Next Generation of Government Summit -We’re in Good Hands!

I had the pleasure and privilege of speaking on the panel, Bridging the Generation Gap, at the Next Generation of Government Summit yesterday with Govloop’s Andy Krzmarzick and friend and Baby Boomer colleague Sunny Hester, Dir. of Human Capital HHS. I have to say, when Andy asked the audience to raise their hands if they were Gen Y and almost half the hands went up, and then the other half went up for Gen X, (only 2 Baby Boomers) I knew this was going to be a fun and engaging event! It was very interesting speaking about cross generational engagement and communication with a Gen Y focus to an audience that was highly Gen Y/X, as usually the audience is much more Baby Boomer. I also stuck around to catch up with some old friends and to mingle
(yes, love those mingle sticks) with some new folks. I was excited to receive positive feedback on the session and I’ve had some great follow on conversations. I wish we had some more time as a panel to get insights and opinions directly from the audience! If you have any and we didn’t get a chance to connect – feel free to share here or via email.

The learning continues all around!

My biggest learning from NGG10: Government is in good hands!

This event had the highest energy level of any I can recall attending in a long time, both from the speakers and the attendees! The next generation of government truly is a group of passionate, talented, motivated, engaged, ambitions individuals who are looking to make a difference – my thanks!

Thanks to Govloop for organizing a great event!

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Nichole Henley

Scott! Great discussion earlier this week! I did have a question for you. I detected a bit of an accent when you spoke. Where are you from?

Scott Span

Thanks Nicole. I’m glad you enjoyed the discussion. Interesting, and left field question =). What accent did you hear? I’ve been told I have a combination of Philly (where I grew up) and NY (where I lived for almost 10 years).

Nichole Henley

haha! What can I say- my mind jets off in extreme propulsion and it ends up wherever it stops. Is that a gen y trait too?
Honestly, I thought a bit australian! Boy was I off… But I can see the Philly/NY style and agree with it!

Perhaps next year we can take the generation topic a bit further and dive into some practical applications that run parallel to some of our experiences/assignments. Maybe even some role playing too?

Scott Span

You can find the materials and handouts here:

A few nuggets from the discussion:

– Culture, “how work gets done” and “what you see and hear”, be aware of it, know how to navigate it, determine if it is a match for you, and know what you’re in for from day one.

– Communication is key to success at all ages and all levels. Take the time to learn the communication styles and preferences of the other generations, and cater your message in a way to which they are most receptive to hear you.

– Not all Baby Boomers are technologically challenged and change resistant.

– Explore and clarify labels, they are usually covering up for some other possible issues and concerns. “I’m not a Tween I don’t do that” , “Well I’m 65 and this is the way we have always done things.” Ask – And what does that have to do with anything? Can you please clarify the relevance of what you mean?

– Transitioning to a government job can be a tough adjustment. Maintain an open mind and level of understanding. If you don’t know, ask. Newbies may still have much to learn – and that is perfectly OK!

Scott Span

That sounds like a great idea for next year! This topic is not going away any time soon. I would have liked to have a more interactive session working with and talking about real life examples. I often do this in my workshops. I’ll share the feedback with Govloop. AU accent, really…well I do want to visit there someday!

Scott Span

@Harlan – teachable moment. I was perfectly civil. You asked for specific information (electronically I may add which supplied no tone of voice or body language) and I in turn supplied you with that information. You didn’t pose any pleasantries, detailed questions or offer an opinions to which I felt required a deeper reply. I assume you were not at the event. As was discussed in the session by me and my Baby Boomer colleague – see my comment on communication! In addition, I’m not sure where your anger at Gen Y is coming from, however it is apparent in your response and tone. I’m curious as to where that comes from and hope you explore it further.

Scott Span

Harlan. Thanks for the clarification! Now it is much more clear what you were trying to get across via electronic medium. The question “And what does that have to do with anything?” AND the accompanying question “Can you please clarify the relevance of what you mean?” didn’t have to do with communication style so much, as an audience member story and question from an individual who felt that her age, and not her ideas or her performance, where the issue that other members of her team from different generations had when considering her ideas. Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be open to trying new ways of doing things! We may end up surprised by the results. Thus my advice, check into that further, ask for the clarity regarding those off the cuff and possibly discriminatory remarks and try and learn from one another. I wish you the best in your further explorations of your frustrations toward Gen Y. Thanks for your generational opinion.