Hey, This New TV Show Caught Our Attention!

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in 4 Generations at Work, VPI Blog

The multiple generation workplace gets a sitcom

When we watched a TV commercial for a new show and heard the tagline “Man vs. Millennial,” we knew CBS had caught our attention.

The Great Indoors is a new show coming out October 27 that pokes fun at the challenges and opportunities of the multiple generation workplace Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. (Disclaimer: We didn’t write the show and we have only seen the two previews below.)

In the 4 minutes clip below, a human resource manager makes the statement: “We offer an entire class on how to deal with them (Millennials)!” Since VPI Strategies offers a popular multiple generation workplace training, it’s nice to see this topic is getting some prime time attention!

VPI Strategies is passionate about helping organizations understand the multiple generation workplace. We teach proven ways to leverage generational similarities and differences to accomplish goals more effectively. We will be watching and invite you to let us know what you think.

30 seconds:

From Wikipedia:

The Great Indoors

is an upcoming American sitcom television series starring Joel McHale. CBS placed a pilot order on January 29 and a series order on May 13, 2016. The series is set to premiere in the 2016–17 United States network television schedule on October 27, 2016, at 8:30 pm.

Plot: Jack has made a name for himself as an adventure reporter for the magazine Outdoor Limits. His days of exploring the world end when the magazine’s founder, Roland, announces its move to web-only publishing and assigns Jack to supervise the Millennials who make up its online team.

Generation X: What You Need to Know

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in 4 Generations at Work, VPI Blog

Generation X












Are you a Generation Xer and experiencing communication challenges with Millennials, Generation Z, or Baby Boomer colleagues or employees? Curious to learn what has motivated and influenced the work styles of your Generation X colleagues? Check out these insights into Generation X:

Generation X’s Expectations About Delegation & Management

As the first generation of latch-key kids, parents gave Generation Xers the creative latitude to get things done at home. They expect the same from their employees and colleagues. They make projects their own and they expect to set deadlines and make expectations clear. Tensions abound when Gen X feels micro-managed. Generation Xers prefer to honor the decided-upon definition of success confident they have the skills to accomplish the goal. Generation X has these same expectations as managers and leaders.

Their experience of being latch-key kids resulted in Generation Xers growing up with autonomy and becoming fiercely independent. “Whether it was learning to cope with the neighborhood bully or sweet-talking our parents into letting us stay home alone while they went on vacation,” Generation Xer, Alexandra Levit explains in Fast Company “many of us knew how to use words and persuasion to problem-solve and solicit cooperation.”

Generation X Offers Their Own Solutions to Communication Challenges

“Heading off to college and our first careers, the electronic age really started heating up” explains Generation Xer, Anna Garvey. “Generation X came of age just as the very essence of communication was experiencing a seismic shift, and it’s given us a unique perspective that’s half analog old school and half digital new school.” Think sound byte processing and video games. Rather than wailing, “Why won’t someone understand us?” Generation X is more apt to concentrate on things they can control — results. Oriented to results versus process, they have a direct, no-nonsense communication style. Impatient with flowery explanations, Monday morning weekend woes and too much backstory, Generation Xers will expect the same from employees and colleagues. Succinct, relevant bullet points work just fine for them. That applies to everyday conversation — and performance reviews. Bottom Line: Save time. Get to the point — FAST. Don’t be afraid to say what you mean.

Generation X Prepared to Be Leaders

“To be sure, not every Generation Xer grew up the same way or acquired the same skills through their experiences. But our careers have tracked the rise of the digital workplace, and the foundation that’s given many of us may pay dividends in helping us navigate the Boomer brain drain” concludes Generation Xer, Alexandra Levit. Often Generation Xer’s emotional intelligence, confidence to work independently, and direct communication styles are skills companies need most in their new leaders. Levit concludes that “the research suggests that Generation Xers are uniquely prepared for those roles – not just next in line for them.”

Generation X Leaders Value More Transparency

Generation X’s work and leadership style impacts how they lead workplaces, nonprofits, and governments. Politically, Generation X is expected to become the dominant generation in the United State’s House of Representatives by 2018. Generation X is predicted to add more inclusion and transparency to the political system, as well as a willingness and ability to compromise

They Are Living Out Their Own GenXpectations

Gen-Xers entered the workforce in the midst of large corporate layoffs in the 1980s or the dotcom bust in the mid-1990s. Startup culture and entrepreneurship was not the norm. Gen-Xers “watched their parent’s loyalty and overtime rewarded by layoffs and downsizing – this may contribute to their cynicism,” explains Joanie B. Connell, PhD. Unlike their Boomer predecessors, Generation X concluded they did not want to be married to their work. Forget about two hour meetings. Generation X wants a lot less talk and lot more action. Generation X values getting their work done in less time and enjoy their time outside of work. Think Freedom, Family, Fun, and Friends. Generational research tells us Generation X is efficient, works smarter not harder and values leveraging technology in a rapidly-changing vista.


About the Authors: Sherri Petro and Ilana Herring

As a generational expert, Sherri Petro knows we have the keys to the kingdom by understanding the attributes of the multiple generation workplace comprised of Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. By leveraging her experience, expertise and education, Sherri can illuminate multiple possibilities, identify roadblocks and assist individuals and organizations to achieve desired results. Check out Sherri’s website to read about her popular speaking topics and why organizations seek out her generational expertise.

Ilana Herring is VPI Strategies’ internet marketing strategist. Ilana loves learning about the multiple generations because it helps her better understand herself and the world around her. She is fascinated by all things digital and social, and enjoys exploring the world wide web for news and information about Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.



Three of Our Favorite People To Learn From on Twitter

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in VPI Blog

Anne Loehr. Twitter: @anneloehr

Twitter bio: “I help leaders prepare for the four workplace trends that will change our organizations in the next ten years. Are you ready?”

Why she made TEAM VPI’s list: We started following Anne because she is a fellow generational author and speaker. Since the multiple generation workplace is our favorite topic, we tweeted her to ask how she first get interested in the subject. She really got our attention when she tweeted back “12 years in Kenya, getting tribes to work together. Generations is the same thing!” She talked about her work experience in Kenya, including leadership, race, gender, and the generations on a @WeMeanBiz interview. We watched it here and were inspired by Anne’s business savvy and adventuresome nature.






Doug Conant. Twitter: @DougConant

Twitter bio: “Founder, ConantLeadership; Former CEO, Campbell Soup; Chairman, KELI; Chairman, Avon; Dedicated to helping improve the quality of leadership in the 21st century”

Why he made Team VPI’s list: In Doug’s article on Harvard Business Review: “CEOs Can’t Give Feedback Only to Their Direct Reports” he writes about some of our favorite topics: employee engagement, leadership, and modeling desired behavior. For example, Doug writes: “We witnessed that modeling the importance of growth and leadership development at a high level translated to engagement with learning at every level.” Well said!



Tim Maurer. Twitter: @TimMaurer

Twitter Bio: “Personal finance is more PERSONAL than it is finance. I write for @CNBC, @Forbes & @Money. My opinions, not my employer’s.”

Why he made TEAM VPI’s list: We first connected with Tim after we shared his article titled, “Why You Should Always Take A Two-Week Holiday.” In this article, Tim provided 10 reasons he supports a two week holiday. #10 on his list was our favorite: “You Come Home a Better Spouse, Parent, Employee — a Better Person.” We certainly know a 10-day holiday is not always available, but TEAM VPI believes in setting goals and encouraging a culture that encourages employees to come back to work rejuvenated.






What is the bottom line? Lots to learn on Twitter! Follow these folks, plus TEAM VPI @vpistrategies for more like this.