salaries. According to Pay Scale’s 2016-17 College Salary Report, here are the majors with the highest salary potential.

 

Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Master’s Degree

1. Commuter Engineering

1. Petroleum Engineering

1. Nurse Anesthesia

2. Economics       

2. Systems Engineering

2. Strategy (MBA)

 3. Management Information Systems (MIS)

3. Actuarial Science

3. Chemical Engineering (PhD)

4.Construction Management

4. Chemical Engineering

4. General & Strategic Mgt. (MBA)

5. Electrical Engineering

5. Computer Science and Engineering or Nuclear Engineering

5. Organic Chemistry

On another note, according to Forbes, the top five jobs for Work/Life Balance are: Data Scientist, SEO Specialist, Tour Guide, Life Guard and Social Media Manager. Success is not only measured by salary.

Forbes also mentions the newest jobs over the last ten years: App Developer, Market Research Data Mixer, Educational or Admissions Consultant, Millennial Generation Expert, Social Media Manager, Chief Listing Officer, Cloud Computing Services, Eldercare, Sustainability Expert and User Experience Designer.

Well so long to the Switchboard Operator, Milkman and Elevator Operator, etc.

The bottom line is to follow your passion, but keep up with changing times!  

#6 Shopping by Generation

The changing face of retail from Amazon to CVS pharmacies is both exciting and sometimes confusing.  It is a learning curve, but a real convenience. In a recent article in the Guardian, Suzanne Bearne speaks about retail with no check-out staff, no queueing, grab and go, helpful robots, and the question whether there will be a need for physical stores.  However, many enjoy the social experience and stores who understand this will survive and even flourish.

The Millennials like the social aspect of shopping, especially in the specialty shops. They are savvy shoppers, continually using their smart phones to determine best prices. They maximize rebates, order online, like store pick up and appreciate loyalty programs. They like the security of using gift cards and they utilize social networks for information. They favor brands that give back to their communities. 

Gen Xers are like the Millennials, but tend to research more online and through e-mail and then purchase off-line. Gen Xers are less trendy, preferring to create their own unique style and, although thrifty, are more interested in quality and customer service.   

 Baby Boomers have been big spenders, but love bargains, coupons and sales. They shop online, but are less likely to their digital devices at a retail location. They are influenced mostly by retail websites, advertising and salespeople. They place high importance on customer service and are loyal to their favorite brands.

As far as the oldest generation, it varies. Some are technically savvy. Their buying habits tend to come out of what is needed and useful since many are downsizing or de-cluttering.  They also will spend more on a great experience rather than purchasing too many material things. They may also be concentrating spending on family members.

With the tools available today, smart retailers will spend time to know their customers and learn how to satisfy their individual needs.  

 

 

 

 

Leading Four Generations at Work

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Each generation has its own value system, style and attitude about management and work. Below is a summary of the main characteristics of our four generations in the workplace based on studies by the American Management Association and other organizations.

 

Traditionalists (Silents) Prior to 1946:  They are loyal, dedicated and risk-adverse, committed to teamwork and collaboration and respect the chain of command.  They are effective communicators respect the Chain of command. They have been strongly influenced by the effects of the Great Depression, World War II and the post-war period of prosperity, They are a fine example of saving for their future.

Baby Boomers 1946-1964: The Boomers made work a higher priority than personal life. They distrust authority and large organizations and are concerned with personal gratification and company perks. They are optimistic and open to change as well as being part of the “Me” Generation. Their values were shaped by the civil rights movement, Viet Nam and inflation.  Because of the changing economy and volatile market, many have found themselves in a poor position to retire and will work longer than traditional retirement age.

Generation X (1965-1979): Gen Xers question authority and are advocates of work/leisure balance. They are a smaller generation and more independent than earlier generations. They are willing to take on new challenges and adapt to changes in the workplace or job market. They were the first generation of “latchkey” kids and are skeptical after seeing their parents get divorced, lose jobs after many years, and witnessing the fall of political and corporate leaders. They do not count on “life-long” employment, just in developing skill sets needed to succeed in the job market.

Generation Y or the Millennials (1980 -2000): This is a global-centric generation coming of age in the internet era along with the onset of global terrorism.  They are adept at navigating change and comfortable with diversity and inclusion. They are highly technical and the most educated generation. They are the most closely programmed generation both at home and at school. They share many values with the Traditionalists such as patriotism, teamwork and family.

