Bits, bytes, tweets and yelps! What did you just say?

Did you read my last blog post, “Your ‘digital age’ will determine your organizational success”?  Be honest.  It was rather long.  I merged two blog posts. My point?

In today’s fast-moving, digital world, most people are communicating in bits and bytes, and reading from small screens on smart phones and pads.   Let’s don’t even talk about tweets, retweets, yelps, etc.   To the younger generations—the Gen Xers, Gen Ys, and Gen Zs, this is the preferred style of communications.   The Gen Ys grew up viewing the world in screens from the time they were toddlers.   By the time they were teenagers they were communicating mostly via text and social media over a wireless device.

A business owner recently told me he refused to get his high school age son a wireless phone until he observed his friends at a ballgame.  His son’s friends, even though standing close to each other, were communicating by texting on wireless phones. They would look up from time to time and nod, or laugh, but they were speaking through wireless devices in abbreviated messages—bits, bytes, and letters.   His son was unable to communicate with his friends because he lacked the tools they use to communicate.  The man went out the following week and bought his son a wireless phone.  To this same point, the only way I can communicate with the Gen Ys and Gen Zs in my life is via social media or texting.  They would not dare ‘talk’ on the telephone.  It takes too long for one thing.

The challenge in the organizational world, however, is that the youngest generations bring this style of communications with them to the work place.  They are communicating in clipped messages that at times even appear to be encrypted it is so abbreviated.   Whether e-mail, text, instant messaging, social media, etc., messages are short, clipped, bits, bytes, and abbreviations.   This often results in misunderstandings and/or a need to go back and forth multiple times to create clarity.   The end result is that you have a breakdown in communications that slows down processes.  Or, it can result in getting work done more quickly, if everyone learns to talk the same language.

Another challenge is that since they socialized most of their lives via digital technology, they often lack communications and interpersonal skills.  They are the most social generations in history, but they socialize via digital technology. This will become an even bigger issue over the next decade as the world becomes increasingly digital.   For example, the Gen Zs who are still in high school are said to be children of the virtual world.   The fine art of face-to-face socialization and written communication is quickly becoming a thing of the past.  A hand shake is a digital clipped message.  Yes!  All generations are more frequently communicating via digital technology, as opposed to speaking over the phone or face-to-face.  But the Boomers and Veterans grew up in a world where socialization was face-to-face or over the phone.

The Baby Boomers at 78 million in the work place will mass exit the work place in the next ten years.  The Gen Ys at over 70 million in the work place will be left behind to lead the organizations.  The implication to the organizational world is huge.  Is it all bad?  No!  Not if organizational leaders begin now to create the right culture that encourages the transference of knowledge and sharing of information among all the generations.   Most often, you find that the Boomers resist the younger generations’ ideas and view them as “radical” and, as a result, close the door to cross-generational learning.  Organizational success depends on your ability as a leader to make it okay and encourage people to learn from each other.

Back to my last blog post, did you read it?  The first reader to post a message to my blog site telling me you read the ‘entire’ blog three, “Your ‘digital age’ will impact organizational success,” will receive a free copy of my new book 4 Generations @ Work.  Be sure to leave your name, e-mail address and your postal mailing address.

 Copyright © 2011 by Patricia Hatley

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval without permission in writing from the author.




About Patricia Hatley

Patricia Hatley is a leadership author, researcher, speaker, trainer, consultant. We provide resources to empower people to empower others. “Inspired leadership elevates everything!” With a graduate degree in strategic leadership, primarily transformational leadership, Patricia Hatley is a leadership researcher with a concentration on 21st century intergenerational leadership, author, consultant, and teacher. Patricia is an intergenerational pro with over 30 years experience leading teams in corporate and non-profit environments. In December 2012, she retired from a 42 year career in the corporate environment to concentrate on this project. Her books include: (1) “4 Generations @ Work: Leading from Conflict to Collaboration,” (2011) based on research conducted within a Fortune 500 company and across all industries, is a study of generational preferences and values and how to effectively integrate all into any organization. (2) “Three Things All People Want,” (2014) which reveals how to inspire people to engagement by tapping into three basic human needs; and (3) “Digital Grenades: Explosive and Corrosive,” (2015) which deals with inspiring people to engagement and high performance when most interaction is across a digital platform via some kind of digital communications, i.e. email, social media, texting, etc . (4) “4 Generations @ Work: A Case for Empowerment,” (2015) a revised and expanded version of her first book 4 Generations @ Work. Patricia’s fourth book is a self-help book for anyone to use to develop a highly engaging workplace, for anyone. It provides information, based on recent and life-long experience:  How to develop an empowered culture, and why such a culture is critical to success today and even more so over the next decade;  “The Trust Factor” importance and basics;  “The Power of Ask,” what it is, how it works, and how crucial it is to success;  “Listening to Understand” basics;  “Integrity today” what it looks like and why it is different and crucial to success;  “Diversity and Inclusion,” what it looks like today, why, importance, and how tos;  Five generations: Intergenerational values and preferences, creating understanding, reducing conflict, engagement, etc.;  The Plurals--She introduces the next generation to flood the work force, the Plurals. Plurals are different than any generation yet, but require many of the same things in the workplace that their colleagues, the Gen Ys, do.
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