Dear Aunty B,
My entire management team are a bunch of wimps. I have deliberately tried to create a culture where they will take risks, and if they stuff up, it’s OK.
But every time I raise a new idea I get talked out of it. I just presented an idea for a great new product and was met with a lukewarm yes, which I know means it will be put on the backburner until I forget about it.
The young people under them have more guts and I can sense their frustration. Do I promote the younger ones? I have tried to change the culture and it hasn’t worked
Dear M R,
Oh how right you are. Gen-X! What is wrong with you?
Get any entrepreneurs in a room and they will complain about this dour, conservative, non-risk taking generation.
Even Gen-Y entrepreneurs complain about their Gen-X staff. Why, we ask each other, do they need so much hand holding and mothering?
Theories abound as to what has happened to them. Is it their baby boomer parents who ignored them? Is it rebellion at their hippy teachers and parents?
Of course it could be that they are sensibly trying to keep the company on track despite your best endeavours to distract them into income losing ventures.
However if you are sure your ideas will work, then yes, promote your entrepreneurial Gen-Xs and Ys and leave behind your risk averse Gen-Xs.
But make sure they are not part of your B team.
As the downturn gets a grip, it will be important to remain innovative and entrepreneurial, despite a natural tendency to balk at falling sales and rein in costs.
Your Aunty B.