Reinventing Management for the Facebook Generation

By Gary Hamel

The experience of growing up online will profoundly shape the workplace expectations of Generation F. The author has compiled a list of twelve work-relevant characteristics of the social Web that tomorrow’s employees will use as yardsticks in determining whether your company is ‘‘with it’’ or ‘‘past it.’’

For the first time since the early twentieth century, we’re on the verge of a management revolution, and it may turn out to be just as unsettling as the one that spawned the Industrial Age. There are three forces at work that make such a metamorphosis likely.

The first of these is a bundle of dramatic changes that have made the business environment substantially less forgiving. Companies are struggling to cope with a wildly accelerating pace of change, an onslaught of new low-cost competitors, the commoditization of knowledge, and rapidly increasing customer power. Traditional management models that emphasize optimization over innovation simply can’t cope with these unprecedented challenges.

For the first time since the pyramids were built, human beings have a new way of organizing themselves, via online, distributed networks. At long last, there’s an alternative to formal hierarchy.

The second driver is the invention of new, web-based collaboration tools. For the first time since the pyramids were built, human beings have a new way of organizing themselves, via online, distributed networks. At long last, there’s an alternative to formal hierarchy.

The third driver is the mash-up of new expectations that Generation Facebook will bring to work in the years ahead. If you’re part of the first generation to grow up on the Web, the Web is something you’re perpetually in; it’s the operating system for your life, the indispensable and unremarkable means by which you learn, play, share, flirt, and connect.

 
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