Generations, Inc. by Meagan Johnson & Larry Johnson - Book review
From Boomers to Linksters--Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work
By: Meagan Johnson, Larry Johnson
Published: May 2010
Format: Paperback, 272pp
"A generational signpost is an event or cultural phenomenon that is specific to one generation. Generational signposts shape, influence, and drive our expectations, actions, and mind-sets about the products we buy, the companies for which we work, and the expectations we have about life in general," write generational employment experts, owners of the Johnson Training Group, Meagan Johnson and her father Larry Johnson, in their practical and insightful book Generations, Inc.: From Boomers to Linksters--Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work. The authors describe how the same generational signposts that influence a person's outlook on life, also has a deep impact on a person's ideas about company loyalty, workplace ethics, and what constitutes a job well done.
Larry Johnson and Meagan Johnson describe how in today's workplace, members of what they classify as up to five different generations may be on the job at the same time. While precise definitions of generational age boundaries vary between experts, as well as the terminology used to designate each group, the authors point out that their cutoff dates are not the be all and end all of generational dynamics. What is important, and forms the heart of the book, is that each of the five generations that Meagan and Larry Johnson define, has very different life signposts. These signposts can be critical to the worldview or life laws of one generation, but hold little or no meaning to another younger or older generation. In this book, the authors define the following five generations as:
* Traditionals born prior to 1945
* Baby Boomers born from 1946 to 1964
* Generation X born from 1965 to 1980
* Generation Y born from 1981 to 1995
* Linksters born 1996 and later
Meagan Johnson and Larry Johnson (both shown in photo left) recognize that because each generation's signposts and life laws are different, they have entirely different attitudes toward work, and require different management techniques. The authors provide intriguing insights into how to manage members of different generational cohorts. What works well for Baby Boomers may fail completely with members of Generation X. The authors also point out how various management styles of one generation may be entirely different from that of an older or younger cohort. At the same time, each generation brings different strengths to the work environment, creating a potentially powerful cross-generational idea exchange. The diversity brought to the workplace by different generations working together provides a tremendous opportunity for organizations to tap into many different strengths, and this book teaches managers how to utilize those differences to best advantage.
For me, the power of the book is the positive approach taken by Larry and Meagan Johnson as they describe the generational differences in the workplace. They understand that without guidance in recognizing generational differences in outlook, many managers will fail to utilize the incredible synergy that results from these widely diverse worldviews. Each generation is given its own management section in the book, complete with a description of their generational signposts, and why they are important to that group. The authors approach each generation with respect, and even with their own differences outlined as Larry Johnson is a Baby Boomer and Meagan Johnson is a member of Generation X. The authors' own generational differences and understandings helps them to realize that other age groups have different attitudes toward work, ethics, job completion, career change, and job satisfaction. They do a fine job of conveying that information to the reader.
I highly recommend the essential and must read book Generations, Inc.: From Boomers to Linksters--Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work by Meagan Johnson and Larry Johnson, to any manager or employee seeking to understand their own managers, subordinates, or co-workers from different generations. Instead of putting up with or mistakenly creating inter-generational disputes and misunderstandings in the workplace, this book will steer anyone along the right path to utilizing the strengths, ideas, and wisdom of each generation for the benefit of all employees and for the organization as a whole.
Read the straightforward and no nonsense book Generations, Inc.: From Boomers to Linksters--Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work by Meagan Johnson and Larry Johnson, and put an end to mis-communication and inter-generational conflict at work. In its place, discover how to turn what was a difficult or seemingly impossible task, into an outcome that is rewarding to everyone in the company.
Tags: Generations, Inc.: From Boomers to Linksters--Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work, Meagan Johnson, Larry Johnson, inter-generational personnel management, business book reviews.