Tag Archives: shift

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generational shift

What Causes a Generational Shift?

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Generational differences continue to be a hot topic. It seems that nearly anything that is changing or perceived as non-mainstream thinking casts blame on the millennial generation. However, millennials are not our youngest workforce generation. What causes a generational shift?

In a general sense, the definition of each workforce generation is a soft concept. By soft, I’m indicating that it is not an exact science and popular opinions led by experts in the field shape most of the published work which defines the generations.

Generational Framework

In my opinion, and consistent with many opinions discovered through my research on the subject this is our current (2017) framework (Chart):

Traditionals: Born 1930 – 1945

Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1964

Generation X: Born 1965 – 1976

Millennials (Gen Y): Born 1977 – 1994

Generation Z (Gen 9/11, iGen): Born after 1994

What shapes this framework or what causes one generation to end and another to begin?

generational framework

Factors Shape Generations

Three significant factors are likely responsible for an emerging new generation.

Socio-Economic Conditions: This represents a significant shift in values, culture, and issues that impact economic conditions. One example is the Great Depression (Circa 1929-1933).

Major Technology Shifts: Represented as anytime technology drives a significant shift in activities, behaviors, or the economy. Examples could include the space race (Circa mid-1960’s), and the emergence of personal computing devices (Circa late-1970’s, early 1980’s).

Times of War: Unfortunately, a time of war also seems to impact or contribute to shifting the generational framework. Examples could include World War II, Vietnam, and the Gulf War.

Generational Shift

Popular wisdom suggests that there may be a blending of these conditions, and if only one condition seems to exist it is unlikely that a generational shift will occur. When two or more of the conditions (factors) exist it is very likely the framework will shift.

For example, the shaping of the next generation, the one beyond Gen Z has likely started around 2007. This is true because of the period becoming known as the Great Recession (2007-2010) and the emergence of shifting technology with the introduction of the iPhone, which is often regarded as the first smartphone.

It is also worth noting that I while I consistently cite Gen Z as having a start year of around 1994; I believe it is closer to 1990. Consider the Gulf War, economic factors, and technology shifts such as those associated with NASA and the emergence of cellular telephone hardware and services.

generational differences

There are opinions that generational differences are not real, that it is only representative of changing needs based upon age. However, there is strong argument from social philosophers and experts who research this subject.


Differences exists because of age as well as what we label as the generations. Generational differences are not so much about age, but they are about the values and beliefs of people who are grouped together and categorized by their birth year.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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career shift appreciative strategies

Career Shift: Moving Past the Easy Stuff

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You see some interesting things in my line of work. Many people proclaiming to be eager about making a difference for their business, their career, and their life. Certainly, I see many businesses and people improve, but do they really make a business or career shift that meets or exceeds their potential?

The expression that hindsight is 20/20 or that it is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback has truth but the biggest gap I often see is another expression, “Talk is cheap.”

Motivation for Change

It is not uncommon when I engage in a generational differences discussion that someone will bring up the concept of being lazy or lacking motivation.

Often the generations of people who have been around longer are passing judgment or stereotypes on those generations newest in our workforce. Regardless of where the finger is being pointed, the accusations are still present.

The presenting question often is, “How do we motivate these people?” Answers aren’t really that difficult. On the other hand, creating the change necessary to execute the required behaviors or culture is the challenge.

It seems that there is a trend for easy. Relax more, work less, and enjoy life. Maybe everyone wants that, it sounds very inviting.

More Than Talk

People who want to change their life, change their career, or change their business must be committed to change. I’ll often ask clients if they are committed and time and time again they tell the story and say the right words, but, “Talk is cheap.

Change can often happen without any growth or control over your own fate. So you can change without growth but you’ll never grow without making some changes.

People and businesses settle into habits, habits that generate daily activities, thought processes, and attitudes. When it really comes down to the effort for change, they don’t realize that they must change those habits and traditions to get a different result.

Talking about change, planning for change, or seeing the goal is not the act of creating change.

Change often sounds simple. Just like the idea that everyone knows the concepts of customer service or how to be a leader. Knowing the concepts and successfully executing them are two completely different things.

Career Shift

People who are on the move, the ones who are really changing, they’ve moved past the easy stuff. They are finished talking. Talking wastes their time.

If you really want a career shift, you’ll have to decide what you are going to give up, throw away, or move to the side.

You’ll have to move past the easy stuff, the cheap stuff, and the daydreams.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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