UPDATE: Ross wrote a post on why Millennials really can force change in the workplace.
I love looking at generational dynamics as they relate to technology. One of the privileges of age is the hindsight that grants you the ability to see firsthand how the more things change the more they stay the same. Every older generation looks at a younger generation with a dose of skepticism and inherent conflict, it’s no different here.
I’m having a bit of a Millennials moment. I’m sick of the coverage about Millennials, also known as Generation Y. Here’s the story line: Generation Y will change the world as the first digital natives. They will change business practices and IT as we know it. You must adapt to Millennials. You’re not caring enough to manage a Millennial.
The conflict for me enters when I observe that the Millennial generation is perhaps the most privileged in history in terms of access to the world around them, wealth and probably social privilege as well, while at the same time this generation brings with them perhaps more sense of entitlement than has ever been seen. Bu when I look at the young people in our all volunteer military who serve long tours in war zones for very little pay, the commitment to social and environmental change, and their emerging influence in public policy, well I’m somewhat in awe.
I am also somewhat conflicted by the observation that we have created a coddled culture for children where everyone gets the same size trophy and what were ordinary offenses in years past now serve to illustrate a society of those easily offended and obscene political correctness that in itself becomes offensive. Yet having said that, we see an intensely competitive higher education system while at the same time struggling to contain the widening education gap between haves and have nots.
We live in a complex world my friends.