Categorized | Publisher's Letter

It’s finally happened to me

Many of you have probably had these moments when you realize time has been creeping up on you. Perhaps it’s when you realize your 20 year college reunion is coming up or maybe it’s when your “babies” graduate high school or college—it happens to the best of us.

Just like my parents remember life before color television, I remember a time without cellphones. It is difficult to imagine now, but I remember when a good high school friend of mine pulled up outside my home in his IROC Camaro calling me on his dad’s new cellphone. It was a backpack-sized contraption, but it was so cool at the time!

I used to consider myself to be the young and ambitious type; now I guess I’m just an ambitious, middle-aged, bald-guy type. Behind me is an army of talent waiting to get in the game, and it is a fantastic pool of some of the smartest people ever to enter the workplace. They need us and we need them.

The old ways of doing business have changed forever. I’m reminded of a book I read titled “How to market to people not like you” by Kelly McDonald. In it she discusses the differences in the generations noting that to Generation X (born 1965-1981), the Internet is perhaps the greatest invention in our lifetime. We see it as a tool to get the information we want.

To Generation Y (born 1982-1994), however, they do NOT consider the Internet as a huge leap in technology. They take it for granted, just as the generation before them took electricity for granted. For them, this is the only way to do business.

This Generation Y and the coming Generation Z born (1995-2004) will soon be joining to combine for the first time ever four generations in the same workplace!

While this will certainly be a challenge for managers, you need this young talent on your team. Why?

Because the way you do business has changed permanently. The technology you use to reach your prospects, manage the processes you have internally and communicate with your vendors have all transformed forever—digitally.

Do you have the talent to keep you competitive? Many business owners I speak with are realizing that keeping pace with the speed of business is more difficult than before. Having younger talent on your team can keep you relevant and bring ideas never before considered. I say you should listen to them—their ideas may not be something you fully understand, but a bit of blind faith might serve you well.

We recently uncovered a group of smart Generation Y guys that caught our eye. 5ivecanons has bet their future on the need for their talents in organizations that understand the value in being innovative.

We took a good hard look at what they do, learned insights from experts and clients and painted a picture forward thinking that only digital natives can present to us. We hope it opens your eyes.

Regardless of how you source the talent, if you haven’t explored online shopping, instantly responding to customers, automating your processes, or mobile messaging, you may want to take a member of the Generation Y to lunch. Open your mind and prepare for an education.

If they don’t return a phone call, don’t take it personally—they may think telephones are soooo last century. Maybe send a text to their PDA instead.

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