Friday, May 22, 2009

TX Young CPAs Conference: Generational Dynamics - Jerry Love

Jerry Love, CPA is the CEO of the Davis Kinard accounting firm in Abeliene, Texas. He is a former Chairman of the TSCPA.

There are now four generations in the workplace.

Baby Boomer
Generation X
Generation Y

These generations each have different defining events and characteristics. The mixture of these different characteristics in the workforce can be challenging. However, the key is communication and understading of the differences between the generations.

Baby Boomers are work-a-holics. They can view Gen X and Y's desire for less work hours as laziness or not working hard. Boomers need to understand that someone can do a good job and not work 3,000 hours per year.

Tips for dealing with Baby Boomers:
Communication is the key. This requires an investment of time to understand where they are coming from.
Understand what you can get from your boss, so you can make reasonable, actionable requests for mentoring
Make a list of skills and knowledge you want to accumulate.

Before approaching the Boomer Boss for changes.
Identify what you want to be different:
Compose your thoughts
Research and document support
Identify options to implement
Prioritize the items
Rehearse what you plan to say

Identify who among management is most open minded to hear your suggestions.
You want an open dialogue, not "labor negotiations."
Begin and end your discussion with sincere acknowledgement of the things thy are doing right.

Are there policies and procedures in your firm that are only there because someone wrote them in the 50's? Sometime status quo for status quo's sake exists in today's firms. The key to changing the status quo is having an open, respectful dialogue.

We need to give positive, sincere feedback - going both directions.
Ask for what you want.
Accept each other as human beings
Learn each generation has strengths to offer
Be quick to forgive their weaknesses
Be quick to admit when we are wrong
Be patient - "Rome was not built in a day"

Little Abner expected everything to go wrong -- and his expectations were met. We need to expect things to go right.

Jerry has substantial insight, and has studied this subject extensively. He successfully transferred some of this knowledge to the group.

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