The n-gen Story

What inspired us to found n-gen?

73While working as colleagues, Giselle Kovary and Adwoa K. Buahene began to explore the concept of high-potential employees and what organizations must do to develop and retain them. Over time, this discussion exploded into a number of related topics and caused us to pose several questions. Why does it seem impossible to retain high performers? Why is working on teams so frustrating sometimes? What causes teams to be dysfunctional and unproductive? Are these issues dependent on age and/or level of experience?

We asked those questions to others, mainly our peers at first. It turned out, that not only did we have similar expectations of our relationship with an employer, but we were motivated by the same values and possessed the same approach to work as did our peers. As Gen Xers, we possess common values and characteristics. We continued our research and conducted interviews to determine whether or not other generations had the same expectations and motivations as Gen Xers did, specifically when they were in their mid 20’s – to late 30’s. It turned out, there were distinct differences between how Gen Xers view the world and the way Traditionalists and Baby Boomers view the world. And this remained true, even when we compared experiences at the same age and life stage.

First, the more experienced generations behaved differently when they entered the workforce versus today’s Gen X & Gen Y employees. Second, each generation often has difficulty understanding the motivations and expectations of the other cohorts. Third, each generation possesses a core set of values and skills that are unique to that generation. Clashes occur when values, expectations and behaviours conflict.

We evaluated the marketplace and observed a significant gap – in 2003 no one was dealing with people performance from a generational perspective. Traditional performance consultants largely ignore the tremendous impact generational differences have on workplace performance. We created solutions that could be applied easily and quickly within organizations. n-gen was founded to help companies address gaps in organizational performance while improving engagement of your multigenerational workforce.

As leaders in this industry, we are so pleased to have worked with over 175 companies, many Fortune 500 clients, and trained over 60,000 people globally. Our work continues to grow and expand, based on our deep expertise, on-going research and a desire to provide advanced learning to leaders and team members in order to drive greater performance and results. Our work isn’t done! As we move into our next phase, Generation 2.0 solutions that harness knowledge and action will be at the forefront of how we continue to lead and innovate. As organizations strategically integrate generational issues into their talent management plans, the ability to create more engaged leaders and teams that outperform will be the focus.


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