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Dancing with Digital Natives: Staying in Step with the Generation Thats Transforming the Way Business Is Done Hardcover – May 1, 2011
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About the Author
Contributors to this book include the editors, as well as Mary Ann Bell, Shashi Bellamkonda, Sarah Bryans Bongey, Jami L. Carlacio, Albert M. Erisman, Brynn Evans, Susan Evans, Lance Heidig, David Hubbard, Richard Hull, Marshall Lager, Christa M. Miller, Emilie Moreau, Carolina M. Reid, Michael Russell, Peggy Anne Salz, Arana Shapiro, Dan Schawbel, Rebecca Rufo-Tepper, and Robert J. Torres
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(I am doing my homework. But I work better when I multi-task.)
"Did you email your friend to see if they want a ride?"
(No. But I texted her.)
"Twitter is not allowed on work computers."
(Okay. Then I'll just have to go into the restroom with my iPad so I can tweet with my business followers.)
Every day, miscommunication happens between "Digital Natives" (those born since the availability of today's technologies and therefore have native fluency in computers, mobile phones, and social networks) and "Digital Immigrants" (who have had to adapt and learn).
The culture clash can be remarkable.
In my many meetings with people in the working world, I see the culture clash first hand. The executives think from their immigrant perspective and clamp down on social networks at work. They take days or weeks to respond. They just seem out of touch.
Meanwhile, the digital natives who are entering the workforce are bewildered by the old ways of communication. They don't answer emails. They are exceedingly casual in their communications. They just seem unprofessional.
But it doesn't have to be a world of miscommunication.
I'm convinced that corporate executives and HR people must learn how Digital Natives operate. And I also think that Digital Natives need to learn how to operate in a corporate world.
Dancing with Digital is a great place to start. The book includes sections on Digital Natives at work, selling to Digital Natives, plus entertaining them and educating them.
Now when I run into fear of social media among executives, I suggest they need to read Dancing with Digital Natives. And I also suggest to university students that they should read the book so they know what to expect in the working world.
Dancing with Digital Natives is a must-read for managers who need to know how to attract and retain the brightest stars of the younger generation.
With this kaleidoscope of perspectives coming together, little jewels rise to the surface: office pods, coworking, virtual goods, bursty work, laptop lounges, community wine, social currency, cut-and-paste syndrome, a vinyl resurgence in France, reputation-based culture, sparking interest to explore further. Each chapter ends with a suggested reading list to encourage further exploration of the topics.
Particularly useful chapters are Reid's "The Dis-Organization of Invention" since the author speaks to much about how DNs use information, share it, contribute knowledge freely, and so on. I also liked Chapter 9 on social media, using these myself as an Xer, and of course, the entire section on educating the DN is a must-read for anyone who has school-age kids, knows them, or works with them.
Because we live in a digital age, we need to be digital citizens--and digital natives.
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