Gary Hamel on managing what he terms the “Facebook generation” (I’m abridging the list to remove his explanations, so you would do well to read the whole article):
I compiled a list of 12 work-relevant characteristics of online life. These are the post-bureaucratic realities that tomorrow’s employees will use as yardsticks in determining whether your company is “with it” or “past it.”
- All ideas compete on an equal footing.
- Contribution counts for more than credentials.
- Hierarchies are natural, not prescribed.
- Leaders serve rather than preside.
- Tasks are chosen, not assigned.
- Groups are self-defining and -organizing.
- Resources get attracted, not allocated.
- Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
- Opinions compound and decisions are peer-reviewed.
- Users can veto most policy decisions.
- Intrinsic rewards matter most.
- Hackers are heroes.
These features of Web-based life are written into the social DNA of Generation F—and mostly missing from the managerial DNA of the average Fortune 500 company. Yeah, there are a lot of kids looking for jobs right now, but few of them will ever feel at home in cubicleland.
The generation gap between the Boomers and Generation Y/Me/F/whatever-you-want-to-call-them is going to be a big battleground in the business world over the next few years, if it hasn’t already begun. These are two groups with vastly different expectations of what it means to be part of something.