Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gen Y and the future of IT

Web Strategy by Jeremiah asks some interesting questions about how corporate IT is going to deal with the waves of Gen Y'ers that are entering the workforce.

These questions remain:

  • Do the once finite lines of the corporate firewall between work and personal start to fade?
  • Who is really an official spokesperson? Is there an unofficial spokesperson?
  • As Generation Y moves into the workforce, how will their communication habits change? How about ours? (I work with several talented ones)
  • Will Generation Y, who is accustomed to Facebook Applications, Google Docs, Rich internet application interfaces, and advanced web technology (all public) be shocked to find out how bad your enterprise software is?
  • How will companies adapt and changes their corporate policies to meet this change?
  • These are questions that need to be considered as well by learning professionals who still think that Level 1 elearning is an appropriate means to "train" their staff. This was touched upon in the comments section of the post:

    Elliott Ng June 22nd, 2008 6:48 am

    The questions this raise for me are:

    1. What can we Gen X and older learn from Gen Y and Millennials? In terms of social media?

    2. What assumptions do we have about Gen Y and Millennials that are wrong but we don’t know it?

    3. What do we have to teach in order to get the most out of our Gen Y and Millennial people?

    Cool post.

    jeremiah_owyang June 22nd, 2008 6:55 am

    Elliot

    What I’ve learned about Generation Y is that because they are digital natives, they know how to learn. They can figure it out on their own, you just need to provide them direction and let them bump into a few walls to get experience.

    Jeremiah's comment that company's need to "let them bump into a few walls to get experience" leads me to wonder whether they will be permitted that leeway during these tough economic times.

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    1 comment:

    Mr. P said...

    Dennis,

    I've been reading your posts for about a month now and have really enjoyed them. Many thanks for the interesting posts.

    I wanted to respond to Jeremiah's comment about the rising generation knowing how to learn. A study by University College London suggests that the young folks aren't any better at analyzing information than any other generation.

    http://www.bl.uk/news/2008/pressrelease20080116.html

    We can see this in the classroom as kids find resources but have virtually no idea what to do with them or how to analyze them.

    The questions of the initial blog are extremely important. However, I'm not sure that simply letting the new generation figure it out on their own is the best answer, at least not across the spectrum of office jobs involving folks spending a majority of their time in front of a computer.

    I would guess the best way for corporations to handle new hires is to guide them during the initial months of work, keeping an open ear to ideas that would make the company better connected and work more efficiently, a dialogue of sorts.

    But, is that so different from the way many of the best run companies have always done business?