1. I read this article with some sadness and frustration. Are we really going to have the so called Millennial discussion over again? Are we really going to have books and conferences focused on Gen Z as we have Millennials? Are we, L&D community, really going to allow our profession to be driven by just commercial research rather than empirical research? Empirical research challenges the theoretical assumptions behind generational conversations and easily challenges any need to design learning based on unproven generational categories. Additionally, learning styles are no longer a valid concept that should not even be considered as influencing learning design in the 21st century. Yes, every generation is different from a socio-cultural perspective, but when it comes to learning in the workplace L&D professionals and especially leaders need to focus on what the business needs are and how the whole workforce can work together to meet those needs.

  2. Warning: former high school teacher here. 12 years experience.

    This is all nonsense.

    What generation you’re from matters precisely ZERO in terms of educating someone.

    All learning is ILLUMINATION .

    That means all a teacher does is shed light on concepts that a person already knew.

    You are now saying “That’s insanity! Burn him at the stake!”

    While I appreciate your enthusiasm for jumping to conclusions, read on…

    You may not know geometry when you are 7 years old, but you know what a square is because you’ve seen one before. So, if I want to teach you all about right angles, we can look at objects in the world like stop signs and dinner plates and pyramids and ask ourselves “Are these things similar to or different from a table that measures 2 feet by 2 feet?”

    This is how Socrates taught. You’ve heard of it. It’s called the Socratic Method. Its assumption is that the entirely of human knowledge lives within every person all the time.

    Anyone can be shown how to be a NASA engineer. They just need to be shown WHERE the knowledge lives inside them, or in what books that knowledge lives, or on websites, or what other people possess it.

    A massive problem in education is STANDARDIZATION. You cant just create some test and say “Ok, I’m the Federal government and here’s what we have to learn today!”

    Learning is individual in the sense that the student has to be a willing participant.

    We force people to attend school. The don’t want to be there.

    “You’re crazy! Kids MUST go to school”

    Really? A kid can’t be shown how to sell on an e-commerce platform at age 13?

    They are playing video games 1000x more complicated that managing an Amazon page. They are completing medieval missions and quests by collaborating with players from around the world to solve common goals.

    I am not saying video games are the answer. There is no magic bullet that is going to discombobulate US education in 10 years. The Boomers have so very badly screwed the pooch.

    I am saying that companies dont have to freak out when it comes to Millennials and Gen Z.

    Start at the point that to you as a 45 year old professional seems backwards: find out what they want to learn about. Then, find the closest thing your company has to that, out them there, show them how to do the job, give them space to share their ideas, pay them a fair wage and watch them perform miracles.

    I’ve owned a business of my own creation for 8 years. There are no office politics. There are unlimited sick days. No one is an employee. They are all 1099. They work from home. when they need help, we Skype and I help them. they get $. they’ve made me lots of $. we all lived happily ever after.

    I left teaching because I got tired of disrespect. Not from the kids. They’re kids. They’re learning how not to be total DBs later in life (hopefully…. no guarantees).

    I didn’t leave because of the parents. Parents get emotional when it comes to their kids. I never had ONE parental issue that we couldn’t solve by focusing on the child and coming up with the best answer for the little one.

    I left because administrators LIE. They lie to you, the public, to your children and to teachers. They say that all of what they do is on our best interest.

    It’s not. It never was. They make educational leadership decisions based off their own career’s needs and the current trends and buzzwords.

    And we wonder why we are 37th in Math and 38th in reading in world rankings….

    Education is ILLUMINATION, which means bringing something that’s in the dark out into the light.

    We have 2 forgotten generations of American children.

    Corporate leaders: you need to see what I am saying for it is the way forward for you: make the content relevant to them; show them how to do the work and be prepared for them to ask for more money and more responsibility.

    Could we live in an era of 22 year old CEOs? It’s conceivable given that their learning curve is so much faster and shallow.

    Ours was steep because there was less knowledge and the internet wasn’t an developed when we were in college in the 1990s and early 2000s.

    Find some humility and accept that these younger humans are showing up on Earth with something to say. They are going to demand rewards for good performance and they mean MONEY. they don’t mean an Amex gift card for $50 because they invented a system that saved the corporation 1000s of hours and millions of dollars.

    That’s MY Millennial story. I worked one year for a corporation and invented a system on my lunch break that did exactly that: saved a Fortune 100 firm 1000s of hours and millions of dollars. When they implemented my system, I thought I would get promoted or at least get a raise from me $12 / hour.

    Nothing. Not 1 dime more.

    so, I walked out.

    I was accused by my former boss, who now is dead of a heart attack this year, that my actions had no integrity.

    Now at 40, in charge of a firm that is a federal vendor, has contractors who worked previously Harvard, and who pockets mid 6-figures, I am telling you, not debating with you, that the a-hole in the former situation was my deceased boss. I liked the guy, but he was always wrong about not giving me a raise and he was an idiot to think I’d stay and follow him after being ignored like that.

    And that’s how Gen Z will think as well, so we business leaders in 2018 and beyond have to be ready to train them and then to PAY for the increased revenue they bring in.

    And why shouldn’t they get paid? My innovation was MINE and I was happy to share it. My boss was not malicious. He was just following the accepted, outdated, and sort of medieval Baby Boomer work mentality of “if you haven’t worked for 30 years, then you haven’t earned your right to rise”.

    I was born in 1978. Most Boomers Ive worked for have been an impediment to my success. But, as a pre-internet kid, I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I wasn’t doing it right.

    Millennials and Gen Z have the answer. They know they have it. And as middle aged leaders, we better give them the resources and training they need to solve the problems of a world on fire.

    We don’t have the right or the luxury of time vis a vie future generations to stand on tradition, follow our egos, or to operate out of greed or hubris like our Boomera ancestors. We need to ILLUMINATE one another, all add our best skills to the firm, get paid lots of cash and share the wealth.

    How many cars do you need? 4? Try 2.
    How many bedrooms your house have to have? 6? Try 3.

    Moderation, like Ben Franklin said.

    Peace and good luck to you and remember: Dont DENIGRATE. Instead, choose to ILLUMINATE.

    the little ones will follow you to hell and back. Take good care of them. they are the future.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *
Name *
Email *