Generational Awareness for Business

General Awareness in Business

The Risk of Not Knowing

By:  Dawit Kiflu, President of Samsonshield Inc.

Generational Awareness

Generational awareness and analysis have been a mainstream science in the academic and business world for some time. Each generation has unique to them, certain characteristics that differentiate them from other generations. All generations share certain traits, beliefs, customs, and behaviours unique to their age group. Age reveals two important things about a person: their position in their life cycle, and their membership in a group (cohort) of individuals who were born at the same time and, who have similar experiences. Other factors obviously have impacts that differentiate people outside of generational norms, such as place of birth, culture, religion, etc.

Generational awareness is used in a variety of ways, such as in advertising and political science as a tool to predict business and political trends and outcomes. Multigenerational workplaces could benefit from generational awareness. Understanding the generations can provide a distinct advantage in helping people with their needs and also, help people understand different perspectives, beliefs and points of view.

Riskboss will be highlighting one generation in this and each future edition. It is our goal to help readers understand the impact factors and traits of each generation. In analysing this information, it is important to be careful not to pigeonhole an individual in any age group with their generational characteristics, as people can and do often break generational norms. We hope that this helps to bridge gaps between the generations, assist in dealing with people you interact with, and reduce the risk of misunderstanding points of view.

Generation chart

The Silent Generation – 1928-1945

This generation found its name by way of a book entitled, The Greatest Generation by author / broadcaster Tom Brokaw. Brokaw used this term in recognition of what he called, “A generation of towering achievement and modest demeanor, a legacy of their formative years when they were participants in and witness to sacrifices of the highest order.…This is the greatest generation any society has produced.

Education from the age of five to fourteen was compulsory for the Silent Generation. This was a generation where the use of automobiles was widespread. It is estimated that eighty-five percent of all British households owned a wireless radio by 1939

Some famous people born in the Silent Generation are Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood and others. Interestingly only one president is from the Silent Generation, Joe Biden. By the 1950s, the US civil rights movement was well under way. led by some notables of the Silent Generation, namely, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

The Silent Generation is known for the following characteristics: traditional values, financial prudence, interpersonal respect, hard work ethic, loyalty, and self-sacrifice. People from this time will likely not understand why workers move from company to company as they remained loyal to their employers for decades. They may also find the inability of other generations to sacrifice rather bizarre as they sacrificed much. The Silent Majority lived much of their lives without technology, so you can expect that face-to-face interactions at physical locations are preferred. The Silent Generation is driven by respect, dependability, and stability. They make great motivators as they believe in longer term investments in people and relationship building.

Census data reveals that this generation makes up only 2% of the North America population. The last part of this generation is now well into their late nineties. This generation came of age between 1919 and