Working in the digital marketing industry for the last 10 years, I’ve had the pleasure to work with a lot of people that are true digital natives. These people are still in their early twenties (Generation Y), but what they lack in experience they make up in efficiency and being able to think outside the box. They don’t buy music, but still own “all” music by using services like spotify and Grooveshark. They don’t buy books, but still have all the knowledge in the world at their fingertips. They travel on the same flight as you and me, but somehow they seem to be paying only half the price…They “stay at their friends place” wherever in the world they might be traveling. Utilizing their social network, they will and can change entire industries within months. Technology has always been a major part of their life, and they don’t see any limitations. They will challenge your business model every step of the way, and will always look for a smarter and cheaper way to get what they need.
Still running the 5 year plan?
At the same time, we see that the majority of challenges today’s corporations are facing is related to the fact that they can’t keep up with the changing market. Their long term strategies that have worked brilliantly for the past 20 years is no longer working? Analysing why these companies can’t adapt, often tracks all the way back to the board room. The executive board will in most cases have excellent knowledge about finance, advocacy and business management, but there seems to be huge lack of knowledge about social media and the “new” market. We often see that the organisations have the right people on board, but they are not able to recognize and utilize their talent. Old school company governance is the main reason market leaders are loosing their market position to young tech savvy companies.
Values vs Profit
While traditional corporations are still trying to get the gender balance in the board room right, the Y corporations had the right balance from day one. They don’t talk about gender, they talk about talent. They utilize business models based on crowd sourcing, hiring the right talent for every individual project. Having only a fraction of the overhead cost, they will beat any traditional corporation on both price and delivery in the long run. They run their companies based on values, not corporate strategies “designed for maximizing the shareholders’ wealth”. Major corporations might not see the reason to change because their financial teams are telling them that the numbers look good, but now might just be the last real chance they have to change. In order to beat the Y corporations, they need to adapt and become like them. And to get something you never had, you will have to do something you never did; How many Y’s do you have in your advisory board?
Freddy Aurso, MD Lighthouse8