Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Collaboration and Young Adults: Changing Business Realities

Is your organization prepared to meet the collaboration needs of young adults to attract, develop and retain the workforce of the future?

Fact - Generation X and Generation Y Talent use more real-time collaboration tools over asynchronous (non real time like email). According to a recent survey by The Associated Press - almost half of the teens surveyed use Instant Messaging (IM) and almost three fourths of teens use instant messaging more than email, while less than a quarter of adults use IM, and almost three fourths of adults who use IM use email, more often than IM.

I know that with my daughter who recently started university - for me to personally keep in close contact - having an MSN IM account was the best way to stay connected as she seldom checks her email, but guaranteed she is always accessible on MSN IM or via cell text messaging.

So, what do these behaviours tell us about the collaboration age gap between different generations?

I think this means a number of things for organizational and leadership communication approaches. Companies need to encourage IM, Blogs, wikis and all forms of real time collaboration to motivate the talent of the future. These communication needs need to be taken into account and designed into all forms of employee communication, online communication and software development approaches.

Asynchronous communication is well on the way to extinction….unfortunately old habits for the Baby Boomers, including me are hard to break.

Demand for real-time collaboration solutions have already generated more than $1.3 B in 2006 - which represents nearly one quarter of all collaboration application revenue. An increasing trend is to integrate all communication toolkits - and in different formats - whether the media form is via: email, IM, or voice - the promise is an integrated platform or a unified communication platform (UM) which promises to improve the productivity of knowledge workers - and for sure simplify operating infrastructure costs.

A promising collaboration company based in Canada that was recently recognized as one of the hottest Web 2.0 companies at the Enterprise 2.0 and Tim O’ Reilly conference recently held in San Francisco is Octopz.

Octopz is a browser based collaboration solution developed in Flash and has a simplified interface allowing ease of navigation, enables interactive and secure communications, and easily allows markup of advanced media types like videos, audio, animations, Flash files, and 360ยบ panoramas. Octopz gives us a good perspective of the increased collaboration toolkits that are viable business productivity tools. This is a company to have not just on your company watch list, but also BUYING a subscription is a MUST to get you underway in using onoe of the most powerful on demand collaboration software solutions that I have seen in a long time.

More information on understanding collaboration commerce and the business impacts can be further understood by reading Collaboration Commerce: The Next Competitive Advantage.. This recent book can be ordered on Amazon at

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