How can we approach disruption like a Gen Y and Millennial Digital Natives?
Here’s a fact that frightens most of the Gen X’s and Boomers that I tell:
The oldest person in Gen Y is now aged 35.
These digital natives are not only in lower-middle management; their best and brightest are now the decision-makers in senior management. CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg was only 23 when he made his first billion dollars.
Relative old-timers Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler were in their early-30s when they founded Kickstarter. And 27-year-old Kayvon Beykpour just sold the Periscope streaming app to Twitter for US$120 million.
Are you feeling sick yet?
Or like me, thinking of the long, merry partying of your 20s could have been spent learning how to code, merge, or start up a business?
Gen Y’s are more mobile, and they embrace disruption because it’s ingrained into the way they’ve grown up. Evolution is in their DNA!
· Their value system is different to yours.
· They’re less attached to the big corporate organisations.
· They are far more motivated by organisations with good values and they want to do good in the world.
According to this great infographic on the work habits of Gen Y, their entire approach is different, every day:
· Gen Y’s work remotely
· No longer 9 to 5-ers, Gen Y’s work when and where they’re most productive
· Every task is automated and connected
· They think nothing of starting a new business (or businesses)
· And they don’t stick around too long in one job – 3 years is about the limit
How can we innovate in this changing work climate?
Dana McCauley suggests that ‘reverse mentoring’ between Millennials and their older colleagues could be the perfect way to bring us up to speed in this new environment. Organisations like IBM and the Reserve Bank of Australia are encouraging older, more experienced staff to approach younger ones to take on the skills needed to tap into Millennials’ knowledge and expertise.
Management consultant Lizzie Allen says this is a vital defensive weapon: “A lot of global organisations are doing it, particularly those operating in a tech space and those that have undergone quite a transformation.”
So how will you adapt to people who think nothing of running part-time businesses on Instagram, who instigate ‘hackathons’ to disrupt technology just for fun, who will never buy a newspaper that’s made of paper?
What are your personal and business values?
How will you align with Gen Y?
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