Over a year ago we founded our Millennial Think Tank to debunk a lot of the hype swirling around GenY. Due to its success, we created GenY, Boomer and Blended Gen Think Tanks to help us better understand the differences and similarities between the generations. Each month our Think Tanks tackle the same subject and we gather insights and generational viewpoints and report them here on our blog.
These Think Tanks have been a treasure trove of information. They have helped us determine what traits truly are generational, and also how our entire society is being transformed by technology. We enjoy them, thoroughly, as do our participants. We cover issues of interest, such as Employee/Employer Loyalty Today, What Makes a Productive Work Culture, The Millennial Mindset etc. Our blogs are widely read and shared, and we know our participants get a lot out of them because they tell us, regularly.
There is one huge sticking point: we have a very hard time getting Boomers on board.
It may surprise you, but over the past few months our Boomers (not our Millennials) have been the most unreliable. Not all of them of course, but it is not uncommon for some of our Boomers to cancel at the last minute and leave our host hanging.
Now, our Boomer Think Tank episodes have been some of our most interesting panel discussions; it is clear that our participants enjoy the discussion and each other. Yet, when we try to recruit more participants from our personal networks, we have a difficult time getting Boomers to join; this is not the case with our Millennial and GenX Think Tanks.
This challenge has stymied our moderator Samantha Estoesta Williams and me. We have tried to understand why we are having so much trouble, and we have asked ourselves a lot of questions. The first one: is it us? Is there something we’re doing as we attempt to attract Boomers that is different than how we recruit from other generations?
I really don’t think so, because the ARCOMPANY team has a lot of Boomer friends in our networks, and none of them have ever expressed any kind of dissatisfaction with our approach.
This conclusion has forced me to ask other questions:
Have Boomers already had their say?
If you read my post Boomers Still Hold the Wealth and the Power, you’ll know that the data makes it very clear that Boomers still have a stranglehold on political power in the US, and a huge portion of the wealth.
We know that a driving force with our Millennial Think Tank is the fact that our Millennials were sick of being talked about by older generations; they WANT to give us their perspective.
Our GenX Think Tank has been just as easy to recruit for; many Xers are tired of being ignored and want their say as well.
One of my theories is that Boomers don’t feel an urge to speak out because they aren’t pushing for more success in their careers; they’ve already had their say.
Is Technology the Issue?
Millennials are often called Digital Natives; this is something Xers often scoff at since many of them have had computers since their early teens. It is true that Millennials and Xers have embraced technology even more fully than Boomers have, although we do know that many Boomers are tech addicts too.
I wonder: is the idea of coming on a recorded video chat one that makes them uncomfortable? Is that part of our issue?
Are Boomers Sick of Navel Gazing?
Before the marketing and media obsession with Millennials, Boomers were analyzed and talked about in much the same way. Their massive generation did fundamentally change our world, and it’s been written about and documented six ways from Sunday.
Perhaps Boomers are SICK of thinking about their generation and are tired of talking about themselves?
We Don’t Have the Answer
Normally we use our blog to inform and educate our readers; this time we’re asking for your advice. If you are a Boomer, we’d love to hear from you on this. Do you have a reason to NOT want to participate? How can we make you more comfortable and motivated to join the discussion?
If you don’t need convincing and you DO want to join in, we’d love to hear from you.
VP of Content & Strategy at ArCompany. She has an extensive background in Sales, and focuses on generational marketing and content. With Hessie Jones she founded ArCompany’s Millnnnial, GenX and Boomer Think Tanks and writes and speaks on those topics from an insights/strategy perspective.