14 January 2009

Is Gen X really in charge?

Some people are using next week's peaceful transition of power as a metaphor for everything under the sun. Tammy Erickson, at the Harvard Business Review, thinks that this is a time for many in business too. Gen Ys are being integrated fully into the work teams and Xers are taking the reins while the baby boomers are stepping back to help. She writes:
Will these new roles suit the times? I think perhaps they will. Bill Strauss and Neil Howe, coauthors of Generations, posit that each generation makes a unique bequest to those that follow -- and generally seeks to correct the excesses of the previous generation. They argue that the Boomer excess is ideology -- and that the Generation X reaction to that excess involves an emphasis on pragmatism and effectiveness.

This generational priority will give X'ers a strong advantage in remaking organizations to reflect twenty-first-century realities: the need for transparency, accountability, real-time performance, lack of ideology, top-of-market effectiveness, and cash value.

What will that mean for the professional firms and public offices where our grads are working? Is there any chance that the Ys will jump past the Xs and take over directly from the boomers?

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