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Generation Blend: Managing Across the Technology Age Gap Hardcover – March 3, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470193964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470193969
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Generation Blend

Technology and demographics are on a collision course. DigitalNatives, Boomerang Boomers, and Generation X-ecutives are allgrappling with the transformative implications of Web 2.0technologies, and organizations are scrambling for the best ways tounlock the talents of a multigenerational workforce in a connectedworld. Generation Blend ventures deep into the technology age gapand provides real-world solutions to combine the best that youngerand older workers have to offer.

Generation Blend explores how generational attitudes towardtechnology affect issues as diverse as recruitment and retention,employee training, management decision-making, collab-oration,knowledge sharing, work/life balance, and ordinary workdayactivities. How can your organization promote the continuity ofknowl-edge and culture in the face of the coming demographictransition? What hidden factors put new technology deployments atrisk? How can IT departments manage the growing demand for socialand collaborative software while maintaining governance andsecurity? What initiatives can you launch to bridge the divide inwork styles and tech-savvy that separates veterans and newcomers inthe workforce?

In Generation Blend, author Rob Salkowitz builds on thegroundbreaking work of Don Tapscott (Wikinomics, Growing UpDigital), William Strauss and Neil Howe (Generations, MillennialsRising), and many others to connect the dots of sociology,technology, and management, and trace a roadmap fordecision-makers. Generation Blend is rich with research andincludes two original in-depth case studies from organizations thathave developed unique approaches to bridging the technology agegap: Microsoft's Board of the Future project, which assemblescollege-age students from around the world to discuss a wide rangeof workplace issues, and Older Adults Technology Services, a NewYork-based nonprofit dedicated to intergenerational technologytraining and reciprocal mentoring programs. Organizations of alltypes and sizes can profit from their methods.

The retirement of the Baby Boomers, the arrival of theMillennials, and the impact of Web 2.0 technology in the enterprisecreate unprece-dented complexity for employers and workers in the2010s and beyond. Organizations looking to solve the puzzle ofproductivity across the technology age gap should start withGeneration Blend.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Generation Blend: Managing Across the Technology AgeGap

"There is no more important issue facing today's enterprise thanthe digital age gap. To avoid a generational clash and exploit thepower of intergenerational collaboration and knowledge sharing,every organization needs to think differently. Generation Blendspells out clearly what your company needs to do to get itright."
—Don Tapscott, coauthor, Wikinomics and author, Growing UpDigital: The Rise of the Net Generation

"Salkowitz usefully explains how generational attitudes shapeworkers' responses to technologies in the workplace and offerspractical recommendations for how organizations can respond toincrease the success of technological innovation. He opens adiscussion that will only rise in importance as the risinggeneration of Millennials enters the workplace in full force in thedecade ahead."
—William Strauss and Neil Howe, authors of Generations: AHistory of America's Future and Millennials Rising: The Next GreatGeneration

"The dirty little secret of essentially every company is thattheir most critical asset is their people. Generation Blend is auniquely powerful tool for grasping the forces that are driving thetumultuous changes afoot in today's workforce, and for managingwith and through them most effectively. Rooted in the concretelessons of case study, it draws important lessons for managers anddecision-makers who must understand the future of theworkplace—and that, I believe, means all of us. GenerationBlend is must-reading for managers who mean to succeed over thenext decade."
—Lawrence Wilkinson, Chairman, Heminge and Condell, andcofounder of Global Business Network

"Generation Blend presents timely data and analysis about thegenerations from a wide range of sources and is sure to becomeessential reading for people who want to understand and bridge thegenerational divide at work. If you want to engage, motivate, andretain young workers without driving the veteran workers away, thenthis book can help you."
—Penelope Trunk, business columnist, The Boston Globe andauthor, Brazen Careerist

"Rob Salkowitz turns traditional thinking upside down for awitty and enlightening look at the unique technological challengesfacing today's workforce."
—Paul Andrews, technology columnist and author, How the WebWas Won

Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Capcooks on February 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
40 years ago as a graduate teaching assistant only 5 years older than the kids I was teaching I realized there was a generation gap. Their language was different from mine. Their expectations different. Even their ways of approaching tasks was different. Today, my peers are all labeled Baby Boomers. If there were differences in thinking then, when we were so much more homogeneous, how much more are the differences today. I know I have to work hard to even understand the Gen X and Millenial "kids" we're employing today. And it's up to our generation to adapt or die. We have the perspective to see how we interacted with the generation that came before us as well as those who are nipping at our heels. Salkowitz has done an impressive job of identifying the way each generation works and interacts... and provides a valuable tool for us older managers to understand what makes younger employees tick... and how we can work together to make the workplace more productive and less frustrating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Venkatesh Rao on December 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Generation Blend: Managing Across the Technology Age Gap, by Rob Salkowitz is a book that might have saved me a lot of trouble. I have been managing a social media evangelism effort at Xerox for the past year, and learned many of the lessons in this book the hard way. But then, a year ago, this book probably could not have been written; 2007 was, in many ways, the year these lessons became very clear. The book tries to do three things: describe generational differences in attitudes and approaches towards work and careers, explain them, and examine one aspect of how to manage them: social computing technology. The results, respectively, are very competent, exceeds expectations and competent. Or B+, A+ and B- if you prefer letter grades. But the one A+ is well worth the cost of the book, and it is relatively straightforward to manage around the weaknesses on the other two fronts. It would have been a brilliant book if it had just focused on the explain bit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Raven on February 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As we move forward, it will become increasingly valuable for managers, project leaders, people at every level to understand the challenges presented by the intersection of generational cohorts. Rob Salkowitz has provided all of us with a tremendous resource in this text. It has already furnished me with practical advice that I have found useful in the field.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diane Windingland on March 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book give a generational view of technology that led to quite a few "aha" moments for me.

My biggest "aha" was when the author gave an example in which some highly skilled Boomers choose to stick with an inferior e-mail technology when a better choice (a collaborative Web site) was available. Because hardly anyone used the site, the group cited the low level of utilization as justification for their refusal to participate.

I've seen this happen many times and have been so frustrated!

But the author explains: "You have a group of highly skilled Boomer professionals accustomed to autonomy and control, whose power often stems directly from privileged access to information, suddenly being asked to share information out in the open . . . they will receive little personal credit and risk being exposed as incompetents if they prove unable to master an extremely basic (if unfamiliar) set of practices and technologies." Bottom line: "the social incentives are diametrically opposed to everything we know about the generational work style of Boomers. It challenges their need for implicit social hierarchies based on hidden knowledge and relationships, personal autonomy and expression and status-based exemption from control and supervision . . ."
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H.J. van der Klis on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Salkowitz geeft in het boek antwoorden op de vraag hoe technologie van invloed is op de verschillende nu levende generaties (leeftijdscohorten) en in hoeverre the best of breed van zowel de technologie als mensen te combineren zijn in aandachtsgebieden als werving, retentie, training, management, en dergelijke.

De kloof tussen de extremen digibeet en NetGen is het resultaat van een conflict tussen mensen en technologie waar het gaat om verwachtingen, prioriteiten, begrip van werk en wereld. Hoe lastig kan het zijn een vertegenwoordiger van een generatie boven je te vertellen wat er nu zo zinvol is aan blogs, online sociale netwerken, enzo? En wat snap ik van tieners die huiswerk, Last.fm, MSN en online games pijnloos kunnen combineren? Wil je er in een zakelijke setting wat mee, roept Salkowitz je op serieus naar vijf vragen te kijken:

1. leg je helder de voordelen van technologie uit?
2. stel je technologie ten dienste van de bedrijfsvoering?
3. is technologie toegankelijk voor verschillende stijlen van werken?
4. ondersteunt je bedrijfscultuur je strategische keuzes op het vlak van technologie?
5. bouw je bruggen of werp je muren op?

Toegespitst op kennismanagement is het succes van web 2.0 technologieën afhankelijk van het gemak dat oudere kennisdragers ervaren in zowel de technische als culturele context. Specifieke training en direct adresseren van zorgpunten die leven bij de betreffende generatiegenoten helpt dit te vergroten. Babyboomers en Generatie X-genoten kunnen het tempo en intensiteit van productiviteit, innovatie en reactiesnelheid vergroten. Ze hebben allerhande (technologische) mogelijkheden daarvoor.
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More About the Author

Rob Salkowitz writes, speaks and consults on the future of digital media and the global digital generation. His latest book, Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, looks at the future of entertainment and communications through the lens of the world's wildest trade show, the San Diego Comic-Con. His prior works include Young World Rising (2010), exploring the impact of young entrepreneurs around the world, and Generation Blend (2008), on the digital age gap in the workplace. Rob is a founding partner in MediaPlant, LLC, a Seattle-based communications firm. He teaches digital media at the University of Washington and serves on the board of several non-profits. He has keynoted events worldwide and writes frequently for FastCompany.com and Internet Evolution.