Global networks of innovation – a reality in 2020 ?

I have been thinking of the biggest change that 2006 has brought as we review 2006 on the last day of the year. Actually I had been studying this trend since 2005  when I happened to see the CBS 60 minutes report on Echo Boomers. Having a teenage son helped as was the opportunity to teach new product development to the older Gen X including some Baby Boomer MBA students. My task for over a year was to get several batches of MBA students think of the Y Generation/ Echo boomers/Millenials and devise new products and services for this target market. The Intelligence group featured in the 60 Minutes story kindly sent a senior executive to my fall 2005 class – much to the students delight.What struck me was the veritable alarm that Baby Boomers and X Gens feel in dealing with the Echo Boomers. Because , well they are different- so different that the Dale Carnegie Institute does a workshop to get these generations to work together in and across organizations.

My non-scientific survey with college students tells me that Echo-Boomers don’t use email but can have 300+ Facebook contacts and simply post messages on something like a digital board- in place of  email. This blog discusses this remarkable development. Consider the alarm older people feel in putting their entire life on a networking site. "It is an invasion of privacy," fumed a baby boomer friend!

As the Facebook and Myspace generation grows up and takes leadership the world is likely to become a friendlier and more trusting place. And that should have huge repercussions for global networks of innovation in 2020. ……only 20-20 hindsight will tell

Wishing all readers of this blog a Very Happy New Year  2007 !

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