Common Outlook
February 2013 - Issue # 13-02

Founder's Message


A few years ago, the media was full of talk about the Millennials - young adults who came of age as the century turned who were tethered to home whether they were working to pay-off student debt before entering the costly world, or because they were 'spoiled brats too lazy to work'. The media bell tower rang down judgments that abruptly ceased when the lack of employment and the recession were linked.


The current bell tolls a battle tale between the Boomers (50+), and the Millennials who are either in, or trying to get into, the workplace. The battleground is personal and professional behaviour.


Rather than esoterically addressing the "should and should-nots", or presenting my or their beliefs about the appropriateness (or not) of various behaviours, the Common Outlook team used anecdotal experiences to create our initial research paths. The books, studies and surveys turned up a veritable trove, and were amassed so that you, the reader, can interpret the meaning of 'personal and professional' by and for yourself, your team and corporate culture.


This is the first of two articles on the subject. I hope you find it enjoyable and thought-provoking.



Take a walk.

Look at people.

Look at your judgements.

Look again ... with your good heart.


What's New? 


What is personal? What is professional? Find out in our March issue!




"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."


~ Steve Jobs






Despite all the usual strife one reads about (and may experience directly) between and among generations, it seems that intergenerational gaps can't break family bonds; 84 percent of Millennials (ages 19 to 30) and 54 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 50-66) declared[3, 5] they would financially assist one another if needed. (The percentage gap suggests that after years of providing, many Boomers may believe they've sufficiently served the cause.)


Many Boomers also believe (as do numerous GenXers who shared that latter half of the 20th century, as did and do the ever-dwindling Lucky Few and Good Warriors from the first half), that the personal is the professional, the interpretation being: though the decorum of the workplace and the casualness of home are easily distinguishable, the authentic self must be present in both settings. However, thanks to enabling technologies, workplace flexibility and social collaboration tools (now being used to create savvy and innovative new business streams), the workplace can seamlessly meld itself to home, making a Millennial more inclined to say, the professional is the personal.


The divergence helps explain the attitudes of both groups. For centuries, whether a blue or white-collar profession, employment has been seen as the rite of passage to adulthood, and the evidence of it - such as clothing and demeanour - a point of pride. Millennials, having been treated and spoken to as equals/adults most of their lives, dismiss the rite, and evidence of it as shallow, anathema to them. They have a point; appearances and behaviours are superficial, but as so often happens, a right can also carry a wrong; for in business and purposefully so, appearance and behaviours provide the first crucial clues about the underlying culture. [4]


Read More


Peter Hiddema


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