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Forbes has an interesting column by Rawn Shah, described as “a business transformation consultant in the Social Software Adoption team in IBM's software group and is the author of “Social Networking for Business: Choosing the Right Tools and Resources to Fit Your Needs.” She argues:

“Older generations have an ingrained urge to avoid collaborating, having spent their lives being trained to hoard and control information. Their thick, almost-impermeable skin takes effort, time, encouragement and environmental change to break through. It isn't by chance that the need for greater collaboration is a regular theme in management meetings everywhere.

“On the other hand, social software comes naturally to the millennial generation, born between the late 1970s and 2000 and raised in the Internet age. In a few years, according to Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd, the authors of ‘The 2020 Workplace,’ millennials will be about half of the world's working age adults. The oldest will be only in their early 30s, but they'll have been working for almost a decade, perhaps with MBAs or Ph.D.s and families, and likely in their second or third jobs.”

She continues, “Millennials work with large networks. They swap contexts frequently and= rapidly during a typical day and use multiple modes of communication. They feel free to ask their managers and peers for candid opinions so they can improve their work. They seek social proof, some visible indication, that others are buying into an idea or activity. They see everyone in their organization as equal partners to collaborate with ... Leaders who connect to mentees in an enterprise 2.0 network can stay in touch with them more easily, understand their strengths and offer them more opportunities. They can mentor on an ambient level, openly broadcasting their ideas, knowledge and help for mentees or anyone to consider, by sharing their thoughts on micro-blog systems, and they can receive feedback the same way ... Millennials who converse freely with their friends socially are often told at work to stay strictly work-focused. This can limit the depth of their conversations and keep them from developing trust and extensive networks.

“That's one reason why millennials need to see their leaders and people from all levels of the organization get involved in the collaborative environment. They need social proof that collaboration is widely acceptable at work. They need to grasp social norms and styles for interacting with their peers and superiors. A collaborative organization thus needs strong involvement from everyone to deliver the compounding value of knowledge, trust and loyalty among its workforce.”
KC's View:
Important lesson. They can learn from us, and we can learn from them. But if we tell the next generation of leaders that they have to do things our way, then we miss the enormous opportunity to make the kind of quantum leaps that can transform traditional institutions.