Last week, several of us appeared on a panel at the InsideCounsel SuperConference. The topic was managing Gen Y. Our panel lasted less than two hours but the debate continues in the blogosphere.
The panel discussion was energetic, to say the least. As anonymous Ed. of Blawg Review said, "[The] panel on Dealing With Gen Y @ Work was one of the most controversial and lively discussions ever at a conference." The discussion stays lively between Scott Greenfield, one of the panelists, and Adrian Dayton, one of the attendees.
The volley has thus far gone like this:
Dayton: Why Partners Don’t Understand Generation Y (In this post, he said Gen Y's were latch-key kids; I find that curious since Gen Y is a hyper-parented generation. Their parents are called "helicopter parents," always buzzing around. Adrian, help me out here.)
Greenfield: The Slackoisie Fight Back
Note (added May 21, 2009): More from Greenfield about Gen Y: First, You Have To Get The Job.
Note (added May 27, 2009): More from Dayton about the panel and Gen Y: Get Out of My Face: Why Gen Y Refuses to Put in Face Time.
Added June 2, 2009: Greenfield writes Suck Face. Dayton: Generation X shows Boomers How to Throw a Party (conference).
Added June 3, 2009: Greenfield writes Party, Slackoisie Style.
As this discussion goes on, I wonder if the generations have different definitions of "client service" and "service profession." The panel was moderated by Dan Hull of the blog What About Clients? who has often made it clear that excellent client service is one of his missions in life. Does Boomer Hull define client service in the same way as Millennial Dayton?
Not long ago, the executive director of a law firm told me that her managing partner returned from a meeting of the women's bar association (can't recall the organization's exact name) in shock. He said a hypothetical situation had been presented about the staffing of a case. The decision to be made was between a male associate and a female associate who was pregnant and would give birth about the time the case was set for trial. The debate was long and spirited. What puzzled the managing partner was silence about the best interests of the client. The word "client" was never mentioned.
I am not sure if that debate over the hypothetical is at all related to the current Gen Y debate. I do know that, in the past few days, I have been thinking frequently of the debate that left out the client.
Note about the SuperConference: I was very fortunate to meet Adrian, Scott, Dan (another post at his blog about the Conference), anonymous Ed., as well as Patrick Lamb (his post about the Conference), and my fellow panelists Anthony Zana, Marcy Smorey-Giger, and Bill Morelli. Sheila Brennan put together a terrific conference—and she was a delight to meet! Thanks and congratulations, Sheila.
Links about a book I recommended on the panel: Watch and listen to Chris Brogan reviewing Not Everyone Gets A Trophy: How to Manage Generation Y. Interviews of Bruce Tulgan, the book's author.
Note (added May 21, 2009): More about this "conversation" in the blawgosphere-Report on panel discussion about how to manage Generation Y in the legal workplace (Legal Writing Prog Blog).
Notes (added later): Still more about the above-described Gen Y panel:
The Millennials: Generation Enlightened or Generation Lazy? (Wall Street Journal Law Blog).
Why Millenials Could Change the Legal Industry (Fearfully Optimistic).
Millennials: But, you didn't have our mothers (Law and More).