The pace of life is different today. In fact, 64% of adults around the world say technology is moving too fast to keep up with. Today we have about 10 billion interconnected devices. By 2020 it’s predicted we will have 100 billion interconnected devices. Which means the post-Millennial generation, Generation Z, will live in a world with 1 trillion interconnected devices. A different world will user in a very different generation.
Generation Z is loosely defined as those born after 1995. They make up 25% of the American population, are 2 billion strong worldwide, and have been shaped by social media, technology, a post 9-11 world, and the deepest recession. Generation Z is the most diverse and multi-cultural of any generation in the U.S. with 55% Caucasian, 24% Hispanic, 14% African American, and 4% Asian.
Today’s exponential times are sparking new behaviors that have no precedent in human history which makes predicting the shifts and behaviors of Generation Z very daunting. However, I firmly believe if you look closely enough at the behaviors of the emerging generations you can begin to see the bigger picture of the change ahead and what we can expect of tomorrow’s culture and workplace.
Generation Z In A Nut-Shell
Generation Z is the first truly global generation with limitless interests and avenues for learning. They have been raised in a high-tech, hyper-connected, on-demand, and impatient culture. Some experts expect Generation Z’s mantra to be “good things come to those who act.” This self-directed, entrepreneurial-minded, highly educated, and uber resourceful generation will stop at nothing to make their mark on the world.
Branding That Matters to Generation Z
Generation Z responds to products or messaging that reflects reality rather than a perfect life. They will respond to independence, two-way conversations, self-direction, and a spirit of inventiveness. Branding that includes emoticons, video, infographics, and incognito media such as Secret, Whisper, YikYak, and Snapchat will win over Generation Z.
Values That Matter to Generation Z
- Customization. 72% of Generation Z want the right to design their own majors.
- Social good. Generation Z is interested in giving back as 1 in 4 volunteer. And 60% want to have an impact on the world.
- Self-educating and online learning. Generation Z are adept researchers. 43% of teens prefer a digital approach to learning and find it easiest to learn from the Internet.
- Other values include: Wellness, entrepreneurship and innovation, financial responsibility, and racial diversity.
Issues That Matter to Generation Z
School shootings, texting while driving, loneliness, girls in STEM, education costs and student debt, economic uncertainty (64% of Generation Z worry they might not be able to get a job.), gender equality, LGBT rights, and cyberbullying (61% of Generation Z know somebody who has been cyber bullied or stalked online.)
Communication That Matters to Generation Z
Technology That Matters to Generation Z
Generation Z are the first true digital natives. Daily Generation Z multitasks across at least five screens. Everyday 46% are connected online for 10+ hours. And 77% rely on technology to help them accomplish personal and professional goals. Other technology that matters to Generation Z are wearables, autonomous cars, Oculus Rift (virtual reality), Twitch (gaming), drones, and 3D Printing.
Work That Matters to Generation Z
Early career preparation is a priority as 80% of current high school students from a 2014 High School Careers report sharing interest in pursuing an internship while they’re still in high school. In addition, 36% of students are more focused on the opportunity for growth rather than salary when it comes to their first job.
Generation Z has also been described as “the most entrepreneurial generation we’ve ever seen” and as “the most tech-savvy, connected, and self-educated group.” They are being considered to be even more ambitious than Milllennials and more focused on working for themselves. 61% of current U.S. high school students admit they want to be entrepreneurs rather than employees. 63% of Generation Z say college should teach students how to start and run their own business.
Leadership That Matters to Generation Z
Generation Z will be interested to hack leadership where they can create non-traditional and alternative paths to influence. They will also prioritize honesty. Generation Z grew up witnessing many dishonest organizations, athletes, and political figures being exposed via social media. 52% of Generation Z states that honesty is the most important quality for a good leader.
Question: What will be Generation Z’s greatest struggle? Greatest opportunity?