I live alongside Generation Z. Specifically, my two kids, aged 18 and 20 and my hope is that they are digital natives that eventually develop into talented business leaders who drive change in the data era. I watch them learn and interact in ways I have not seen in most companies. They are enthusiastic consumers, who’s work is based on their needs, availability and mood.
To them work, learning and interaction is something they do throughout the entire day, the 9 to 5 model does not apply here! They also prefer to use their own apps, data and models to interact with.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
A week ago, I received got a call from my son’s school asking me why he wasn’t answering the emails they sent him. I confronted my son about this, to which he replied: “Dad can you give me the details of that email account, and also which app do I need to download for that?”. I helped him, showed him what he was supposed to do and looked over his shoulder while he opened his school email. I was amazed by what happened next. He took a screenshot and sent that picture via WhatsApp to his classmates. The replies where instant, or “sparkling” as I like to call it. Some of his classmates answered via chat using words and acronyms, others answered replied with symbols, pictures and emoticons. They collaborated on how to answer the email. Eventually, this is what they came up with…
Meaning: "Zoom call Would Fit Us!"
Intrigued by how they handled the situation, I started to ask my son some questions while my daughter was listening in. My first question was a simple one: “If you ran a company, how would you see employee communication?”
His Answer: “We would use Snapchat, WhatsApp, or some other type of chat function. Throughout the day, we should also interact by using our own apps, dialect and methods and we should be connected 24/7 in whatever place and on any device.”
My next question was: “So, what about the office environment? How would that look like in your opinion?”
My daughter answered: “Why should we be in an office if we are always available and connected anyway!”
Think about it… Would your company be able to operate like this and attract those talented digital native business leaders who will bring their own data, models and work methods? What will you offer them while still being in control of security and availability of data, services and outcomes?
“Is your organisation able to embrace the data age and attract Gen Z talent?”
Maybe you need to change and adapt some of your work methods and the services you offer and compose a digital transformed service model that works now and is sustainable into the future. I would recommend starting today and turn data into doing and action, as the future is now!
Frans van Ierland