Another topic at this week's Inner Circle was whether or not use of technology differs widely from one generation to the next. Seemed a "Duh" to me until people started taking exception, saying that some of their oldest friends are the hippest web busters they know, which flies in the face of common perceptions that young people are the most important user base.
Dorrit Gordon of our team points out that as a 31 year old she feels part of a generation in a limbo-like stage between those older than she, who had little exposure to the web until after they began their professional careers, and those a few years younger whose first exposure to the web was in college, if not high school or earlier. Dorrit says people assume she's as web-crazed as people far younger than she, yet she and her peers use the web primarily as an informational source rather than as a daily activity that forms the core of their social network.
Jessica Prokop of our team is in that younger group. She's 24 and her first computer lab was in elementary school. She's been a dedicated Internet user ever since. She's the one who is surfing lots during the day, picking up stuff important to our business. That's not to say she doesn't also go on the web during the day to handle personal matters, check up on social and cultural affairs and engage in conversations that are totally unrelated to our business. I treat that as part of the equation, and what I get in return for our company's highly open attitude about computer use during the day is the exposure to new ideas and insights she and others like her here pick up in their seemingly random and unrelated wanderings on the web during office hours.
As far as I'm concerned, most all of what they're up to is fodder for the "conversation" we conduct here, which is focused on how people use talk to further their goals in life. Of course, it goes without saying that this team is - regardless of irrelevant web use - highly productive.
It was interesting to hear from one of our Inner Circle executives that in her company, employees' internet access is limited to only those sites considered necessary to getting their work done. I had a feeling she was not alone and others in the group had similar policies. Rules like that wouldn't fly here, not with the people we hire.
And I wouldn't want it any other way.
What do you think? Let's Talk!