A little while back I gave a team of Croatia Email Address twentysomethings an assignment to research a market in which my organization had zero footprint. I could have engaged some of our senior strategists on this work. I decided to give these young people a shot. And that was all I gave them an opportunity and a conference room. To be honest I didn’t have much more to offer. In most industries the company had a deep bench of contacts up to the C-suite but in this particular market. We had nothing. In less than six weeks using information from networking websites and social media. This team talked to 200-plus companies including the CEOs of many startups. They built a database of their findings even delivering a summary to companies that requested it and along. The way created a new business network for suit was amazing.
They lead we coach approach to innovation
I wish I could say that it was my idea, but it wasn’t. I use networking websites and social media the way most gen Xers do: as a tool to keep in touch with contacts and maybe add a few new ones, like a virtual Rolodex. Younger millennials and gen Zeds use them as a fish uses water. It’s their world. Far beyond finding connections between people, they managed to uncover connections between and within companies by utilizing business intelligence platforms and data analytics and they did it nearly effortlessly.
This utterly gulf email list natural way in which young people use digital technology applies to mobile computing and data analytics, too. They think, research, and put two and two together in different ways than the rest of the workforce does.
A structure for cross-generational success to innovation
If you want to bring new products and services to market faster and better than the competition, you’re going to have to deploy the new ways of thinking that young people offer. But your success will also depend on using your more experienced professionals to coach them along. The team that I described above didn’t quite do everything on its own. All the real work of finding and cultivating contacts in new companies? Yes, that was them. But there was also a midlevel person to manage them and coach them on matters such as the etiquette of talking to potential clients, and our company’s policies and resources. And then there was me. I sponsored this team, put it together, defined expectations, provided a mix of encouragement and pressure, and cleared the way of internal roadblocks so it could do its job.