Three Business Skills Generation
Next Can Teach Us Today
By Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez
those in the work force have said that the younger generations are
lazy. With each passing decade, a new generation of “lazy kids”
assumes the mantle of authority and passes the same judgment on
those who will succeed them. As time passes, each new group of
leaders discovers that the next generation is not lazy; they simply
have learned the value of “play.”
generation to enter the work force, Generation Next, has learned the
value of “play” in the digital age. Generation Next is the first
truly digital generation; people raised and educated using digital
media and the internet as an integral part of their basic thinking.
Because of their “digital play”, Generation Next has learned to use
simulated environments, virtual spaces, teleconferences, text
messaging and a myriad of other technologies individually and in
combination. Members of Generation Next have mastered the ability to
multitask in ways that prior generations have never imagined. Their
upbringing in the digital age provides them with the ability to
handle up to 70 simultaneous incoming streams of information in a
typical online video game.
has suggested that those who multitask are in fact less efficient
than their single tasking counterparts. The problem with such
research is that it uses single tasking benchmarks to evaluate
multitasking. Generation Next does not measure success by the same
benchmarks as their single tasking predecessors. Success in the next
phase of the digital age will require that business adopt the same
benchmarks as the multitasking digital natives who will dominate
that new frontier. Knowing these benchmarks, and how to achieve
them, are three of the business skills Generation Next can teach
Networking – Seeing is Believing:
One of the major differences between
Generation Next and their predecessors is that the relationships
adeptly built in the virtual space transfer seamlessly into the
physical and business worlds. Such online social network
relationships are not developed through long online encounters, but
rather through the regular and attentive communications in short
bursts. Generation Next uses text messaging, email and online social
networking sites to stay in constant contact with their online
friends. These communiqués are brief and often deal with seemingly
unimportant information such as “what’s for lunch” and “out walking
the dog” yet it is this level of personal revelation that promote
the friendships that later become referrals and other types of
Lesson 1: It’s
All About Relationships:
Generation Next is all about the relationship. Given the choice
between a product or service provider that is better and one that is
more personable, Generation Next will choose the more personable
every time. Experts from Zig Zigler to Jim Cathcart have stressed
the importance of relationships in the workplace and with customers,
clients and potential clients. Generation Next has simply made this
process more efficient and more powerful with technology.
The best online
social networkers have discovered that effective online social
networking requires between seven and ten hours per week. Single-taskers
have traditionally dedicated 2 hours per business day to social
networking. Generation Next multitaskers have found short networking
periods to be far more personal and thus far more efficient.
Network Ten Hours Each Week
Keep an email window open and
respond quickly to networking opportunities.
Keep these contacts short and
invite them to a more in depth conversation later.
Take fifteen to thirty minutes
each day to look for new network contacts through online
Keep Your Network “In the Loop”: People are naturally social
creatures and they are insatiably interested in what others are
doing. Generation Next has taken this social interest to the level
of art form utilizing every technology to share the moment-to-moment
“updates” of their lives. Social websites such as Facebook, Twitter
and Plaxo provide the opportunity to share these “updates” directly
with contacts and network members. The newest versions of these
sites allow all three sites to receive “updates” from a single
dispatch through the Twitter.com website. Other social websites such
as LinkedIn have taken note of this important trend and have added
the ability to incorporate such microblogs.
Tactic 2: Be
Interesting to Your Network
Keep your social network profiles
interesting with regular updates on projects, opportunities,
triumphs and even challenges.
Make your “Updates” valuable to
Share lessons learned and
problems to avoid through your “Updates.”
Lesson 3: Be a
Real Person by Expressing Yourself:
Beyond the voyeuristic curiosity that
makes profile “updates” Twitter so popular, there is a need to gain
insight and understanding of those with whom you associate.
Self-expression sites such as YouTube, Flickr and SlideShare provide
the personal and professional insights that members of Generation
Next require to make personal connections. More than just a
networking opportunity or multitasking project, these expression
sites allow for the not only the exhibit projects and proposals, but
to showcase talents and triumphs. The major social websites have
recognized the importance of self-expression sites to the digital
generation. The best part is that in most cases, it takes only
minutes to share a project completed for a wholly different purpose.
Generation Next knows that the best multitasking is actually
Project a Well-Crafted and Genuine Image
Decorate your Social Networking
Profiles as you would your home and office space, with favorite
pictures and even music.
Display images of diplomas,
awards, certificates and even your children’s artwork, these say
who you are and what you value.
Promote your projects, programs
and passions through video, slides and other multimedia tools.
those who were not weaned on the Internet and multiplayer simulation
based role-playing video games will never master the art of
multitasking. However, by applying the lessons and tactics of
Generation Next, you can master their market and succeed in their
Read other articles and learn more about
Maurice A. Ramirez.
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