Each generation has its strengths and mixed generational teams have been found to work the best in the workplace.

Let’s Talk About Generation Z

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Gen Z, our youngest generation was born in the 2000’s although some sources have the generation beginning in the late 1990’s. There are many names for them including, the Digital Natives, Post-Millennials, i-Generation, Plurals, and Homeland Generation.

Generations The Game was originally designed for the four previous generations, however, we have some Gen Z questions in the game and are adding more as we expand our decks of cards. 

When my first games came out last summer, the first place I shared it was with the Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship at Lehigh University, a program for juniors and seniors in high school. What a great experience it was for me: 76 teenagers and what a sharp, engaged group! We played by rows and the conversation and answers strengthened both my faith in the game and more importantly, the generation playing it.

A few words about this generation: they are the first generation born in the post-internet world. They are 70 million strong, larger than either the Baby Boomers or the Millennials. They are the most diverse generation: 55% are non-Hispanic Caucasians, 24% Hispanic, 14% African American, 4% Asian, and 4% multi-racial or other.  Gen Z kids are growing up in a highly sophisticated media and computer environment and will be more Internet savvy and expert than any other generation.

Their characteristics include being: financially conservative, entrepreneurial, pragmatic, and willing to give back to their communities. They have fewer teen pregnancies, lower alcohol and drug use, and lower drop-out rates from high school.

Once we get these young people off their devices, you will find they are full of ideas, global aspirations and will be a positive influence on our society.

What has Hasbro Been Up to?

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I was delighted to read about Hasbro’ big move to capitalize on the current popularity of board games.  The company is launching its “first-ever subscription service” for a collection of new board games to be sent directly to consumers every three months.  The crate includes “adult-only” and “family-friendly” varieties.

The decision follows a strong year of board games sales for Hasbro with family strategy games up 56 percent this year. The largest increase in sales came from games that target adults, although children’s games rose as well. 

It was difficult recommending a playing age level for Generations The Game. We ended up with twelve and above although I have seen a precocious eight-year old getting an answer right that even the teens and adults missed.  

Although Generations The Game is family-friendly, I have witnessed some rowdy adults having a great time answering questions and conversing about topics that they have never shared with other generations. It is a “generational” education for all! Remember, it is a game best played with teams so no player needs to feel alone and intergenerational teams usually win. 

Back to Hasbro. I understand their stock has done very well this year and did rise after this announcement. We wish them well when their subscription plans that start in the Fall and hope someday Generations The Game will be one of their new releases!

Board Game Renaissance

Board Game Renaissance Picture

Happily, at Generations The Game, we have watched the trend of the returning popularity of Board games. On a recent Lester Holt’s show on NBCTV, Peter Alexander reported “sales of classic board games from Operations to Monopoly are booming as the industry has a resurgence of sales.”  Perhaps the best reason for this is basically humans are social and in this age of advancing technology, we need a balance. We need to bring our families and friends together to reconnect and a good board game is a simple and easy way to have fun.

Some of you may remember John Naisbitt’s 1982 bestseller Megatrends and his 1999 book, High Touch, High Tech: Technology and Our Search for Meaning.”  He talked about technology becoming more dominant and complex and the need for people to have more personal connection. He theorized that in a world of technology, people long for personal, human contact.  Now in 2017, our lifestyles are even more dependent on technology and a new wave of balanced change is taking place.

The timing of Generations The Game is optimum.  The mission of the board game is “to bring people together to share information and perspectives as well as having fun learning more about our amazing world.”  Trivia is popular with every generation and there are a lot of trivia-based games, but the twist with Generations The Game is the questions come from eleven categories and are geared evenly for the four major generations today.  The format fosters interaction and conversation. Feedback from players of all generations has been phenomenal and we enthusiastically welcome this “Golden Age of Board Games.”

Dances Through The Generations

“Dance! Nothing else for me to do, but, dance!” These lines from jamiroquai’s hit song, “Canned Heat” were never more profound. Dance has been used to celebrate the coming of tribes and weddings and in most musical films, to settle disputes or “beefs”.  You know you love a good “Dance-Fight”.

Here is a brief timeline on how dance has evolved and changed throughout the glorious history of our fascinating culture.

