Forces of Change: Generational Clashes

by Jay Deragon on 11/12/2007

Forces of ChangeThe news show 60 minutes aired an investigative report on November 11th regarding the millennial generation entering the work force and the changes required to accommodate them.

The report emphasized that this generation is 1) wired with the latest technology 2) expects to work less 3) doesn’t respond well to being bossed around and 4) they want to be catered to and paid well. Now consider the clash in perspectives form previous generations current engaged in the workforce. They are overwhelmed with the latest technology, expect to work long hours, have strived to become the boss and believe hard work is rewarded with good pay.One other finding of the 60 minutes report, Millennial’s are influenced more by their social networks for news and information than traditional media.

A generational clash of expectations and influences within the workforce to say the least. The Millennial Generation expects their world to accommodate their needs and their world of relationships are connected and influenced by technology.

During the same weekend that the 60 Minutes investigative report aired we noticed three news releases concerning developments within the social web.

1) There is a new facebook application called Radical Buy. It allows users to list and sell items on facebook. The interesting thing here is it offers commissions to people that sell the item for you. This is brilliant and will really tap the social network of facebook. This is a really cool idea that I think many facebook users will take to.

Radical Buy is a cool way to shop and sell merchandise on facebook. The Radical Buy facebook application allows users to buy and sell items directly on Facebook. Sell items you own or even sell other users items and receive commission. Best of all, there is no merchant account needed to buy or sell (you can use PayPal, Google checkout, and several others).

Point: This application only fuels the expectation of the Millenial’s: Make more money doing less

2) While social networking sites may primarily be the domain of students and recreational users, enterprises can be expected to climb aboard as well, attendees said at the recent Nokia Mobile Mashup 2007 event in California.

The conference emphasized mobile computing, social networking and extending social networks to mobile devices. Although many of the estimated 200 attendees said they participated in the LinkedIn business networking site, only a small handful used the more recreationally-oriented MySpace. But as the “millennial generation” enters the workforce, businesses will have to accommodate them by deploying the social networking capabilities they are used to, said analyst Ben Bajarin, of Creative Strategies.

Point: Notice the comment, “businesses will have to accommodate Millenial’s by deploying the social networking capabilities they are used to”.

3) Facebook’s Platform and Google’s OpenSocial may be stealing all the headlines, but next week Bebo will finally make a platform move of its own. We’re free to tell you this, of course, because Bebo already did in its last press release:

In addition to supporting OpenSocial, Bebo announced its plans to launch a Developers Platform that will make it easy for Facebook developers to port their applications to the Bebo platform.

Just a plain old platform launch would look boring and proprietary coming after the radical strategic shift proposed by OpenSocial. Bebo may therefore offer a consolation prize: the “porting” tool that its reps have been hinting at, which allows developers to easily port their existing Facebook apps to Bebo. Or, if they’ve managed to get their act together, we may see the actual debut of OpenSocial on Bebo.

Point: The Developers are largely made up of the Millennial Generation. Their creative mindsets know how to play the game of business by the new rules of The Relationship Economy, not the old rules of the old economy.


The Relationship Economy is being fueled by a different set of values, perspectives and expectations. The advancement of creative technology is enabling a the next generation of workers to accomplish more with less and gain more freedom.. Understanding these dynamics is critical for businesses to capture explosive opportunities of The Emerging Relationship Economy.

What say you?



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