Tag Archive for 'Mike Muetzel'

Getting Gen X, Gen Y and Boomers working together

Never before in the history of the workplace have so many generations, with so many diverging qualifications, cultures and values, worked together.  When Baby Boomers joined the workforce beginning in the 60s, they had energy, brains and some education, but not much in the way of specific skills that an employer could use. Boomers had to learn from their managers how to be productive. Therefore, their value came over time, after gaining experience and training.  And of course, with so much to learn, it was difficult for this generation to justify an attitude as they joined the workplace.

As Gen X and Gen Y come aboard, they are bringing all of the things Boomers had, plus technical skills that allow them to be productive immediately. Often their technical acumen day-one is better than that of their veteran managers. With that background often comes what is perceived by managers and small business employers as an attitude and aloofness at best, and rudeness and disrespectfulness at worst.

So how do we get the generations to find common ground so they can communicate and work more effectively together without creating a casualty list? Recently on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, Mike Muetzel and I discussed all of these issues between Gen X and Gen Y with Baby Boomers. Mike is a long-time member of my Brain Trust, founder of Mx Marketing, Management Solutions, and author of, They’re Not Just Aloof…Just Generation X.

Take a few minutes to listen to what Mike and I talk about on this very important and contemporary topic. And, of course, be sure to let us know about your perspectives, experiences and solutions. Listen Live! Download, Too!

Generations working together without creating a casualty list

When I first entered the marketplace, lo those many decades ago, all I could offer my new employer was what I learned in school, my best application of brainpower, youthful energy, a willingness to learn and a good attitude. In other words, I was a blob of clay ready to be molded into something useful by an older, experienced person who took the time to teach me. And until that transformation took place, my value to the company was pretty much as a warm body. In those days, late 60s - early 70s, there weren’t a lot of paradigm shifts taking place or new technology being introduced.

For the past decade and a half, the new generations have entered the marketplace at a time when paradigms are shifting in all quadrants and technological innovations are coming on-line faster than a woman changes handbags. And these kids are either the early adopters of the new orders and/or are actually causing the shifts. Consequently, when Gen Y and Gen X showed up for work the first day, they not only knew stuff that could benefit the company day-one, but they would likely know more about some things than their employers, thereby becoming the trainer instead of the trainee, at least part of the time.

This new dynamic between the generations has created both opportunities and challenges. For example:

1. The acquisition of these talented young folk has produced great advantages and increased productivity for millions of 21st century businesses, large and small.

2. The convergence of the technological and sociological worlds has created a new digital dimension in which older generations often feel like aliens, but where Gen X and Gen Y are clearly high-functioning natives.

3. Baby Boomer managers would do well to embrace and leverage the new ways and bright young minds.

4. With all of the new and exciting stuff, classic marketplace behaviors and fundamentals, including ethics and industry best practices, are still valid; and younger employees would do well to respect and value what the more mature generations can teach them.

Recently, on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I interviewed two of my Brain Trust members who have been studying this new dynamic between the generations. First, Mike Muetzel, author of, They’re not Aloof, Just Generation X, and then Donna Fenn, author of the upcoming book, Upstarts! How Gen Y Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business. Take a few minutes to listen to what these two experts have to say about this very important and contemporary topic. And, of course, be sure to leave your comments.
For Mike Muetzel:
For Donna Fenn:

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