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


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.