Understanding the large organization

ReadWriteWeb reports on a Forrester survey last April which has revealed that despite the hype, it’s not Generation Y – those born somewhere between the late 1970s to the late 1990s, also known as Millenials – that’s getting business to adopt collaborative technology.

It’s actually Generation X – those who were born between the early 1960s and the late 1970s: the group that followed the Baby Boomers – who are the ones leading the charge for social computing.

[…] Forrester’s analysis is that despite their different view of technology, Gen Y, Millennials, or whatever you want to call those 29 and under, don’t yet have the clout within organizations to make real change. The same Gen X employees who are the fastest growing demographic in Facebook are the ones getting management to accept new technology as more than a fad.

[…] the most significant difference was […] how effective employees are at getting new software to be accepted. 22% of Gen X said they felt they have the "clout in their organization" necessary to introduce new technology, while only 13% of those under 29 said the same.

Even if Gen Y was significantly better at using social software, it wouldn’t matter at this point. Obviously younger employees will increase their stature within organizations as the years pass. But the idea of Millennials at the vanguard of innovation in the enterprise is a myth.

The survey was conducted in the US among 2,000 information workers in companies with more than 10o employees. I’d say it’s also a useful snapshot of behaviours in similar-size companies here in the UK especially large and/or multinational firms.

Useful knowledge to have when thinking about who you’re talking to in your organization or your client about social media, and how you’re talking to them.

Add to your portfolio of understanding about how large organizations work.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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