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The Generation Game

At Dawson Walker, we’ve been very interested in exploring what has differentiated each generation 

The challenge


As employers welcome new generations into the workplace, they’re also enjoying the sustained contribution of older generations as they put-off their retirement. Which means in recent years we have seen a greater diversity of ages working together in UK - perhaps only surpassed by the pre-legislative era of sending children up chimneys!

The generational categories that marketeers ascribe to audiences have also concertinaed more closely together. For example the differences between Generations Y and Z or sometimes called “Millennials” and “Snowflakes” are much subtler (spanning less than 20 years) than Baby Boomers and Generation X that cover 30 years.

At Dawson Walker, we’ve been very interested in exploring what has differentiated each generation - what world events have influenced them and what inventions and technological advances have been the backdrop to their lives? Having identified those differences we also wanted to find out what impact it is now having in the world of work. 

The solution


The generationally diverse team at Dawson Walker devised a workshop that has since had a number of outings and formats – allowing us to refine and develop it along the way.

The core session is a LARP (Live Action Role Play), where having identified different generational traits we ask participants to assume and elaborate on specific personas and act out a scenario (carefully devised to suit the specific workshop group).

After the discussion (that is usually a relevant crisis meeting) we ask the participants to share their experiences and of course award an Oscar for the best performance.

The results


Each group, told us they have got something very positive out of this. It’s very interesting to hear how differently individuals approach and react to a discussion having been given a persona to adopt.

For some, it is clearly liberating, whereas others felt completely cut out of the conversation. It’s also interesting to discover that there are endless similarities and cycles in the events that generations have experienced and are influenced by – whether that’s advances in technology, the revolutionary spirit of the young or the big world changing events that we all face.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, we live in an age where communications can be tailored for individuals and perhaps that’s the real point here - that by understanding our differences we can work better together.

2 - Dec. 4, 2017