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The following is taken from Henry H. Tapper’s Blog

henry tapper

June 18, 2011

 Driving home from football with Olly last night – we turned on the radio -”what’s that crazy music” I mumbled to myself – “James Brown , Payback Dad – it’s 8 minutes long – do you want to buy it?”

 “How do you know that Olly?”

“I’ve got an app”

 Get home, turn on the computer – there’s a mail from my friend Matthew who’s out in San Francisco. Turns out he’s written a paper on Generation C. This is how it starts.

“In the course of the next 10 years, a new generation—Generation C—will emerge. Born after 1990, these “digital natives,” just now beginning to attend university and enter the work-force, will transform the world as we know it. Their interests will help drive massive change in how people around the world socialize, work, and live their passions—and in the information and communication technologies they use to do so.”

 Having owned digital devices all their lives, they are intimately familiar with them and use them as much as six hours a day. They all have mobile phones and constantly send text messages. More than 95 percent of them have computers, and more than half use instant messaging to communicate, have Facebook pages, and watch videos on YouTube.

If you want a copy of this paper, you can download the PDF here – Booz & Co is a management consultancy not an off licence .

 Matthew and Booz’s point is that kids like Olly will inhabit not just the real world of football and school and college and work but a “cloud world” where he and 2-300 of his associates will hang out in a state of almost constant connectivity. I say “will” though I think this has already happened for my son. He’s had an iPhone for nearly a year, he runs countless Facebook campaigns.

 As Head of the School Council he canvasses opinions on what his schoolmates want for dinner, timetable changes – even teacher performance. He can speak authoritatively on how he and his friends feel about certain songs, videos, films simply by posting a question via Facebook.

 We (I mean the HR and pension professionals who I work with) say we want to communicate with our staff – tell them stuff about pensions, get their views on HR matters, understand where we as business managers are going right or wrong. We will be competing for their interest with a whole bunch of others trying to get some space on their cloud. That’s why I think that “education” is the wrong word – we don’t educate kids like Olly, they educate themselves. All we can do is try to get the things we feel important in their line of sight. In the battle to catch their attention we need to go to school to learn about search engines and how to do this.

My reply:

 Hi Henry,

I fully agree with your observations.

I don’t know what they call the generation born in 2004 but my 7 year old grandson has me in a state of awe when I observe him manipulating 3 – 4 digital pieces of software simultaneously.

My own professional view in the field of finance of the implications of your points is this. In the delivery of complex knowledge and information in any discipline those professionals who communicate collaboratively in real time will ‘win’ i.e. gain a clear exponentially competitive advantage in their marketplace and those who do not will ‘lose’.

 The accumulation of intellectual capital within a knowledge based enterprise differs from that of one which produces disposable or replaceable commodities. To increase this form of HR capital exponentially there must be ongoing real time collaboratively genuine interactive communication in any such enterprise. The supply of such behaviour is generally inadequate, in my opinion. It requires a temperament which I refer to as that which is demonstrated by ‘net givers’ (vs. ‘net takers’.) Your blog is a great example of this attribute.

Thank you for your thoughtful articles. I would very much appreciate receiving a copy of the Booz & Co. paper.

 Kindest regards.


Daniel H. Zwicker

B.Sc. (Hons.) P. Eng. CFP CLU CH.F.C. CFSB

Certified Financial Planner

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