Friday, December 01, 2006

"This is how you breathe"

Quo Vadis Technology? was the theme of the first Technology Futures Forum. Peter Cochrane from ConceptLabs gave an interesting talk about the future of mobility and the challenge of prediction the future. There were a number of interesting issues he brought up but this time I'll concentrate on changes in workplace. The title "This is how you breathe" was a direct quote from Mr. Cochrane when he talked about changes the next generation will bring to the workplaces. Young people have learned to use IM, SMS, blogs, Skype, PDAs, P2P and social media solutions. The old fashioned "this is the pen you should use, this is how we do things" do not work anymore.

Similar findings were brought up in the Is Europe Ready For The Millennials? report by Forrester Consulting (November 2006) conducted on behalf of Xerox. The following example is already reality, it is a pity that many large companies still live in the 1990s with the super heavy centralised, press releases-only-by-me type of solutions and processes.

'She does not care whether she or her company has used a particular stationery supplier if she can find products cheaper and more conveniently elsewhere; and if a web site is recommended to her by a product comparison engine or a colleague, she will investigate it. She will then make a decision based on functionality and price rather than waiting to see whether the original supplier can source her order or match the price.'

The key take away points from the report were:

- Social media, social bookmarking, P2P and recommendations has a strong influence on decisionmaking for the Millenials.
- Own practises run over stiff and bureaucratic company practises 'cleverness and broad know-how counts'
- Technology will be an enabler for doing this efficiently, sensibly, globally
- In the 1980s-1990s people were career-oriented, not they are family&friends-oriented
- Technology increases the speed of social change
- Shift from guru-centered to learner-centered organisations
- From hierarcical and bureacratic practises to instant and open collaboration.

And what are those Millenials? Techno-savvy communication acrobats, who find it natural to multitask, use various digital channels to get entertainment and information. A generation after the generation X (on their 30s), Millenials are born between 1980 - 2000.

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