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Taking up a New Language

David Catanach, director of the British Signs and Graphics Association (BSGA), is considering taking up a new language in the early evening of his life

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Generational differences make for different approaches to work

A common language problem

As it happens, I am from the Baby Boomer generation and would like to think, retrospectively, that I have always got on well with my elders, compatriots, and even Generation X and Xennials. Last week I had my first encounter with Generation Y, better known as Millennials, and I think I now know how Winston Smith felt when at work re-writing the English language with Engsoc in the novel 1984. Here is what happened.

Someone—no names, no pack drill—“reached out” to me as they were having “heavy fulfilment issues” and needed a “quick win” otherwise their client would go “offshoring”.

It seemed that once they had “broken through the clutter” and adopted  a “holistic approach”, it would help if they could “set clear goals” and even create a “new normal”.

It seemed that once they had “broken through the clutter” and adopted a “holistic approach”,
it would help if they could “set clear goals” and even create a “new normal”


By coming to me, they would be “drinking the Kool Aid” and wanted me to “make it pop”.

My task was to “drill down” and “focus on low hanging fruit” to obtain, basically, the “best of breed” but not to worry if that “pushes the envelope” as time is “mission critical”. As long as I was mindful of “netiquette” and could “close the loop” for them.






If I ignored the “roadmap”, it could be like “herding cats”, but if I created my own “enterprise content management” and “scalability”, I could create a “sea-change” in “core competency”. Feel free, they said, to use “skeumorphism” as a “single pane of glass” view is preferable. This is after all, only a “hyperlocal” problem.

They definitely did not want “paralysis by analysis” as this has a limited “ROI”, but the “pain point” is someway off and my “best practices” will definitely give “value add” as all they were doing for now is “KPO”.

I must admit that I was not sure to be relieved or flee at the point they offered to “unpack” their last statement for me in order that “synergy” and “sustainability” can be reached. Especially, they went on to add, if I could provide some “instructional scaffolding” across “multiple intelligences”.

Once I had advised them, they said they would leave it to “stratcom” department for “bench marking” at the “back end”. If the solution involved “bricks and clicks” like a “Womble Store”, they may even consider a “third extra flip” in the “profit centre”.


The Millennial generation is “generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies” (Wikipedia)
 


If I had wanted it, all their “data mining” would be available and they would not be averse to a “flipped classroom” providing the “exit strategy” was “robust”. Their “Tiger Team” was “on the runway” and eager for some “differential instruction” and “higher order thinking”.

When they stopped talking, I suggested that they check it is all plugged in and if that does not work, switch it off at the mains, wait a minute, then switch it back on again. I did not use those words as it was more like “project-based learning” for them. It worked. Problem solved.

Far better to sit on the sidelines and sip my rather large, and some would say healthy sized, bourbon and ice with a smile of contentment or bemusement and leave it to Generation Y to cope with Generation Z


Sadly, because of this encounter, I have already mentally given up on Generation Z—the generation yet to come. Far better to sit on the sidelines and sip my rather large, and some would say healthy sized, bourbon and ice with a smile of contentment or bemusement and leave it to Generation Y to cope with Generation Z.


The British Sign and Graphics Association (BSGA) history dates back more than 70 years when a group of leading sign-makers formed the Master Sign Makers Association (MSMA) with the aim of promoting the sign industry and defending its interests.

For more information on the issues discussed in this article visit www.bsga.co.uk or Tel: 0845 338 3016


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