Millennials were brought up by
baby boomers who taught them that
if everyone pitches in, we can all win.
Gen is a product of angsty Gen Xers
who know that 401(k)s always
grow, jobs often get cut and there are
no extra points for in
anyone deserves a trophy for
baseball David Stillman quipped to his son during a recent
speech at the University of Carlson School of Management,
getting you to all those
games on That elicited guffaws
from the crowd of 40- and 50-somethings, most of them executives at
Fortune 500 companies.
parents taught us that in the
real world, you might win and you
might Jonah says later over the
phone. willing to fight for a job
and to challenge the way things are
Half of Gen Zers surveyed by the
Stillmans, in conjunction with the
Institute for Corporate Productivity, would prefer their own office to
open environments. rather
work independently than collaborate.
interested in creating their
own job description and not afraid to
try different simultaneously. They are picky about working
for digitally sophisticated companies
and prioritize organizations with social causes that align with their own.
Gen Zers also tend to be vanishing photos
over public their
parents have drilled into them the dangers of oversharing on social media.
The Stillmans describe Gen as the
first Tech proficient
as millennials may be, they are old
enough to remember life before phones
were smart and Wi-Fi was constant.
Gen has only known a connected
world, and as a result, they draw
a distinction between working in an office and working in a
all work; always online. Their
world is the Stillmans say,
meaning every physical aspect has a
digital equivalent. To Jonah, dialing
52 a a i
YOU TRY TO
TREAT US LIKE
MILLENNIALS, IT WILL
JONAH STILLMAN, 17
into a meeting via video conferencing
is no different than sitting face to face
in a boardroom.
told you to be David
Stillman recalls harping at Jonah,
who opted to Skype rather than drive
downtown to meet with a prospective
client. was Jonah replied.
David admits that the meeting
went well and the client was impressed
by maturity and his tech savvy.
Still, he says, the perfect example
of a fundamental generational divide.
The father and son duo use the
Skype vs. boardroom incident in their
Land to the National Builders Association. Then they ask their
audience to log into a mobile app and
vote: Does video conferencing count
as being at a meeting or should Jonah
have actually been there, in the flesh?
much as I hate to admit it, my
dad usually Jonah says.
usually by only 10 to 15 And to
be fair, their predominantly executive
audiences are stacked in his 48-yearold favor.
Companies that celebrate individuality are going to have an easier
time working with Gen Z, David says,
pointing to Nxtbook Media, a digital
publishing company in Lancaster,
Pennsylvania, where employees create
their own job titles. One of the sales
reps is the Duke of Solutions. The
human resources director is Master
of Smooth Operations. people
come to a job and are told, is
who you It really mean
a whole says Chief
Inspiration Officer Michael Biggerstaff. honestly think about my role
every day. Regardless of how I feel, I
have to try to be inspiring when the
opportunity Baby boomers
at Nxtbook have come around to the
idea of naming their own job, though
many call it their title while
using a standard description outside
the office. But millennials get into it,
Biggerstaff says, and the current Gen
interns love the idea.
In other instances, the nuances
between millennials and Gen that
are inspiring change. Recruitment
specialist Jeff Boodie noticed an
uptick in job candidates coming to
his web-based employment platform
through mobile. was revolutionary five years Boodie says, and
it led to his new venture, JobSnap, a
smartphone app that bills itself as
the voice of Generation Designed for first-time job seekers with
little or no work experience, JobSnap
lets users upload a 30-second video
to showcase their personality and
has been described as the Tinder of
job hiring, because both candidates
and employers have the option to
swipe right or left. When both do the
same, they get matched. JobSnap is
currently being used by 250 LA-based
companies, and Boodie plans to expand nationally this year.
Meanwhile, in classrooms across
the country, new standards are focusing more on discovery, with less time
spent on memorization.
are no longer the sage on the stage
dispensing knowledge and then giving a test to see how much students
says Melissa Kondrick, a
29-year-old sixth-grade math teacher
at Pleasanton Middle School in Northern California.
call ourselves coaches on the sides.
The students work in groups and go
through their own fact-finding process. creating a generation of
problem solvers. not always
just one answer to the
No one knows that better than
Jonah Stillman, who is currently figuring out where go to college in the
how balance academics
with a national speaking tour.
willing to try things and Jonah
says of his generation. more
scared not to