In a word, that is what the book I’m currently reading does for me. It’s called Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything written by Tapscott and Williams. It looks at the emerging language of the net-generation that has and is growing up with the internet. Their forms of communication differ greatly from their predecessors.
They are using digital tools to share and collaborate in highly creative ways that may seem senseless to those of a different generation. They are not interested in a hierarchical business model. They seek creative, stimulating experiences that are communal in nature.
Apparently, this is a huge population that will be entering the work force in the next five years. They will completely change the landscape by forcing companies to evolve. Corporate transparency will be required. Self-expression will be mandatory. Lifestyle will play an important role.
Companies can leverage the N-Gens only by embracing them. I was reading a few years back how HR departments were having to re-learn how to deal with the incoming 20-somethings whose need for mobility and self-expression led them to buck the internal management of established companies. Resentment and disbelief over that generations unwillingness to earn their stripes or pay their dues was causing massive managerial problems. It was a generational divide.
That is going to happen again. However, the next generation will require the very foundations of the companies business practices to alter, not just their management style.
Change is the wind… adapt or perish…