Jeffrey Cafaude posted something pretty interested on his blog:
Sometimes the simplest insights yield the greatest dividends. One of the things I've noticed consistently in my facilitation efforts this year is the following:
When Baby Boomers think of community, they tend to place a premium on networking and interacting with people like them: homogeneity.
When Generation Xers and Millennials talk about community, they seem to place a premium on spending time with people not like them: heterogeneity.
This could have profound implications.
While I'm not sure I entirely agree with his observations, if true, that could cause some serious disconnections for meetings, especially those whose attendees come from different age groups, and those whose planners are of a different generation than the majority of the attendees. How do you provide for both seemingly divergent needs? I think just awareness of the differences helps, but practically speaking, how would this play out? I keep envisioning gray-haired cliques with younger clique-busters circulating at the social functions...
Update: According to this press release, it looks like the younger generation's mix-it-up philosophy has some science behind it. The research concludes that successful teams are composed of diverse groups, and unsuccessful teams generally are composed of the same folks doing the same thing over and over. I may be a traitor to my generation (Boomer, just barely), but who hasn't noticed the benefits of working with people who look at things differently than you do?