This morning, I found that my 9 year old daughter had written the IP address of a friend’s server (likely Minecraft) on her arm so that they could collaborate together after school.
This is NOT just proud daughters of geeks: this type of collaborative play is something common to the entire new culture of Internet users. These “digital natives” use technology at a whole new level.
It’s not their ability to use technology that’s important – it’s the new culture they are creating.
This new generation is much more team oriented, risk tolerant, connected, and information oriented than previous generations.
I’ve posted about this before (Liquid Leadership) but this picture captures the entire culture clash in a single image.
PS: I wonder what she would do if it was an IPv6 address? She’s not tall!
I like slow media that takes time to build and explain a point (aka books) and I have read plenty of business media that I think are important (Starfish & Spider, Peopleware, Coders At Work, Predictably Irrational) and fun to discuss; however, few have been as immediately practical as Brad Szollose’s Liquid Leadership.
On the surface, Liquid Leadership is about helping Boomers work better with Digital Natives (netizens). Just below that surface, the book hits at the intersection of our brave new digital world and the workplace. Szollose’s insights are smart, well supported and relevant. Even better, I found that the deeper I penetrated into this ocean of insight, the more I got from it.
If you want to transform (or save) your company, read this book.
To whet your appetite, I will share the conversational points that have interested my peers at work, wife, friends and mother-in-law.
- Membership on a team is a privilege: you have to earn it. Not everyone shows up with trust, enthusiasm, humility and leadership needed.
- Video games position digital natives for success. It teaches risk taking, iterative attempts, remote social teaming and digital pacing.
- Netizens leave organizations with hierarchal management. Management in 2010 is about team leadership and facilitation.
- Smart people are motivated by trust and autonomy not as much pay and status.
- Relationship and social marketing puts to focus back on quality and innovation, not messaging and glossies. Broadcast (uni-directional) marketing is dead.
- Using speed of execution to manage risk. Szollose loves Agile (does not call it that) and mirrors the same concepts that I expound about Lean.
- Being creative in business means working with your competitors. My #1 project at Dell right now, OpenStack, requires this and it’s the best way to drive customer value. The customers don’t care about your competitor – they just want good solutions.
PS: If you like reading books like this and are interested in a discussion group in Austin, please comment on this post.