Teenagers. They get a bad rap right?Â Well, Iâ€™m here to tell you that your next hire should be a teen. Why? Because what theyÂ way they operate is where the world is heading, and fast.
The irony I see around me is that most organisations are handing over the keys of digital transformation to people who donâ€™t completely understand the current digital world, let alone the potential of our rapidly evolving digital future. I recently met a senior official in the government sector who is leading the digital transformation journey in his department, and to my surprise he did not have a Twitter account, did not use any social media, still believes in storing his documents on a USB drive and is scared to use his credit card online.
I left our meeting scratching my head wondering what sort of transformation he can lead when he hasn’t even left a legacy of thinking about the aging information era.
My mantra for creating a digital transformation team is to hire in teenagers and then give them freedom to carry out the required tasks. Organisations will quickly get their answers on where to improve and what technology to adopt.
You might be a clued-in entrepreneur, but youâ€™re still highly vulnerable to being disrupted. This disruption has been brought on by exponential advancements in technology and those leading the charge are those whoâ€™ve been digital natives from day dot â€“todayâ€™s teenagers.
So, what exactly do they do differently?
Theyâ€™ve ditched the email
Teens barely use email and if they are using it, theyâ€™re probably only doing it to keep us oldies happy. Most young people are now chatting and exchanging information via social media. Any document changes can be done via the cloud with multiple people accessing documents and changing them in real time. Email is dying and we have much more efficient ways of working now, with apps like Slack and Asana, and projects can be completely managed via the cloud without lengthy emails needing to be exchanged.
100 per cent browser-based
Weâ€™re now using our browsers 80 per cent of the time. Today and in the near future this will probably increase to 100 per cent as all business applications move to the cloud.
And, taking it one step further,Â if all applications are presented through the browser, then do we really need devices like Windows OS or MAC at all? These environments actually attract additional costs like antivirus and many more software licenses in order to make it operational.
Google Chromebooks fit in the future proofing organisation technology roadmap. In fact, Googleâ€™s vision of the future is 100 per cent browser-based via the Chrome operating system and the company argues that much of the computer experience we take for granted today is outdated, clunky, and unnecessary. Teens are working quicker and more effectively than us, and weâ€™re in denial if we think otherwise.
They work flexibly
For many of us a â€˜normal officeâ€™ is one where core hours are 9-5 with and we work side by side with those who live in the same city as us. As entrepreneurs, we feel like we need to chain our employees to their desks, which is how we were made to work in our first jobs.
However, to get the best talent maybe your next staff member lives in another country to you. Talent acquisition is tricky, especially if youâ€™re remote. Technology has made it possible for us to work wherever we want in the world and clever companies are capitalising on higher quality and more cost-effective talent that can take them to the next business level.
So, ditch your expensive management consultancy, and maybe even your whole email system, and see if hiring-out-of-the-box could get your company working more effectively, productively and profitably. And before hiring a really expensive consultant, thereâ€™s no harm in giving your own son, daughter or any teenager a go. You might save some dollars along with your company.