A classic clip from the first season of Mad Men. Could we not have a more inappropriate clash of the generations in the workplace? A more inexplicable view of the clash of generations in the world of politics? Consider how quickly an entire generation has changed global politics – Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Lybia..
The key line comes in at about 1:42 into the video.
Back in 2003, I wrote this into this blog, in a piece about trends and the future:
“Kids are about to become politicians. That‘s right — the “Napster generation,” raised on computers, instant messaging and file swapping will come to make their presence felt on the political stage through the next decade. There is no doubt that they have views that differ from those of their forefathers. They carry with them an entirely different set of values and beliefs, and vastly different perceptions of what is required in terms of the laws and regulations that guide our society. The result? On the political, economic and social stage, we‘ll see an increasing generational dysfunction that will challenge business markets, industry structures, and accepted business norms. Smart organizations will work to understand the political and moral views and perspectives of this generation, and will take the time to learn how to tap into their uniqueness in order to thrive.”
Take a look around you. Egypt and the Middle East, Africa … significant political transformation driven by a generational desire for change. The corporate world – business models under siege from disruptive thinking, social networking, transformative ideas driven by a younger generation that has never known a world without connectivity.
Then ask yourself this question: as a leader, are you permitting some type of generational divide to stifle and kill your ability to innovate? Do you have your own Mad Men culture, some sixty years after the time-period that this video clip represents?