Friday, July 10, 2009

Generation X Unfit for Management?

I think I found a new narrative out there in the "Generations in the Workplace" wilderness. For some time I've been saying that when it comes to generations in the workplace, all the stories I ever seem to find are on one of two topics:

1. Are those crazy Boomers ever going to let go and retire?
2. How are we going to manage those crazy Millennials coming into the workforce?

The Hourglass Blog got started because we wanted to start a new conversation. We recognize that Gen X is and will continue to move into leadership positions in our organizations and in society, and we wanted to explore what their new generational perspective will do to the way organizations are managed and the collective goals they may be directed towards.

Well, thanks to Dave Sohigan and his "The Gen X Files" blog for pointing me to this blog post from the "Managing the Generations" blog about how awful life is going to be under Gen X's leadership.

It's a pretty scathing indictment of GenX's inability to lead—written by Xer Bob Filipczak. He takes a look at Gen X's "core characteristics" and shows how none of them translate into effective management techniques. And guess what one of his predictions is.

At an executive leadership level, most “silo-thinking” Xers will be hard-pressed to succeed when managing large departments or even teams of more than a dozen people. Only those who can look beyond their own inclinations will rise through the ranks, especially in large companies. And because Millennials are so good at big teams, you could see the younger generation leapfrogging into executive leadership positions with tribes of Generation X managers reporting to them.

Yep. That's the new narrative. When will those GenXers get out of the way so those team-player Millennials can run the show?


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