Generation gap, web2.0 & the cost of missed opportunities…

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In a casual conversation with a practice/business head of an IT services firm, I happened to ask her how she is seeing the adoption of Web2.0 in the organizations she interacts with and her line of business. Her response was on the lines of:

‘Very less.. it’s too early… actually people don’t want social networking the way it is on Flickr, YouTube.. In my view, LinkedIn is the ideal social networking platform… it is text based and doesn’t have too many images etc.. I can quickly check it out and come back… Why would I want to see my friends pictures on the net…. It’s a waste of time… how will it benefit the organization..’

Her responses made me wonder:

  • Do our business leaders really understand, or have attempted to understand what Web2.0 is all about?
  • Why do our business leaders equate Web2,0 to Social networking?

I my opinion:

  • The generation gap between the GenNet and Baby Boomer generation has HUGE implications on how web2.0 is viewed within the organizations and how it can be out to productive use.
  • In most organizations the leaders belong to the Baby Boomer generation and their interactions, in the course of business, would be with other baby boomers in their counterpart organization. This scenario lends nicely to a classic status quo model(unintentionally, without even the leaders realizing it) and a huge opportunity is being squandered – both in business, competitive advantage context.

Organizations that recognize the existence of generation gap within it’s workforce, the relevance of Web2.0 to todays genNet generation are in a great position to leverage the advantages of web2.0 within an enterprise to become more responsive, agile & competitive.

It’s an opportunity that an organization can either say ‘Pass’ or grab with both hands and run.

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