Gen X? Fight Back. Here's How!

Last Updated Jun 16, 2008 2:48 AM EDT

Reading the BNET survival guide to Managing the Millennials got me thinking about how Generation Xers (including me) can close the gap in perception. In creativity circles, we define creativity as "shifting your perception". The same applies to embracing change and thinking like a millennial.

Now I am not advocating we all download the latest ringtones to our phones to make us look cool --- but would you know how to if you wanted one?

Here are eight quick tips for fighting back:

  1. Upgrade your neck-top computer (the one in your head) and learn to read more strategically and improve your memory.
  2. Develop your Outboard brain --- know how to access information quickly through wikis, RSS Feeds and online sources like
  3. Build your (online) social skills --- actually do something with your LinkedIn account.
  4. At least know about new ideas, new technologies and new developments such as "twitter". Pop into a phone shop and (learn to) drool over the latest gadgets.
  5. Learn how RSS works and create BNET alerts on topics of interest.
  6. Value soft skills training rather than just competencies.
  7. Build on your desire for hard skills with "deliberate" creative thinking techniques such as SCAMPER.
  8. Buddy up with a Gen Y (aka mentoring) to keep in the loop with the latest Web sites, thinking and marketing ideas. Mike, my 26-year-old mentor, immediately sent me a link on the 90-9-1 rule when I lamented that "people don't comment on blogs".
Why not include Baby Boomers in this post? They have an even more fixed mindset and would be getting most of their information from traditional media rather than blogs.

Or is that just another common misperception?

What are things you have noticed that separates you from the Millennials?

Any other quick tips to stay current and feel on top of cultural changes?

  • Robert Gerrish

    Robert Gerrish is a coach, author and professional speaker and the founder of Flying Solo (, the Australian online community for solo business owners.