I was listening to the radio this week when I heard an interview with a film producer on triple j. Of special note was the comment by the female dj that perhaps casting for movies should be done the same way as decisions are made in those reality tv shows. Just sms your vote! The film producer was aghast at such a thought! In contrast, the dj’s suggestion was just an obvious manifestation of what is already happening within her demographic’s frame of reference.
And this is where the demographic fundamentals will be working in businesses today. Participation isn’t something the management requests when it suits them, oh no! In a culture where participatory decision-making and social networking are becoming second nature, the workplace will need to adapt as well.
At the same time, the very same set of younger generations have not only been brought up with a hefty dose of reality tv but they have also been participants in the internet revolution. To them, the web and all it can do is as normal as a mobile phone.
Enter web 2.0 (the term web 2.0 was actually born in 2004) and add gen x, y and z.
The web-savvy generations with their penchant for personal networks and participatory decision-making are gradually working their way now (and in the future) into the very dna of organisations across the globe. The norms of organisational decision-making in those post-Fordist managerial hierarchies are looking a tad less secure in the 21st century.
For managers, we need to foster this connectedness and participatory zeal in our workplaces. We can assist with a suite of web 2.0 applications (RSS, blogs, wikis, social computing) that enhance the level of participation and communication among our people and our people-networks. And we can allow and actively encourage the participation, the networks and the conversations to take place inside our businesses because it is through these interactions and participation that we generate real organisational value competitive advantage.
Participation and web 2.0 are a great combination so let’s use them to the best of our advantage. [Check out this Ross Gitten’s article for some more reasons to treat your employees well].