Ever since the Rebel Jam, there is one question that keepspopping in my head. Is it really possible for present generationsto really, but truly, innovate and influence change in thegenerations to come?
I mean, you’re a corporaterebel now, you definitely believe in this movement, in the setof principles it stands upon, you are eager to bring positivechange into your company, but, nevertheless you were a corporatefor most of your working life. Maybe not the standard one, maybeyou had rebel fire burning in your heart while others concentratedon reports, I don’t know, but still a corporate. What happens withall this baggage, with the life and work style you’ve beenaccustomed to for so long? In which corner of your mind can youhide all the ideas and rules you’ve been injected with over theyears? Are you sure they don’t surface?
During the Rebel Jam, Eduardo Estellita has organized apoll, to determine which generations do corporate rebels belong to,based on their date of birth. And the results were as follows:
- Traditionalist (before 1945) – 0%
- Baby boomer (1946-1964) – 22%
- Generation X (1965-1977) – 50%
- Generation Y (1978-1998) – 22%
- Generation C (after 1996) – 6%
As it seems, the majority has beenin the working field for at least 15 years. 15 years of corporateteaching. Without any intension to say it in a pejorative way, youstill need to ask yourself: how does this part of your careerinfluence the corporate rebel you want to be? How much of it canyou leave behind, how much is actually helping you in your questand how much is actually holding you back? Maybe these arequestions any rebel could ask himself. And most certainly theanswers will vary. Of course you mean well, but how can you reallyinfluence new generations without the side-effect of your corporatebaggage? How can you inspire innovation into the young, guardingthem at the same time of the flock effect you are so familiar withfrom your years of baby booming?
I personally don’t have answers toall these questions, but maybe together, as rebels we can find adecent way to balance our corporate legacy with our new idea ofthings and our innovative intentions. But we do have to think aboutit with the upmost sincerity.
And because, as a member ofgeneration Y, maybe I am not able to fully comprehend thephenomenon, I asked a baby boomer’s opinion. This is what he said:”You should take into consideration that the Y reps havebaby-boomers parents and they have to witness how, outrageously,22% semi-mummified and 50% expired in their forties have beenforming the large majority here. How can you expect that thesebiological wrecks will contribute to the future of this movementand of this world, if they were not able to negotiate their owneternal youth?! Still, I believe in the slight chance that a personfeaturing ‘mature’ culture, while insignificantly biologicallydeprecated, can refine from her/his own past experience a ratheraccurate idea of the future trends, of this world’s evolution,possible pitfalls and even some advice on how, by all means, toavoid materialising Orwell’s 1984, which, by me, is mid Y’scheckpoint; that is if I am not wrong!
I’ll let the revolutionary Ys tocontinue elaborating, to just explain the relationship aboutpractice proven technology, creativity as instrumental state ofgrace to disrupt status-quo, and what’s so outstanding aboutinnovation – if indeed it is the borderless improvement everybodyis preaching for today, from academicians to politicians, frommanufacturers to researchers, from play-back gifted actors tooriginal artists. Should the argument offend any generation, I’lladd sincere apologies to this text.”
What is so outstanding aboutinnovation – even if creativity is the word that better describeswhat I appreciate in it – is that it does not come natural and itis not for granted. It is not like you get born, through a naturalact of creation, and then through other natural processes, you getinnovation starting to run through your veins. You have to look forit and discover for yourself what it involves; even if you haverebels as parents, their idea of innovative might not be the sameas yours. You can’t get “innovated”, it’s out of the question, youmight just get inspired.
Hoping that we can still be friendsafter this :), I renew my suggestion to deeply reflect on our trueselves and true possibilities and, most of all, reflect on findingthe most sincere way to put experience and maturity to gooduse.