I work with “younger” people all the time. My interaction with them comes from work as a business coach / consultant, being involved with several entrepreneurial development programs and in doing interviews for a regional business show I host called Tec Bridge Radio, www.tecbridgepa.org.
Why did I title this article “Thank You Generation Z?”. First reason is, I read a great article in Time Magazine (December 25, 2017 / January 1, 2018 edition) by Katy Steinmetz. Some of the comments were that Gen Z – individuals now in their teens and early 20s – have “grown up during mass disruption” and “now they are entering adulthood with a willingness to experiment.” The article also stated, according to a survey that was part of the research for the article, that 78% of Gen Z-ers say getting a four-year degree no longer makes economic sense, and hundreds of programs, from apprenticeships to boot camps, have cropped up to offer an alternative path.”
Is this good or bad for business in the U.S. around the world? That depends on what we learned from the past and what we do today.
If most of us feel a moral imperative to do what is best for our (all of us on the planet) well-being, in the long run, then everything will be OK! What I mean is, if we can at least spend SOME time on what is healthy for someone other than ourselves and if we are willing to listen to all points of view – and maybe Gen Z and Gen Y are the most important voices to listen to, we can act today to help create healthy people, healthy communities, and healthy businesses.
WE created the disruption, WE created the environment where Gen Zers want to experiment, and WE created the environment that has Gen Zers and many others questioning the value of a four-year college degree. Therefore, WE can be pro-active in our approach to the future.
Some thoughts. Read a hard cover book. Read and listen to different points of view on all topics – especially political topics since they tend to deal with immediate gratification (pleasing constituents NOW, instead of a healthy future). Spend time with your children and grandchildren so you can positively impact their view of their surroundings, and finally CARE about the world the Gen Zers are building – we will be living in it!
FOR BUSINESS OWNERS: get 5 people under 25 and 5 people over 40 in a room together. Have them sit across the table from each other. Then ask them, one at a time “what’s going on in the world today?” Have no specific agenda, other than conversation. Might be interesting! Let me know how that went!