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Fuse: Making Sense of the New Cogenerational Workplace(TM) Hardcover – October 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Finkelstein is president and CEO of FutureSense, Inc., an advisory firm focused on organization development, incentives and compensation, succession planning and communications. Before founding FutureSense, Jim served as partner in a Big Five firm, CEO of a professional services firm, and corporate executive for Fortune 500 companies. He has served on boards of start-ups, and for-profit and nonprofit companies. Through all of these views, he truly understands the convergence of environment, culture, development and rewards in order to improve business performance through people. Jim has an MBA from the Wharton School.

Mary Gavin is president of GavinMedia2.0, a firm specializing in communications that integrate the arts of strategy, content, and new media. Mary has designed and implemented successful communications strategies for Fortune 500, national nonprofit, and government organizations, and has edited or contributed to books on law, economics, mergers and acquisitions and public relations in addition to Fuse. Mary has a JD from the University of California.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press; Reissue edition (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608321460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608321469
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,812,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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What a wonderful ride! The lenses I have looked through include being a parent, husband, friend, Big Brother, YMCA camp counselor, entrepreneur, child psychology and economics major, soccer referee, book author, movie producer, non-profit Board member, singer and actor, start-up company domain expert, and above all, a learning member of and contributor to the communities in which I have lived. I have been a Fortune 500 executive, a CEO of a subsidiary of a publicly traded company, a partner in a major accounting firm, a coach, a consultant and an employer.

Call me a dreamer or a perpetual fixer, but I believe people can be happier at their jobs and organizations can be more effective at what they do. I want this thing called work to be more fun and more engaging. I am a student and a leader of people and organizations. Understanding what motivates people and what melts their butter pays off as a consultant helping people in business move the meter. For me, work is about blending my business side and my helping side. And I believe in efficiency and common sense. Speed of Thought, Speed of Action and Speed of Results™ is my mantra.

As a Boomer, I work with Millennials -- my son, my web designer and several people on staff at my consulting firm, FutureSense. As a young man, I worked with both adults in planning Model Congresses and with kids in being a unit leader in camp. At Trinity College (CT), I published research on the effectiveness of adult/child companionship (the Big Brother program). Throughout my life I had great advisors. As an adult, I have been a coach (to both of my sons), a mentor, a board member, and have worked extensively with older and younger people. I have always spanned the 18-80 age frontiers. I've tapped the power of the Cogenerational Workplace™ and want to help other organizations and people do it too. That's why I wrote FUSE and launched THE FUSE PROJECT.

Books on generational stereotypes bother me because they miss the point. They focus on why we can't get along. If we focus on similarities (and there are many) instead of differences, I believe we can achieve true collaboration and ignite the power of the Cogenerational Workplace™. And it matters more now. Boomers aren't retiring, seniors are returning to the workplace and Millennials want in. We need to play better together in the corporate sandbox longer.

My first summer job as a counselor and unit leader at YMCA Camp Becket (MA) taught me why excellence in communications, building a foundation of solid values, and having fun is essential to effective collaboration. I had a chance to test my theories at The Wharton School where I went to get my MBA to go into Social Work. I sat in my jeans and a t-shirt surrounded by classmates in business suits all wanting to go to Wall Street and discovered my love for organization development and coaching, counseling and consulting.

Working with kids and shaping their world lights me up. I went to Trinity thinking I'd become a Child Psychologist. Nowadays, I get my fill of helping kids through coaching. I've coached soccer and basketball and been a team manager. My younger son's soccer team won State Cup twice. I wear my referee uniform many weekends, officiating at high school and youth soccer matches. Yes, it keeps me young (and in shape)! Over the years I've given my time to community Boards - YMCAs, independent schools, soccer clubs and music organizations. My wife and boys have been very involved in Guide Dogs for the Blind and I have started a foundation to assist young talented soccer players with the scholastic side of their life.

Do you have employee engagement, development or leadership problems that are intractable and detract from your core business? Jim is expert at skillfully and confidentially resolving the thorniest organizational people problems, and has an excellent success rate at the highest levels of the organizations he serves.

