Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gen Next Empowers Young Entrepreneurs

I typically spend my nights cleaning up email and wading through my Twitter account, following up on people that follow me, checking them out and making sure that they are real.



There are a lot of Tweeps out there that have a lot to say about… how to use twitter to market their latest Internet marketing machines. Just follow the trail of money to the millionaires.



But you know, I can appreciate having more than one stream of income and I applaud these individuals for at least having the courage to try something new and different.



That’s why I immediately sat up and took notice of one of the Tweeps that had decided to follow me, @9miles or, 9miles Media.



9Miles Media is a small graphic and web design group existing entirely on the web and is composed of 8 individuals in a variety of diverse locations: places like North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, the UK, and Australia. That’s like… almost 24 time zones and can truly be called a group with a worldwide reach. I thought only companies like Intel and Microsoft enjoyed that kind of presence.



Well, if you aren’t feeling small and ineffective yet, you will in a moment. This group of 8 intrepid entrepreneurs…



…is composed entirely of teenagers!



That’s right. Between the ages of 13 and 16, this group is doing something that some individuals can’t seem to do with their team packed completely in their back yard.



So how are you using your technology to keep your team together? How do you leverage all of this “cool tech stuff” to keep your members motivated, directed and on track with all of the projects that are going on?



When it comes to leveraging technology and breaking geographic boundaries, I think these young entrepreneurs have the “traditional boomers” beat hands down and we can learn a few things from them.



That’s why I really like the Gen Next program that we conduct every summer here in Cleveland and in Columbus this year. It gives the up-and-coming generation an opportunity to question the old ideas that bind our generation, like “working hard”, “obeying the chain of command”, and “corporate loyalty”, and gives them an opportunity to try something new, different, and unrestrained in this bold new era.



While I don’t think that we should completely toss out all of the old ideas in favor of the new, I do believe that some of these old ideas need to be reviewed and checked with greater regularity to see if they need either tweaking or tossing. Our generation did it and the generation before ours did the same thing.



One of the great management sayings in the early 90’s was, “Sacred Cows make the best burgers”.



Still true today, even if the “Sacred Cows” happen to be the ideas of our generation.



Holy Cow! It’s time to move over and let the next generation have their shot. Let’s make sure that they have the basic communication and leadership principles to get the job done by getting them involved in the Gen Next program.



Then, be prepared to be wowed!



@larryprevost

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