December 15, 2008
Robert Adams
LO President

tom intven Today we divide generations by labels, such as Zoomers, Generation Xers, Boomers, Echo Boomers and Millennials, or more commonly known as Generation Y – “Gen Yers.”

What do we all have in common? Is it that we all want to succeed in life, to be happy and prosperous?

Recently I attended a conference where one of the topics was Generation Y. As I call it, “A New Attitude.” And trust me, it is just that. During the presentation, the whats and whys of this specific age group (19-27, born between 1978 and 1989) were revealed. It was explained that this is a generation with high expectations of self, and of their employers. They expect to have ongoing learning, immediate respect and responsibility, deadlines with measurable results and rewards. This is a goal-driven generation.

Their methods of learning and communicating are vastly different from previous generations. In the past, information on how to do specific tasks was explained to us by our forefathers, or someone more experienced in the field, and highly respected. Gen Yers are much less likely to respond to the traditional command and control type of management.

Gen Yers are forward thinkers. They not only ask “why,” but will push the envelope constantly and think outside the box. They listen, analyze and propose different methods. Some of these provide obvious advantages if put into action. The Gen Y generation was raised in a mostly child-centered era. They were programmed and nurtured, and now expect to be recognized for their achievements. Employers must learn to appreciate their need for constant change, if we are to adapt a unified position for the future. We need to continue to work together.

In our ever-changing world, we have to look to our future. It is for this reason that we need to attract the Generation Y to our industry and to Landscape Ontario. We need to encourage, entice and listen to them, and hope they will still ask that inevitable question of us, “Why?”

We need to develop a plan on how to recruit and retain these new thinkers, shakers and movers of tomorrow. I encourage you to send me your thoughts on this topic.

I would like to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. Please enjoy the holidays with your families and friends. Be safe and I look forward to seeing you at Congress 2009.
Robert Adams may be reached by email at