Monday, September 29, 2008

Git-r-done: Outcomes-focused Xers want you to figure it out already

My husband once got in an argument with a colleague regarding how to complete an assignment (he works in the media) that ended with my husband saying, "F*cking figure it out!" While, not the most professional of lines, I do think it encapsulates the Gen X impatience with people who are process-focused, rather than outcome focused.

Two things happened recently that made me remember that story. The first is my good friend is struggling with managing Boomer and Gen Y employees, because she doesn't have a lot of extra time to discuss process.

The second was reading Jason Seiden's blog. He had this great post about Gen X and one of the things he pointed out is that Gen X has been flattening out the hierarchy of organizations since we entered the workforce.

I'm not sure there's a big lesson here as much as it's just something Xers have to deal with. Process is not that important to us. We tell you the result we want, and you figure out how. And when we're dealing with superiors, we just want to be told what result you want, and we'll figure it out.

Maybe that's why so many of us Xers run around quoting Larry the Cable Guy (an Xer, by the way). He's an idiot, but he's right.


Anonymous said...


"Git 'er dun" is the mantra adopted by my largest client, btw. The guy rocks, and his organization is (1) flat(tening) and (2) as free of petty politics as an organization can get.

Luv it.

btw, thx for the props. I'm glad to know someone's reading!

Kristina said...

GenXers have bad memories of being made to "show our work" on Algebra problems and then getting marked off for reaching the correct solution "the wrong way." BAH.

Le said...

I so totally get this - give me the job and budget and leave me be ...

I most love it (not) when the boomer says go do 'dfg' then part way thru the whole thing comes back and says 'oh no - not 'dfg' that way - this way - my way' ...

Exit stage left .... le

Unknown said...

I would LOVE to have an organization like Jason described - where the focus is not on how you do it, but that it's done correctly.

Wish it was purely generational. I got thrown in my last temp job because my supervisor (six months younger than me, by the way and we both turned thirty) went through the notes I made and critiqued how I made them. First telling me we need to document, and then saying it was too much, didn't like the way I wrote dates (even though no one but me would even see them) things like that.

Work would be so much nicer if we could just get stuff done and not worry too much about processes (granted there are ways to "just get stuff done" in completely wrong ways, I'm just saying desired results with ethical, compliance-abiding processes.)