Inflation Through a Generational Lens: More Than Just Rising Prices and Shrinking Value?

Posted on January 19, 2023


Here is the link to a fascinating post on LinkedIn about remote work through the eyes of different generations. The author, Katia Dimova, made several interesting points – including her reference to a Darwinian quote about the importance of adaptability.

One more thought: besides the initial “conceptual” tie-in to another post I read this morning, which referenced Eric Hoffer’s quote on the importance of adaptability regarding inflation and shrinkflation, I wonder how “generational silos” impact the thinking and actions within a procurement department. I say procurement department because that is the industry within which I work. But the same question can be applied to any industry or profession.

My comment on Katia’s post:

Your Darwin reference, Katia reminded me of the following Eric Hoffer quote I read in a post by Mita Gupta: “In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.”

You got me thinking about the generational view from a procurement standpoint beyond working location, such as negotiating style or inflation – the latter of which is what Mita wrote about:

My point is that, unlike any other time in history, multiple generations are in the workforce simultaneously. Each is impacted differently by the same factors occurring at the same time. Recognition of said differences, acceptance and a collective and coordinated response would seem to make sense. Check out Mita’s reference to Zoom as one example.

When it comes to inflation, what impact will it have on the careers we choose, the incomes we will earn, and how and from where we will work?

Narrowing down the above question, what is the best way for procurement to deal with inflation and shrinkflation – generationally speaking?

Immediate questions for the procurement department:

  • If inflation affects each generation differently, what impact does it have on the development, implementation, and execution of a coordinated and cohesive procurement strategy to deal with it?
  • To what extent does work location impact a procurement team’s ability to communicate and collaborate effectively to address inflation and the other challenges our industry faces in the year ahead?
  • What about technology? Is one generation more comfortable with technology than the others, and if so, how does this impact the digital transformation of procurement to adapt to new challenges – including inflation and new ways of working?
  • Given the “synergy” between supply chains – which touches every area of our daily lives, and inflation, is it reasonable to conclude that procurement professionals have a vital role in “fixing” the inflation/shrinkflation problem?
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