The up and comers are at the gate – Gen Y is getting set to blow the doors open. While generations of the past have been a moderate evolution of their predecessors in the workplace, this generation is different. Young, committed and connected, Gen Y is getting set to transform the world as we know it and reinvent the way business is done. With that in mind, we wanted to show you a glimpse of a future driven by Generation Collaboration.
For the last several years, much has been made, written and discussed when it comes to Gen Y. Several themes have emerged, stereotypes have been formed and studies conducted. Through it all, the ‘experts’ have sought to form a consensus about what drives us, how to manage us and why we do what we do. Many theories have operated under the assumption that we will adapt to the traditional ways of doing things and fall into line with generations before us. Unfortunately, this assumption is way off.
This generation – collectively referred to as Gen Y, Gen Me, etc.- is driven by a need to congregate, collaborate and create. Are these needs being met in the current economy? No! For this reason, Gen Y is preparing to step into the driver’s seat and start a new era of business like the world has never seen.
While it has been disappointing to see a lot of what has been written in the media in relation to Gen Y, there have been a few standout studies in the recent past. A couple of weeks ago, we stumbled across a new video by a Brazilian research agency called ‘All Work, All Play’ (embedded below). The video attempts to take a stab at what makes Gen Y tick and parallels how our generation works in comparison to Gen X and the Baby Boomers.
While we think that the video falls into a few clichés, we were also impressed that they hit on a bunch of key points. Here’s where the video really nails it:
- All Work, All Play – the title perfectly captures what the majority of us endeavor to achieve. If we are doing what we love, is it work or play?
The lines continue to become blurred, as the workaholic (Baby Boomers) / work-hard-play-hard (Gen X) ways give way to the new way of working. And work-life balance … come on.
- The Creative Economy – ‘the creative economy … is painting a brilliant and never before seen scenario.’
Many of us are upset (to put it mildly) with the working world we are coming into, which means one thing – we are going to reinvent everything. Entrepreneurship and social movements led by Gen Y will unleash a wave of creativity like you have never seen.
- Pure Collaboration – we thrive when we take on new tasks in new environments with new people.
But it has to be on equal footing, meaning it won’t work when older people try to impose their expertise and ego onto the project – for us, it’s all about what you bring to the table today. Given that we are tech savvy and inherently flexible, it means we can work on anything, anywhere, anytime with anyone.
Given these trends, what does that mean in today’s working world?
A new organizational model is emerging:
The new organizational model empowers the Gen Y worker to do what he/she loves where they want to do it. The new-era organization is mobile, it’s geographically dispersed and the decision-making power is decentralized.
The best example of this type of company is the youth-driven Brazilian crowdfunding company Catarse. Catarse was profiled in the report for My Crowdfunding Study (see post – My Crowdfunding Study), get in touch if you are interested in learning more about how this type of organization functions.
Collaboration is replacing competition
Rather than a cutthroat, I-win-you-lose way of business, we believe that everyone should win. We want to work collectively to make an impact in new markets and build communities around the companies we create. We are driven to unify, not divide, which means we are not going to partake in underhanded tactics to become a market leader.
As an example, look at the crowdfunding movement. Sure, certain companies will become the leaders in given regions, and there is some healthy competition, but everyone in the industry is working together to reinvent the funding landscape.
Gen Y is starting to drive the conversation
As business leaders and politicians continue to cling to power and try and drive in their specific agendas, Gen Y continues to get savvier and more assertive in their pushback. The channels of conversation in today’s world continue to move online, and nobody is more effective at getting a message out there than our generation.
There are countless examples, but specifically the recent social movement in Mexico #yosoy132 shows how swift Gen Y can mobilize around a specific cause. As another example, F! Cancer based out of Vancouver has built its brand by appealing to Gen Y.
So what does it all mean?
Get connected with this young generation – hire Gen Y’s, work with Gen Y-drive organizations, listen to their ideas. And if you are a Gen Y yourself, it’s time to start exploring your inner entrepreneurship guru.
People from Gen Y are hungry to get into the world of business and start making their mark. The hallmark of this generation is collective thinking, collaboration and creativity. While many organizations continue to look for people with ‘experience,’ no amount of experience can replace natural ability, and nobody is better equipped to succeed in the new global business landscape than Gen Y. Get ready to open up and hold on, as Generation Collaboration is coming to a town near you.
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