Dec 22, 2008

Why, Why, Why, Why, and Why?

Ask ‘Why’ Five Times.  This sounds like the tactic of a typical Generation Y in business, always questioning the reasoning behind a task, frustrating managers everywhere with their seeming impudence and disrespect. This is in fact an established Japanese methodology which serves to improve the quality of a business process or product.  Continually asking ‘why’ gets to the root of most problems and highlights areas for advancement. Lancaster & Stillman (2003) argue that Generation Y are always seeking to improve their environment, viewing learning as a lifetime process. This, plus their immersion in technologies from a very young age, makes this a generation of early adopters[1], as they are always looking ahead for what’s coming next.

This makes Generation ‘Why’ a potentially (and hitherto mostly untapped) valuable source for information on future trends, which can provide real opportunities for businesses. If leaders encouraged and harnessed this combined love of learning and technology, they could transform their Generation Y into future visionaries, keeping the business at and beyond the cutting edge.


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