In The Facebook Generation vs. the Fortune 500, Gary Hamel lays out a list of 12 characteristics of the online life of the “Facebook generation” that have relevance for what they are likely to look for in a work organization:
- All ideas compete on an equal footing.
- Contribution counts for more than credentials.
- Hierarchies are natural, not prescribed.
- Leaders serve rather than preside.
- Tasks are chosen, not assigned.
- Groups are self-defining and -organizing.
- Resources get attracted, not allocated.
- Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
- Opinions compound and decisions are peer-reviewed.
- Users can veto most policy decisions.
- Intrinsic rewards matter most.
- Hackers are heroes.
My first 2 reactions to the list are 1) These sentiments are not that new — they sound similar to advice about building strong organizational cultures that has been around for a long time; and 2) I want to work for a company that embodies those characteristics!
I also initially thought the “Us vs. Them” framework was an overstatement designed to create controversy and inter-generational antagonism where there was none … then I read the comments.