Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 17/Nov/2006: "The Youth Of Today"

[Previous entry: "Marlborough to Manton Autumn Walk"] [Home] [Next entry: "Just Read: Creative Economy"]

The Youth Of Today

Interesting thoughts (he calls it a rant himself) by John Naughton (who also has a Weblog) about the youth of today. Actually, more about how newspapers cover today's youth. Young people don't like us. Who can blame them? Some of it has been said before, but I still found some passages a good reminder:

They've been playing computer games of mind-blowing complexity forever. They're resourceful, knowledgeable and natural users of computer and communications technology. They're Digital Natives - accustomed to creating content of their own - and publishing it.

They think 'Google' is a synonym for 'research' and regard it as quite normal to maintain and read blogs (55 million as of last night), use Skype to talk to their mates and upload photos to Flickr.

These are the future, my friends. They're here and living among us. They're not very interested in us, and I'm not sure I blame them. The best we can hope for is that one day they may keep us as pets.

While John Naughton mainly focused on young people as customers for the newspapers I (and quite a few other people, I've seen similar thoughts in other places) think this change will go much further and influence much more. Among others companies and other employers.

Employers will have to open up to this reality or risk not getting the best employees. There is still a lot of discussion about internet usage, instant messaging, monitoring of internet usage and the like. At the same time management gurus and consultants are talking about how knowledge, networking and collaboration are required to make companies more effective.

Which in turn means opening up and giving people the opportunity to do just that. Letting employees use the internet and modern communication to achieve things. Showing some flexibility and trust to their employees. I can remember a few examples of how this worked:

Yet I still read of companies blocking internet access or making it very difficult to use tools including instant messaging (not to forget the time it takes for some innovations to trickle down). Sure, there are risks involved in some of these tools and there can be abuse of internet access. But I believe most of this can be addressed by trusting the employees and more importantly creating engaged employees.

An employee engaged in his/her work will not spend hours chatting with friends on IM, they might have a short chat ('see you tonight at xyz?', 'yes, 8pm', 'OK') and then get back to work because they want to. They won't surf for hours but research solutions for problems while also keeping up to date with what's happening in their field. And they might have a few minutes of fun, after which they get back to work, refreshed. They will also be much more likely care about security as they will care about their company and the impact security breaches will have.

More and more graduates and employees will expect an open and modern environment and companies (or other employers) not able or willing to provide this will lose out on the best talent.

(Link to John Naughton's talk via Silversprite)

End of entry


End of advertising

Entry trivia

End of entry trivia

Spread the word:

Do you like this weblog? Do you think others might be interested in it? Then please tell a friend! Thank you.