We are seated at the Lapid Leaders – Entrepreneurship class. The students are all either in their final years of their university studies or are recently graduated students. They are exploring the business ideas they want to develop over the next 3 months. The ideas are fascinating.
One of the ideas that seems to have gotten everyone’s attention is the idea to develop a mobile application that can be used to provide university students and visitors directions to various key spots within university. This would apparently come in handy due to the ever expanding universities. I am struggling to understand this idea. As I grope in the dark, yet another business idea is floated. Alongside some friends, one of the students have been developing an event management mobile application. They call it YEYO.
As I listen to this amazing ideas, I am struck with one fact, this is a tech savvy generation. While previous generations were stuck to paper solutions, generation Y is about convenience and quick solution. Being born amid a time of unprecedented technological influx, they are tech-mobile, natural early adopters and I would suggest embracing e-progress is a natural part of their existence
Could this be the reason Africa has become a hub for IT innovations?
Is the marketplace adopting to this fast enough?
As I meditate on this, I begin to wonder if the marketplace is mining the gold that is this tech savvy generation. Could it be that the marketplace is stuck in what worked in previous generations and therefore be missing the gold mine right before them?
According to findings of a PWC survey contained in the report, Millennials at work Reshaping the workplace, generation Y is now entering employment in vast numbers and will shape the world of work for years to come. Attracting the best of these millennial workers is critical to the future of any business. Their career aspirations, attitudes about work, and knowledge of new technologies will define the culture of the 21st century workplace.
I previously worked as the Head of Risk and Compliance of Guaranty Trust Bank (Kenya) or GTBank as it is commonly known as. GTBank was the first bank in Nigeria (perhaps even Africa) to introduce social banking. The service (social banking) was the first offering of its kind by any Nigerian bank. The service allowed people to open GTBank accounts and perform various financial transactions while on Facebook. The idea behind this service was developed by none other than the tech savvy generation Y. While the previous generations groped in the dark on why social banking would be relevant, generation Y saw this as an amazing opportunity. Years later, the bank is still reaping benefits from this unique service.
Grab this gold mine
So what if all organizations in Africa realized the value of having a tech savvy generation? What if management of organizations in Africa tasked the generation Y to develop tech related products or solutions to the business problems. What if more organizations supported the innovations from the tech-savvy generation? What if more organisations realised they have a gold mine within the organisations and harnessed it to its full potential?
The world has changed, generation Y will be the determining factor in markets over the next 10 years. The organisations that like GTBank recognize the gold mine that generation Y can be and that invest in ensuring that they mine this gold mined will be the organisations that take Africa to the next level.
Generation Y has received a great deal of bad press. However, they are here to stay. Organisations must therefore ask themselves how they can tap into their potential. Organisations have to change with the prevailing time. At Lapid Leaders we choose to work with this generation, to harness their tech-savvy ideas, to grope in the dark till we understand where their ideas can land; one by one, till this gold mine is realized. Our training programs aim at not only harnessing that potential of Gen Y but also helping organisations maximise the full potential of Gen Y at the workplace. Contact us for more information.