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The XYZ Factor

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The XYZ Factor

The Guide to Creating a Culture of Impact


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To attract and retain engaged and innovative employees and customers, take the collaborative approach inspired by the younger generations.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


DoSomething’s unpretentious guidebook to engaging Gen X, Y or Z employees offers a worthwhile, commonsense approach to issues every business faces. The book reflects the enthusiastic style of younger workers, though it’s clear that you don’t need to follow their styles to enjoy the benefits the forward-thinking, innovative workplace they prefer. In important ways, this mind-set is not limited by chronological age; the “XYZ factor” is more of a philosophical mind-set enjoyed and promulgated by people of any age, including Pope Francis, 79, US first lady Michelle Obama, 51, entrepreneur and author Seth Godin, 55, and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, 73. The book showcases XYZ culture in chapters by staff members from the nonprofit, presented here by CEO Nancy Lublin and campaigns manager Alyssa Ruderman. Each chapter ends with questions you can apply to your business. “Tweetable Takeaways” offer condensed versions of some top ideas. Though written by different people, the chapters are unified, and feature a bubbly, enthusiastic conversational style. That style, like the culture it mirrors, prioritizes humanity above expertise. That’s the mind-set among members of Gens XYZ, who value both innovation and efficiency. getAbstract recommends this accessible how-to manual to executives, managers, entrepreneurs, business professors, students and anyone seeking a primer on the attitudes of truly engaged staff members.


“The XYZ Factor”

An XYZ organization harnesses the style and energy of generations X, Y and Z in a diverse workplace that can include older workers, as well. “Intergenerational productivity” spurs innovation and helps create a forward-thinking, democratic corporate culture., the world’s leading nonprofit organization of young people working together to improve society, demonstrates various approaches to implementing the XYZ culture. DoSomething assists youth in “volunteerism and community improvement projects.” The organization employs 60 full-time and 20 part-time workers. Only 13 staffers are older than 30. The young people in the office and the organization’s respondent population – all between ages 13 and 25 – provide insight into what XYZ people, the “XYZers,” want and need in their jobs and in their organizations.

“Seven Secrets” to the XYZ Factor

XYZ is more a style than a generational limitation or identifier; Pope Francis, US first lady Michelle Obama, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and entrepreneur Seth Godin all exemplify the XYZ mind-set. They value other people and value sharing. To engage, inspire and retain Gen XYZ...

About the Authors

Nancy Lublin, the author of Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business, is a Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur and CEO of the nonprofit, where Alyssa Ruderman is a campaigns manager.

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