Generational Shift: Are You Adapting or Not?
Regardless of generation, we are all living through this era of profound change and uncertainty driven by a confluence of epic historical forces. The only question is, are you adapting? Or not?
Globalization. We are all now capable of connecting and traveling to work across borders in every direction and combination. Unlike any other time in history, we can all look forward to a lifetime of interdependency and competition with a rising global youth-tide from every corner of this ever-flattening world.
Technology. The pace of technological advance today is unprecedented. Information. Computing. Communication. Transportation. Communication. Commerce. Entertainment. Food. Medicine. War. In every aspect of life, anything can become obsolete at any time — possibilities appear and disappear swiftly, radically and often without warning.
Institutional insecurity. Ours is a world threatened by terrorism and environmental cataclysm; in which the economy fluctuates wildly from boom to bust; governments sometimes shut down or run out of money; great companies conquer or fail or merge or continually downsize, restructure, and reengineer. Institutions in every domain have been forced into a constant state of flux just in order to survive and succeed in this constantly changing world. We all know that they can’t rely on institutions to be the anchors of their success and security.
The information environment. We are all now forced to think, learn and communicate in a never-ending ocean of information. Ours is an information environment defined by wireless internet ubiquity, wholesale technology integration, infinite content, and immediacy. We have infinite access to information and ideas and perspectives —unlimited words, images, and sounds.
Human diversity. In every dimension, the world is becoming more diverse and more integrated. Each generation is more diverse than the last. That’s true in terms of geographical point of origin, ethnic heritage, ability/disability, age, language, lifestyle preference, sexual orientation, color, size, and every other way of categorizing people. Every single individual, with his/her own combination of background, traits and characteristics, is his or her own unique diversity story.
Virtual reality. We are all plugged in to an endless stream of content and in continuous dialogue —through social media based chatting and sharing and gaming— forever mixing and matching and manipulating from an infinite array of sources to create and then project back out into the world our own ever-changing personal montage of information, knowledge, meaning, and selfhood.
So, what are the differences you can expect to see between the workforce of the past and the workforce of the future? This is what we have determined from our more than 20 years of research: