I just finished reading an awesome book: “Hip & Sage: Staying Smart, Cool, and Competitive in the Workplace,” by Lisa Haneberg. As you may know from my prior posts (linked at the end of this review), I’m a huge fan of Lisa’s books and her Management Craft blog (which is 5 years old this month, by the way)."...if you need unlimited minutes on your cell phone more than you need unlimited texting, this book is for you."
This book is aimed at Baby Boomers & others from generations with more mileage on the tires than Gen-Xers and Millenials. You can think of Hip & Sage as part “New Technologies 101” and part “how to find tech savvy tour guides,” and it’s designed to help you become conversant, proficient, and comfortable with social media and other new media technologies.
But I think this book could be relevant to lots of folks. Regardless of your age, if you feel like a poser talking with people about Twitter, Facebook, RSS, LinkedIn – or even blogs – then this book can help you. In short, if you need unlimited minutes on your cell phone more than you need unlimited texting, this book is for you.
What does it mean to be Hip?
According to Lisa, Hipness is is about engagement an energy:
“Our ability to communicate, connect, and collaborate with younger generations. In business, our hipness determines how effectively we work with, inspire, and influence younger workers. Hip entrepreneurs are able to enroll, engage, and exicte younger customers and business partners.”
If you work with younger people, being Hip can be a game changer (and becoming Hip can be fun). Lisa provides a set of techniques and philosophies to help you enlist the help of younger mentors in a way that will tap into their knowledge and excitement, and (I believe) make them want to help you get up to speed.
One of the fastest paths to Hipness is to practice genuine curiosity about the things hip people care about, and ask someone who’s already hip to feed your thirst for learning.
If you can find a social media-savvy “workout buddy” that will help, too (@MattHixson is one of mine, for example)
What does it mean to be Sage?
“Our natural strengths and characteristics, goals and priorities, and experiences – manifested as skills, drive, judgment, and knowledge – that have been honed, carved, seasoned, and polished through the years. Our sageness is unique; it may or may not be visible to others or in use contributing to the world.”
Lisa’s section on “Cultivating Our Sageness” is all about tapping into your experiences, but not just so you can be the guru on the mountain that others seek out. Her guidance is to actively inject your sageness into the business so that the business can benefit from your experience.
Her advice on goal setting and becoming more self-aware can dramatically improve your effectiveness – you should check it out, for sure.
Putting it all together
The magic all happens in the third section of the book, where Lisa discusses how to become both Hip and Sage, including a discussion of how to challenge your beliefs and leverage new knowledge & skills to achieve non-linear success.
The third section also includes some worksheets to help you achieve greater clarity and document your thinking in a useful way.
The bottom line
This book is so rich with useful information I can’t begin to do it justice in this short review, but the bottom line is this: pick up a copy of Hip & Sage. On their own, the two chapters on “Job Seeking and Hiring for the Hip & Sage,” and “A Primer on the Generations” are worth the price of the book, particularly if you’re on the wrong side of this economy.
Lisa provides other resources, as well, including the awesome Hip & Sage blog and a voluminous list of resources at the end of the book.