This post is the Final Post in a collaborative eight part series by Brad Szollose and Rob Hirschfeld about how culture shapes technology.
culture is in the work place. The high tech areas are especially sensitive because they disproportionately embrace the Millennial culture which often causes conflicts.
Our world has changed, driven by technology, new thinking, and new methodologies yet we may be using 20th century management techniques on 21st century customers and workers. There is an old business axiom that states, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Yet how much of our process, interaction, successes, and failures never wind up on a spreadsheet, yet impact it?
Customers don’t leave bad companies; they leave companies that miss the mark when it comes to customer engagement. To better serve our customers we need to understand and adapt to the psychology of a new customer … one who has been trained to work as a Digital Native.
What would that look like? Tech people who interact with patience, collaboration, deep knowledge, and an openness to input, adapting to a customer’s needs in real-time. Wouldn’t that create a relationship that is second to none and unbreakable? Wouldn’t that be a leg up on the competition?
By understanding that new business culture has been influenced by the gaming experience, we have a deeper understanding of what is important to our customer base. And like a video game, if you cling to hierarchy, you lose. If you get caught up in linear time management, you lose. If you cling to bottlenecks and tradition you lose.
Those three words sum up today’s business environment. By now, you should not be surprised that those drivers are skills honed in video games.
We’ve explored the radically different ways that Digital Natives approach business opportunities. As the emerging leaders of the technological world, we must shift our operations to be more open, collaborative, iterative, and experience based.
Rob challenges you to get involved in his and other collaborative open source projects. Brad challenges you to try new leadership styles that engage with the Cloud Generation. Together, we challenge our entire industry to embrace a new paradigm that redefines how we interact and innovate. We may as well embrace it because it is the paradigm that we’ve already trained the rising generation or workers to intuitively understand.
Brad and Rob collaborated on this series with the idea of extending the concepts beyond a discussion of the “digital divide” and really looking at how culture impacts business leadership. Lately, we’ve witnessed that the digital divide is not about your birthday alone. We’ve seen that age alone does not drive the all cultural differences we’ve described here. Our next posts will reflect the foundations for different ways that we've seen people respond to each other with a focus on answering "Can Digital Age Workers Deliver?"
Thank you for following this series...
Our point of view: About the authors
Rob Hirschfeld and Brad Szollose are both proud technology geeks, but they’re geeks from different generations who enjoy each other’s perspective on this brave new world.
Rob is a first-generation Digital Native. He grew up in Baltimore reprogramming anything with a keyboard—from a Casio VL-Tone and beyond. In 2000, he learned about server virtualization and never looked back.
In 2008, he realized his teen ambition to convert a gas car to run electric (a.k.a. RAVolt.com). Today, from his Dell offices and local coffee shops, he creates highly disruptive open source cloud technologies for Dell's customers.
Brad is a Cusp Baby Boomer who grew up watching the original Star Trek series, secretly wishing he would be commanding a Constitution Class Starship in the not-too-distant future.
Since that would take a while, Brad became a technology-driven creative director who cofounded one of the very first Internet development agencies during the dot-com boom. As a Web pioneer, Brad was forced to invent a new management model that engaged the first wave of Digital Workers.
Today, Brad helps organizations like Dell close the digital divide by understanding it as a cultural divide created by new tech-savvy workers ... and customers.
Beyond the fun of understanding each other better, we are collaborating on this white paper for different reasons.
- Brad is fostering liquid leaders who have the vision to span cultures and to close the gap between cultures.
- Rob is building communities with the vision to use cloud products that fit the Digital Native culture.