Required Career Reading: Generations, Inc.

Have you ever felt like you were speaking a different language than your co-workers? In today's increasingly global workplace, that might be because you actually *were* speaking a different language than they were, but it's more likely that one of the factors in that situation is the fact that employees hailing from as many as four (that's right, four) generations are working together these days. Employees now range in age and generation from the aging Traditionals, who survived the Great Depression and World War II, to the Linksters, the teens just entering the workforce as part-time employees.

In Generations, Inc.: From Boomers to Linksters – Managing the Frictions Between Generations at Work, written by the ASU alumni father-daughter team of Meagan Johnson ’93 B.S. and Larry Johnson ’74 B.A.E., the advantages and challenges of intergenerational collaboration are discussed. Members of the Baby Boom and Generation X eras, respectively, Larry and Meagan run the Johnson Training Group, so they live the advice they give.

The duo avoids stereotyping while providing a capsule summary of the hallmarks and significant moments in the history of each generation currently in the workplace. I really liked Meagan and Larry’s point-counterpoint exchanges related to issues in their own work and personal histories. These sections cover how different generations view honesty and integrity, delegation of work, work-life balance, etc. They are refreshing and offer a nice complement to the many actionable tips offered in each chapter.

If you've ever scratched your head at the behavior of an older or younger co-worker, Generations, Inc. may help you de-code their actions. It's also pleasant that Larry and Meagan are able to get their message across with humor – it helps provide hope that no matter how diverse the work team, there are ways to find common ground and succeed together.