The Millennials will are using Social Media to change the way they learn! When their Generation comes to power they will use it to change they way they do business.
Its a Generational Thing and a New Dawn is coming!
There are stark differences in the way that the Baby Boom generation (1946 – 1964) learnt and the way the Millennial generation (1980 – 2000) is learning.
In “the good old days” our learning was done at school by teachers who had a monopoly (or near monopoly) on the timetable, curriculum and content of the learning process. Learning was hierarchical. You stayed in school you learned more you got higher grades and qualifications which entitled you to stay at school and go to college to continue the cycle.
If you left the learning train and alighted at a job station that defined your position in the social and job market hierarchy.
The school and college learning process then led you into a hierarchical “job for life” structure which allowed you to slowly ascend the job ladder with limited learning and maximum doing along the way.
The social environment of the Baby Boom Generation was defined by two world wars and society and business evolved based on structures which had their origins in the military – companies, divisions, strategy, campaigns, white collar (officers)/blue collar(enlisted ranks).
For the Millennial this approach is incomprehensible.
The access to the internet, social media, itunes U, blogs, Wikis means that a broad learning curriculum is available to any Millennial who takes the trouble to look for it The old Monopoly is broken.
Harvard MBA – two years – online MBA 2 weeks – information available in 2 minutes.
This does not address the network advantages of going to Harvard Baby Boomers cry!
That doesn’t matter because with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn we can disintermediate networks too, the Millennials reply!
But the impact goes further than this. The Millennials are more open to sharing and letting their privacy guards down. This has a negative impact on hierarchy when groups and collaboration are the common practice.
Connection, Collaboration, Sharing, Mashups, downloads, uploads, video, content creation. Millennials not only have access to more information than the Baby Boomers, they are creating and sharing at a hitherto unbelievable (and accelerating) rate.
Baby Boomers count ROI in terms of Return on Investment.
For a Millenial it is Return on Involvement.
Todays business needs to learn these lessons and quickly. The Millennials will have the same disruptive impact as Generation X on business and will bring their flexibilty and cooperation models to bear. This will make them faster moving and more competitive to the detriment of their competitors.
Watch out! Social Media has already started a business revolution. The new generation, the Millennials who own this technology have not yet really started to use it……yet!