Contact Jim Finkelstein at, 415-453-1514 (office), or 415-302-5805 (cell) for details about scheduling a session today!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
. Not too long ago, I participated in a workshop with employees at the college where I still teach on a part-time basis. It finally hit me that I'm not quite as young as I used to be when I noticed that in attendance were some 20 of my colleagues. Half were there from when I still taught full-time and were roughly my age; the other half looked like they were fresh out of college. (And some of them probably were.)

I mention that as an introduction to FUSE: MAKING SENSE OF THE NEW COGENERATIONAL WORKPLACE (Greenleaf Book Group Press) by Jim Finkelstein with Mary Gavin. . . this enlightening book clearly shows the differences between the experience and command of Boomers and the techno-smart and boundaryless thought of Milennials . . . more importantly, it points out ways that they can and should work together.

Through the use of plenty of tips, anecdotes and quotes, the author delivers practical advice that can be utilized by any organization . . . for example, he recommends to:

* Revamp your employee reward and recognition programs. Skip the gold
watches. Rewards that please Milennials will probably cost less but mean more. Time off, flextime, pro bono work, networking opportunities, and concert tickets are all great motivators.

I also could relate to many of the passages, including this one:

* I can't imagine a day without the Internet. In fact, just the other day, my younger sister was complaining about looking up a few facts online for a research project. Consequently, I couldn't help but bring up the fact that there was a time when (believe it or not) the Internet didn't exist and that she may well have been flipping through the pages of an encyclopedia at the library if it hadn't been invented.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Williams on October 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The read was fast and while it tended toward redundant it was simplistic enough to allow easy skimming. The first half is theoretically providing the specifics of the premise (boomer vs. millenial), the middle could have been pulled from any basic hiring self-help book and the end is mostly focused on highlighting that technology changes and impacts us (wow) and traditional workplaces are resisting non-work related social media while millenials want it. Overall a generic attempt to get your money.

The most problematic part is that it is clearly focused on selling the millenials to an unimpressed workplace. There is little constructive advice for the millenials, its all praise and unsupported assertions about their value. Is it inability to focus or ability to multi-task? Is it open communication or unwillingness to think before you speak? It's both obviously and all about the individual, but this book assumes tweeting about the mundane activities of your day = empathy. It doesn't, it actually indicates narcissism and a lack of empathy. It repeatedly says millenials are 'more efficient.' Again its about individuals and all generations have time wasters. Inefficient meetings is a traditional problem, non work related social media is a newer problem. This book should have compared and contrasted the generations more since reality is that these generations have A LOT of similarities and understanding those is the key to communication and positive interactions. The advice to boomers is basically to accept millenials are unmanageable and hope it all works out. Also, to allow millenials to mentor them (mostly in new technology.) It barely tells millenials to listen to the mentoring boomers may attempt to provide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Drew McCrary on January 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"FUSE" takes a collaborative and cooperative look at a truly amazing and tumultuous time to be in the workforce. As a "Gen X / Millennial "in a workforce that is run and managed predominately by "Boomers," I am faced daily with the task of finding a middle ground that respects and appreciates the wisdom and experience of "Boomers," yet also puts a value on the passion and fresh, tech-savvy approach that "Millennials" bring to the table. "FUSE" harnesses this dynamic precisely, utilizing a multi-modal approach that consists of interviews, research, best practices, and perspectives from the different generations in order to elucidate just how important it is to come from a place of understanding when we deal with cogenerational issues.

One thing that I found fascinating as I read through the book was how I was immediately attracted to the passages that were spoken from the Millennial perspective. I would be reading the passage, and would say to myself, "YES, that's exactly right!" Then I would read the "Boomer" passage that followed it and would get irritated, saying to myself, "Why don't they get it?!" That emotion that I felt clearly summed up the exact feelings I get in my own work, but with the benefit of best practices attached! Instead of becoming frustrated, I now have tools and tips that aim to leverage the strengths of all generations instead of writing them off as "old and outdated," or "young and idealistic."

"FUSE" gives the reader a look through the eyes of each of the generations, and then gives you the tools to bring it together towards a shared vision. Every generation can read this book and glean new understandings about their counterparts from a positive and connecting space. I can't wait to give a copy to my boss!
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