Tag : digital natives

BYOD Bring Your Own Device (to work!)

You may remember the good old days, when your company issued you a cell phone or a blackberry. The IT department helped you learn to use it and provided support when something went wrong. IT did this because they thought it was the way to insure security.

Today, the rapidly growing number of  digital devices is a nightmare for IT departments and a collaboration playground.

Digital natives (and those of us who are adapting) don’t think twice about using technology to share information. Working together in real time (Google Docs, Yammer ) is commonplace. Tools like wikis and social bookmarking make the job of co-working and co-creating easier than ever.

For those of us who think that “working harder” is the answer… that we “don’t have time” to learn all about these new gadgets and websites… we need to stop, look and listen.

Sticking our head in the sand will not help us, our city, our region or our country thrive. So the next time you see an iPad or someone mentions Google +, instead of declaring your ignorance, why not ask a question or two? Ask for some help in learning. You’ll be glad you did.

Photo credit: ZDnet.com

Digital Talent Doesn't Want to Work For You... And Why You Should Care

What is digital talent? I’d define it as the very large toolkit that digital natives (those aged 20ish to 35ish today) have acquired by being born at a time when using the computer was part of growing up AND when having access to the Internet anytime, anyplace is expected.

Whether we like it not, this group of employees has a skill set (beyond their computer skills) that growing companies need:  adaptability, a willingness to help and an energetic engagement.

Many companies “don’t like”  that they want to shape their future (interpreted as entitlement), a desire for work/family balance and a willingness to sacrifice  for it (interpreted as lazy) and a desire to make a difference (interpreted as ambition without dues paying).

Check out this article on why digital talent needs to be attracted to your organization from the magazine Fast Company.  “The opportunity to do great things, to make a real difference, is what drives most digital talent. Most companies don’t offer this, so they skip your company and work somewhere that’s more innovative and exciting.”

By innovative we don’t mean you need to have the latest and greatest technology, it does mean that your leadership is committed to understanding digital tools and is willing to learn, collaborate and change.

What can you do to attract digital natives?

  • Give them an appropriate mentor.
  • Give them meaningful work.
  • Loosen the reins a bit.
  • Say thank you more often than you used to.
  • Reward risk taking and small failures.

And for heaven’s sake LIGHTEN UP! Have a little fun, engage them in ‘convo’ (conversation), learn their language, ask for their help and most of all, listen. There’s so much great stuff to learn.