In Praise of the iGeneration
I just spent a great morning with a dozen or so Y2K kids in Muscat, Oman – talking to them about their hopes, dreams – and fears.
A great bunch – diverse, multi-cultural, brave, smart and very caring.
GenZ – the iGeneration look a likely lot to me.
I recently visited Lancaster Royal Grammar School’s Sixth Form Economics students and was impressed with their talents and temperaments – and their hyper-connectivity.
The first batch of kids born in 2000 are now entering tertiary education in large numbers and their elder siblings are just entering the work-force.
And we better be ready to adapt and adjust to them.
Here’s what productivity expert Laura Stack believes we can expect of the iGeneration.
- They display a penchant for stability. Having seen what happened with their parents, they want to ensure they won’t suffer from corporate indifference. They prefer their jobs to be stable touchstones they can rely on – still, they want it to be on their terms.
- They’re stubbornly independent. Despite wanting stability, members of the iGeneration, like their millennial predecessors, are practical. They look after personal interests first, and they’ll want a greater say in all aspects of their jobs. They aren’t afraid of hard work, but they will expect to be appreciated for it and will want to know they won’t be tossed aside when the road gets rocky. KR note: Responsibility, Learning, Recognition and Joy.
- They understand technology intuitively. Generation Z cut their teeth on cellphones (often literally) and are the first generation that grew from toddlerhood with electronics in their hands. They’re superbly connected. This focus on their smartphones might look like aimless anomie to older workers, but they thoroughly understand social media and computers in ways Baby Boomers never will. They quickly adopt new apps, tricks and tech as they arrive. They’re well aware of the advantageous position that affords them. They prefer a knowledge-sharing work culture, and they’ll instinctively see that de-siloing information and technology is vital to productivity and long-term success.
- They crave mobility. That’s doesn’t mean job hopping, but rather the ability to use an array of mobile technology—laptops, tablets, smartphones—for work and play. They may be the “New Kids on the Cube Farm,” but staying in one cubicle all day won’t do. They can get as much done at Starbucks as most others can in the office. It also frees them up to travel, for both work and fun.
- They want a decent work/life balance. As with millennials, time outside work is important to Generation Z. Ironically, though, their greater connectivity may blur the line between work and home life even more than millennials have seen. KR note: In other words, Work/Life Integration.