Born with a smartphone and tablet in hand a new connected generation is expected to join the labor force soon. Instead of being afraid business leaders have all reasons to be optimistic about the future. Generations 'Y' and 'C' (born after 1985) do not think in terms of hierarchy but in terms of connectedness. For too long knowledge has been accumulated and stored for the benefit of a few big international corporations. But imagine a world where one good idea can be recycled and worked upon by others. This way creative visionaries could see their ideas grow into something substantial, something that creates value.
But before we can arrive at that level of collaboration, several challenges need to be met with ambition and a - to quote President Obama - "Yes We Can" attitude. A first challenge will be to rethink and re-engineer the value chain. Sharing an amazing idea with the world for the benefit of all is a noble ideal. The thought turns out bittersweet when you start noticing that somebody else - e.g.: some corporation whose resources vastly outstrip yours - is making profits out of your idea without ever even mentioning your name.
Crowdsourcing is one of the many possibilities the connected generation has to offer. However, this should not come down to exploiting the masses and strip-cropping their ideas. Perceived fairness is key to success in this new wired world.
Written by Mark Verheyden (B&O team member)