Saturday, June 19, 2010

Walking the Generation X Talk

Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas
I need to get myself away from this place
I said yep what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change....Smash Mouth, Astro Lounge

The Short of It
  • New job
  • New website
  • New adventure
The Long of It

I've decided to practice what I preach.

According to Lisa Chamberlain in Slackonomics: Generation X in the Age of Creative Destruction, "Some back-of-the-envelope calculations in a 1997 Fast Company article entitled "Free Agent Nation" indicated that 16 percent of the American workforce, or roughly 25 million people, are free agents in the United States, a term this article describes as "people who move from project to project and who work on their own, sometimes for months, sometimes for days." Furthermore, the article argues that the numbers have only grown as Generation X has moved into their prime earning years, thereby defying expectations that once Xers began to age, they would become more prudent and risk-averse."

[insert a grin and lopsided shrug here]

In true Gen X fashion, I am going on the outside in an effort to effect change on the inside. I have come to believe it will take a combined effort from individual volunteer and staff leaders calling in assistance and support from the outside to cause large scale, practical innovation and change in the association community. I am now willing to not only accept but capitalize on my own perennial outsider status and offer myself as a catalyst agent to help you accomplish the things you need to get done.

My husband has invited me to join his firm, Alcorn Associates, and is expanding the management consulting wing to accomodate my particular skill set.  We have joined forces to bring our collective passion for non-profit associations to bear on the pressing challenges we feel must be met (and yes, for those of you who are sure to ask - our dinner table IS a veritable geek-fest of association management theory and practice - we live this career 24/7).

By merging our collective skill set, we can provide a holistic set of services to non-profit trade and professional associations, subsidiaries, charities, foundations, chambers of commerce and other small businesses.  For those of you who don't know, Mark is an attorney and specializes in the full range of legal challenges faced by the 501(c) community. He is the author of the Association Law Blog. He also assists organizations as they develop compelling missions and strategic visions. I'm throwing my lot in to focus on tactical implementation of strategic vision, special projects, budget/staffing evaluation and coaching. I am also a self-described edupunk who wants nothing more than to conduct workshops and keynotes that blow the lids off of conferences and events.

Alcorn Associates' new website has launched at Go check it out and feel free to forward the link to people you feel may benefit from our services.

So, it's official. I've joined the ranks of my Gen X peers who have decided to throw off the chains and get into the game. Instead of just studying the phenomenon, I'm going to live it.

Well the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb.....

If you can't see the embedded video click here.


  1. Congratulations -- Live the phenomenon! Be the best lid-blower anyone could ever come upon. Mostly, just be your amazing self and people will flock to you.

    Auburn McCanta

  2. Auburn -

    I derive courage from you and your example every day.


  3. What a dynamic team - lots of luck!

  4. Why thank you MaryAnne! We really are having a blast with it all.....


  5. Awesome! Congrats on the move Shelly!

  6. Thanks Joe - it's a new day in Shelly-land....


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