At times I wonder whether it is a necessity of business (or the entire humanity…) to concentrate attention on a specific issue for a long period of time and then move on to a new challenge. Undoubtedly, after being mesmerized by talent and talent management, business leaders (and particularly HR managers) seem to be tantalized by the famed Gen Y.
Gen Y is in itself a puzzle, since most people seem to attach to it very different definitions and locate GenYers in a broader range of years of birth. And the flourishing literature on them would lead a savvy man to the verge of considering them aliens.
As usual, when a group is considered on the basis of some median attributes, we fail to grasp the fact that discontinuities across generations as a whole might result in small differences between specific individuals in two different generations. And that might be even more true when the two work in the same company and therefore share a part of their identities.
Among the legends on Gen Y, I think one of the most inspiring is their relationship to sustainability. Bloggers and experts keep discussing the preference of GenYers for sustainable organizations and you might find some ideas in the following links.
My idea, though, is that Gen Y is helping us realize that the way we conduct business is too obsolete. They would probably behave as we did (twenty or so years ago) and soon become socialized to the way business is if we had not realized by confronting with their ideals (that used to be ours) that business is so far apart from what we were looking for. Are we ready for a change?