Boston.com has a great blog associated with it called Brainiac. It is written by Joshua Glenn who has been writing a lot about generational issues. In fact, he is one of the first people who I've seen break each generation down into ten year increments. According to Joshua, they are:
1904-13: [I'm open to suggestions]
1914-23: Greatest Generation
1924-33: Postmodernist Generation
1934-43: Anti-Anti-Utopian Generation
1954-63: OGX (Original Generation X)
1964-73: PC Generation
1974-83: Net Generation
1994-03: Too soon to say
He recently did a great (albeit long) post about GenX. I'm technically a "PC Generation" since I was born in 1965 but I have a lot of the traits of a GenX'er.
As we continue to move forward into the impending workforce crisis, I've noticed a distinct lack of interest about Generation X. Why is that? We might be a cynical bunch we we have a lot of Boomer Values and most of us can operate a computer. We're already leading many organizations and organizational functions...so why aren't we getting any recognition? It seems strange to me that almost all of the recruiting blogs and the HR magazines have turned their attention totally on the Millennials.
Most Millennials are not ready to lead organizations (although, if you talk to them, they are ready to be the CEO). It is going to be Gen X and the PC Generation who are going to be leading for the next 10 years or so. Let's give the Millennials time to learn what they don't yet know they don't know.
If your organization hasn't thought about how to start moving Gen X into the leadership ranks, it is time to hold a corporate summit. Get your important leaders around a table and start thinking about how you would go about replacing each of them. Is there a Gen X'er ready to step up? I recommend doing a thorough evaluation and then creating a mentoring program based on learning needs of your Gen X workers. A solid assessment is a good place to start and a way to give the mentor and the mentee something to work on and a place to start building their relationship.
From there, work your plan. Try new things. Give people new opportunities to lead and develop their talents.