Dinner Time: Getting Everyone Around the Table to Bridge the Generational Gaps

Today, there seems to be a generational gap between Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials in business and leadership. Whatever “generation” you are in, technology has had a way of widening the generational gap. Let me explain:

1.     Baby Boomers are living longer and therefore working longer

Baby Boomers are living longer and therefore worker longer. This has cause Gen Xer’s and Millennials not to be at the executive-level “table” and has widened the generational gap.

For example, Gen Xers + Millennials believe Baby Boomers are job protectionists and aren’t willing to mentor or give opportunities for career growth… With that said, Baby Boomers think Gen Xers + Millennials are unmotivated, underachievers, and cannot be trusted.

2.     Millennials are the first generation to NOT need the generation before them

This is an interesting phenomenon. Millennials do not need the prior generation to get what they want; they can go to the internet. They have massive layers of networks online that actually help themselves reach their professional and personal goals.

This makes millennials highly entrepreneurial.  

3.     You need to understand the differences between the generations

In my studies, I believe there are 3 distinct generational GAPS that should be understood:

·      Work Gaps – the differences between the industrial (BB, Gen X) + information age (Gen X, Millennials) + digital age (Millennials, Gen Z)

·      Family Gaps – traditional (BB) to blended (Gen X) to merged families (Millennials) to clusters (Millennials, Gen Z),

·      Influence Gaps – war/survival (BB) to institutional scandal (Gen X) to digital influencers (Millennials ff).

4.     Generation X are a great bridge between the generational GAPS

Building relationships are key, hence the reality of getting all generations at the dinner table to discuss their generational differences, how to learn from one another, and how to help each other succeed.

For leaders, especially in the Church context, we need to build bridges with the generations on how to understand one another, encourage one another, and build each other up as a relational community on mission to reach + redeem culture.