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Generational Diversity & Public Responsibility

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Marvin N. Pichla
February 16, 2024

In recent times so much has been written and discussed about the differences between the specific generational sectors. Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (Millennials) and now Generation Z.  Standard comparison topics have included: work characteristics, creativity, leadership, communication styles, organizational loyalty and work\life balancing. As you can guess, the comparisons seem to report a high level of “changing with the times” and a greater sense of independent thinking. However, if one takes a long look at generational concerns regarding consistent public responsibility for sustaining good government, traditional expectations and standards remain consistent.

An appropriate first example of discussion with regard to comparing generational diversity and related public responsibilities is the world of work. If one reviews the historic role of government in ensuring jobs for all from 1946-2012—and beyond—it would appear that consistency has prevailed. When one considers times of war, recession, private sector change challenges and/or global economy impacts, every generation has expected some form of governmental support action. Whether the action be a bail-out by automobile companies or the restarts required following an international pandemic, the majority of every generation considered it a public responsibility for government to step-up and enact some form of progressive program/process to move the country forward. Understandably the citizenry from every sector voiced a wide variety of government options to improve the identified problems, however majority support for qualified public responsibility was embraced .

Communication is another very notable topic related to generational diversity. Without question, the ways of sharing information in regard to public/governmental responsibilities on every communication level has undergone an immense assembly of changes. Every generation has had to make tremendous adjustments to socially and technologically adapt to ever-evolving communication formats. From regular phones to cell phones, regular television to streaming programs, in-person meetings to virtual webcasts, all generations have been charged to effectively make the necessary adaptions!

So have different generations both loved and hated the communication changes? YES! Even those responsible for completing public responsibilities to their best ability regardless of the communication requirements? YES! Today, extensive communication surrounding governmental activity is at an all time high. Advanced communication methodologies have made U.S. citizens the most informed in the world.  But similar to the world-of-work, the public has the right to use communication alternatives with different priorities in mind. Therefore the result is often viewed in terms of generational diversity, rather than just simple personality differences. Think about it.

Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship are other recognized areas of significant generational diversity. If one studies the great discoveries, scientific improvements and/or inventions that have occurred during every separate timeframe, it is impossible to somehow generationally rank the multitudes of achievement. Also, it is difficult to assess how every innovation has provided new and better ways of accomplishment in the public responsibility arena. However, it goes without question that both the private and public sectors have experienced some form of public responsibility gain as a result. The examples of creativity over the years are vast, including health care, transportation, nutrition, manufacturing, education, communication improvements, the list goes on. Regardless, every generation has and continues to seek new alternatives to make way for a better public good. That said, generational diversity comes in the form of prioritization and means of accomplishment. Hence, the intent I believe remains consistent with regard to satisfying public responsibility expectations and demands.

A final but very important Generational Diversity & Public Responsibility topic that deserves analysis is our country’s two-party system. Throughout our history the diversity that exists between Democrats and Republicans has caused a great deal of leadership challenges, fluctuations in public responsibility commitments and differences in what policy areas deserve the greatest level of priority. However, regardless of the political situation that evolves or impacts a citizen’s generational assignment, party selection does not appear to change their perceptions of public responsibility.

Isn’t it substantial that regardless of a citizen’s age or their right or left wing party beliefs, their policy for public responsibility remains the same. This is evident based on our selection of presidents and policymakers over the years. As a result, the public responsibility values retained by Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, Generation Y-millennials and Generation Z individuals have shown that our country continues to operate with a historical balance. Understandably, this balance when addressing U.S. public responsibility has encountered many straining times when the idea of “choosing political sides” is a driving force. However, somehow the dedication to providing the best public responsibility services comes to pass.

Now it is logical to ask: Why is this article on Generational Diversity & Public Responsibility important? I believe in our current times it is critical to recognize and appreciate all of the public responsibility activities/elements that make the United States “governmentally shine”! Historically citizens have always had the opportunity to choose leaders and processes that make the nation progressive. Therefore, when comparing and contrasting each generation, it is important to take note of their continuously positive pursuit of public responsibility. This genuine and authentic care for the betterment of our country is what our Founding Fathers considered most important.

Author: Marvin N. Pichla, Ph.D., is the owner and creative adviser of Inspiring Innovations, Inc. Sharing his unique entrepreneurship and innovation in public service experience, Marv consults with public and private business, education and community organizations to develop new and different problem-solving methods through real-life, example-based learning.

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