Okay, everybody. You can relax.
For nearly a decade, we’ve been warned of the rise of Generation Next, also know as Generation Y or the Millennials, and how they were going to terrorize the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers who preceded them, and change everything we hold sacred about how work and business should be done. Well, Generation Next (generally those born from the late ‘70s to the early 2000s) has been part of our business reality for a while now. And what do you know? They’re not the disruptive, mind-bending threat we thought they’d be.
Sure, they’re different. For example, they are more comfortable with media, communication and digital technology than any group of workers before them. But instead of fulfilling dire prophesies of shaking up the workforce, they’ve demonstrated an ability to energize organizations with their tech savvy, new ideas and constant hunger for fresh challenges—the perfect set of attributes for a rapidly changing economy full of both peril and promise. At Black Enterprise, we’ve harnessed this valuable human capital through our BE Next initiative—with huge benefits for our entire organization.
The Millennials are not an invading force set to change all we hold dear. They are the fresh troops we need to restore our confidence in our ability to spark new innovations and conquer new markets. If you’re smart, no matter your age, you will engage and collaborate, not compete, with Generation Next.
Alfred Edmond Jr. is the editor-in-chief of BlackEnterprise.com