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The Y-Generation : Kids are learning computer skills before life skills

posted Feb 17, 2011, 4:54 AM by Francois Tricot   [ updated Feb 21, 2011, 2:51 PM ]

Do you know who are the digital natives ?

A marketing category that designate the youngest between us, born after the Internet was invented (let's say < 30 years old).

A recent study, led on 2200 mums in USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and 5 european countries tells us that :
  • More young children know how to play a computer game (58%) than swim (20%) or ride a bike (52%)
  • 28% of young children can make a mobile phone call, but only 20% know to dial 911 in case of an emergency
  • 69% of children aged 2-5 can operate a computer mouse, but only 11% can tie their own shoelaces

I'm not going to tell anybody how they should educate their kids. It's not my purpose. However, it's a fact that the Y-generation, when arriving in the enterprise, expects to find similar tools (at least) that the one they know. The one they have been using at home and at school.

So, let's have a look at our kids. How many of them already have a laptop ? How many of them already have a smartphone ? How many of them go to facebook at least once a week ? to their web mail ? instant messaging ? youtube ?

MOST OF THEM. Ask yourself, ask your friends.

How ready are we to welcome them in Ceva ?

I would answer "100%".

Why ?
  • We have got the tools :
    • Google Apps : webmail, web documents, web sites, web videos, web forums...
    • Intuit Quickbase : online databases you can customize
    • Everything web : worldwide access - secure access - 24/7 access - any device access. This is going to be extended to major IT tools in 2011.
  • We have got the mindset :
    • it is your decision to create an intranet on a project. No need to ask for an authorization with a 3 months process and no need to ask for the IT department to create the server. Go CevApps site and create.
    • it is your decision to create an extranet (with clients, partners, suppliers, vets...) or an internet
    • it is your decision to share, work collaboratively, start, create value. IT provides the technology that leverages this. The policy is 'use it as far as it's for a professional use and a legal use"
    • Everything open : people are responsible for what they do, not systems

Badly used, Internet may become a productivity killer

However, this may be frustrating to see that some are spending too much time on things that are not related to their job on the Internet. This may happen. This happens. Using a private facebook account at work. Tweeting at work. Shopping online at work. Playing at work. Years ago, people were using the pre-installed games on the computer. Now they can use the Internet or their smartphones.

We also have to manage this. I'm used to say that it is the manager role, and not an IT restriction, that can solve these issues.

Tell the Y-Generation that is arriving now in the Enterprise that (1) we are open and promote sharing and digital sharing (2) we should not be distracted from our mission.

IT department closely monitors usage. IT department analyses the logs to see if the means provided by Ceva are used on purpose and legally. These are anonymous logs. As far as I know, the statistics are generally good. Bad statistics would push us to react.

Correctly used, Internet is a disruptive productivity enhancer

Some tips :
  1. Email : is the message really necessary ? check my article here.
  2. News and web surfing : since I use Internet, I rarely read a printed newspaper. I organize my technology and industry watch with Google Reader. A customized Google News or Google Alerts on which you entered the keywords you are interested in (e.g. "merial", "advantix", "feliway", ...)  is also a good possibility - soon, Google Reader, News and Alerts will be available within CevApps. It takes me 5 to 10 minutes to read them.  But, because there is so much information we can be drawn in and spend many hours just reading and being unproductive. Try to monitor and limit the time you spend surfing.
  3. Clear purpose : When you turn on the computer have a clear idea of what you wish to achieve. Measure your productivity by what you have achieved and not by how much time you spend.