 

Every era injects a completely different influence to these dance styles. In tandem with these, the types of music one dances to, also undergoes a radical evolution. For instance, the dance styles of the 1920s and 1930s were more or less marked by simplicity and groovy moves like the Lindy Hop, Jive, and Moonwalk. In the 1980s and 1990s the influence are derived from pop culture and street dancing. Whatever gets you moving, just dance like no one is watching.

Slang Through The Generations

I remember talking with my teenage kids about my college days and I used the word “stoned”. The look on their faces: I knew we weren’t thinking the same thing. 

Slang has always divided young and old, the cool kids and the squares. Language is repurposed for the hip and trendy, a rite of passage and in some cases to speak in code. Using certain slang can geographically define where you grew up and what part of town you spent a vast majority of your time and youth.

The terms may be new, but the sentiment is the same. Take a common word or phrase and change the definition. Kids have been doing this since time in memoriam.
The spoken language is complex, fascinating and beautiful. The English language is filled with double-entendres. Many comedians use this method to convey a lewd meaning without the use of the blatant overture. 

We compiled a list of some current slang so you can keep up with the ever-changing dialogue of the generation of now.

Just think of all the computer terms we use on a daily basis: mouse, cloud, drive, acrobat, chrome, text, swipe, takeaway, viral, twitter, tweet, and bandwidth and of course, google. These words would seem meaningless ten years ago. Language changes quickly; you may want to keep up.

Share your words with me at marna@generationsthegame.com

Welcome Generation Z!

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Generation Z - those born roughly in the late 1990’s through the present. 
AKA: Digital Natives, i-generation (internet), m-generation (multi-tasking), homeland generation (in U.S.A.), cloud natives, centennials.

They are: 

  • 1st gen. born in post-internet world 
  • 70 million – larger than Baby Boomers or Millennials 
  • Most diverse population 
  • Financially conservative, entrepreneurial, pragmatic 
  • Fewer teen pregnancies, lower drug and alcohol use, lower drop-out rate from high school (Goldman Sachs Research) 

 
What to Expect

They are hooked to their smartphones, the tv or their laptops many hours a week. (They know how to block most ads and are not always easy to reach.) But once free of their devices, have you really talked to them? They are full of ideas. They have global aspirations and want to change the world for better!   

Each generation has its strengths, but I have great hopes for this one and how they will impact our fast-changing world.  
 
Marna Hayden

What Generation Are You?

What generation are you? Traditionalist, Baby Boomer, Gen X or Gen Y?

Generational Divide and Characteristics:  For purposes of this game we have divided the four generations as follows - Traditionalists born 1925-1945, Baby Boomers born 1946 – 1964, Generation X born 1965 -1979, and Generation Y born 1980 - 2000.

•  Traditionalists: This generation, with parents who survived the stock market crash, Great Depression and World War II, grew up during some hard times. Their values include dedication and sacrifice during a time when conformity and obedience to central authority was key to National survival. Their values and traits also include a respect for law and order, loyalty, patriotism, civic-mindedness, and reliance on tried, true, and tested ways. Past precedents guide their decisions.

•  Baby Boomers: After WW II, many couples started families. Their children grew up as part of “the American Dream” in an optimistic world with an expanding economy. Most were part of a nuclear family (father worked and mother was a homemaker) and were the focal part of family life. Teamwork and sharing was natural (large population, crowded schools) and they viewed the world as something to be shaped and changed. Hard work pays off and they are willing to go the extra mile to gain their desired lifestyle.

•  Generation X: This generation is self-reliant; nearly half were children of divorce and “latchkey” kids. They seek a sense of family and tend to form tight-knit groups at work and socialize on the job and after hours. They have commitment reluctance and skepticism after watching their parents break up, give up so much for work only to have their jobs downsized and witnessing many authority figures fall off their pedestals. They do not trust authority or give loyalty easily and have the mindset of a free agent. They seek a work/leisure balance in life and understand job security is staying on “the cutting edge.” 

•  Generation Y: Family lives are centered on the activities of these children who are accustomed to planned, structured activities with time restraints and rules, making them the busiest kids in history. Being part of a nontraditional family is a nonissue, a two-wage earner family is normal and single parents, common. Patriotism is a strong value (9/11/2001 is the defining moment for them); they served in the military and have been welcomed as heroes. Multiculturalism and diversity are natural to them and they are both dependent and streetwise. Facility in information technology makes them would-be experts on everything. They have both high expectations and high self-esteem.