The following are a few of the questions asked at the panel I served on a few weeks back. My answers were relatively short due to a limit of about 30 seconds, or a few sentences, for each answer. By all means, these answers are my personal opinion and would love to invite further discussion and your insights via comments or email.
Is Email dead? Honestly, I think email will never die. Most of my friends spend more time checking email than they do sleep. Email is an extremely powerful tool socially and business wise when used efficiently and effectively.
There is a lot of evidence that Gen-Ys are a lot more into collaboration than previous generations. Any thoughts on that? Without a doubt. Gen Y like to feel connected to an organization or company and we place special emphasis on establishing relationships along with personal and career development. Collaboration can satisfy those needs. Also as a generation, we tend to be more open to diversity, not just gender or race, but intellectually too, than previous generations. From group projects in school to youth sports leagues fostering teamwork and team playing….all leads to collaboration. With collaboration, you get infinite amount of intelligence and accumulated experience…which is huge.
PK mentioned that Baby Boomers dislike feedback, but Gen-Ys want it instantaneously. If you have a Baby Boomer boss, do we have a problem? (SIDE NOTE: PK’s presentation showed that Baby Boomers tend to think negatively of feedback, like bad news, and are more accustomed to annual reviews.)
A possible conflict that does not have to be a big problem at all. Smart companies and offices will start now to train managers to give constant feedback. Like I said earlier, Gen Y as a generation tend to focus a lot of energy on personal and career development. We like our work to be meaningful. We also like to be connected to each other, in forms such as collaboration. We are big on improvement, and we see constant feedback and constructive criticism to help us improve. Feedback = consistent improvement. If we feel disconnected and receive small feedback, you can expect us to seek more meaningful work elsewhere.
In your opinion, what are some of the positive qualities of the Baby Boomer generation? Baby Boomers are very dedicated to building a stellar career and to provide a comfortable life for their family. My father was very willing and driven to building his company, and ultimately became successful. Their work ethic and drive I think is their strongest quality.
And some of their negative qualities? I would say lack of balance. For me personally, my parents divorced while I was in high school. My father was very dedicated to his business, their strongest quality, but rarely had time for family and personal. It’s realistic to say that half of my friend’s parents are divorced too. I saw my parents and those of my friends too dedicated to the office, and not to family. You see this in a trend of Gen Y now, in how we rather find work more meaningful to us and a sense of balance of life and work. Lack of balance is a negative quality of Baby Boomers.
If you were to imagine yourself working in a perfect environment, how would you interact with your peers? Your boss? Gen Y is big on communication and staying connected. We also love the idea of flexibility, and taking advantage of tools now available via Web 2.0 to connect and communicate anywhere, not necessarily the office from 9-5. Since we are big on collaboration, I would like to be able to trust and communicate effectively via email, social networks, etc with peers and my boss. No need for useless meetings and the typical 9-5 office hours.
We like to balance work and life, so we would enjoy the freedom to work at home or away from the office as much as possible. I also see a shift of being paid for task, not time, or hourly wages. I can see us more as free agents. ….
The last question led into more of a discussion into the mindset that I would like to be paid per task, not time. Also the idea of instead of employees, people will work as free agents. I further discussed that I personally believe people will be hired to work, collaborate, and complete projects through communication not necessarily taking place in the office. Be paid for task, not time. Be flexible with working arrangements and communication from peer to peer and peer to boss. I will eventually discuss more of this later in future posts.
Overall, it was a blast to participate in the panel. I could have spent hours discussing possible answers to some of the questions above, so it was hard to only jump to one answer in 30 seconds or only a couple minutes. The response and feedback from the audience was extremely positive and enthusiastic, and basically really fun! Please, please, please feel free to discuss your point of views and answers with me. I’m always looking to hear others thought and inputs. Questions or answers, please let me know!