Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tamara Erickson is a Boomer who "gets it"
I recently had the opportunity to review Tamara Erickson's latest work on generational issues - What's Next, Gen X? As a longtime fan of Erickson's, I was really excited to read this.
I know there are not a lot of people who want to read about Gen X anymore - unless it's something really negative like how we will die in squalor waiting for the Boomers to retire. However, Erickson - who is a Boomer - argues just the opposite. She writes that "the way businesses create value is changing, essentially in ways that are more closely aligned with X'er preferences and sensibilities."
These ways include Xer's putting less emphasis on being told what you should believe and more emphasis on transparency.
One way Erickson really keys in to the Gen X perspective is her discussion of the way Gen Xers form "tribes" - and how that is one of our defining strengths. We've always known that Xers are fiercely loyal to their friends - Erickson shows how that's impacting our adult professional lives, too.
I was also impressed that Erickson was not afraid to call us out for simply walking away from professional situations when we're pissed off - and not explaining why. I agree that there are times that if we did a little more talking - and less walking - we may able to resolve situations quicker.
As far as downsides, I think Erickson doesn't offer enough concrete new advice as to HOW Xers can take our strengths and make them work for us. I would have like to have seen more case studies and quotes from successful Xers who are making it work - and less from Xers who are complaining.
But overall - I loved this book and would recommend. Don't let Erickson's Boomer status scare you off - she "gets it."