Learning from Teenagers
Published: March 21, 2011
I had the pleasure (and resulting exhaustion) of volunteering at my son and daughter’s high school “Relay for Life” for most of the past 3 days. It was a a 24-hour event with over 650 students planning, organizing and participating in efforts aimed at raising $150,000 for the American Cancer Society.
I had two major takeaways from the time spent “in the trenches” with these kids.
One – if these are indeed the future leaders of our country, we are in great shape. I know for a fact this kind of phenomenal effort would have never happened when I was in high school. Leading and giving back is second nature to these kids and we should be excited by that.
Two – the business world can learn a lot about communicating from these generation. An effort with this number of kids over months of planning and a couple of intense days including everyone spending a night in a stadium requires an unbelievable amount of communication. Not once was there a problem getting in touch with someone. Between texts and Facebooking – every kid seemed to know everyone, have their contact information and had the ability to touch base with them in a hurry. That is a lot of connecting going on at warp speed.
In the business world we spend months and millions of dollars on system requirements, database technology, and process automation and still often struggle to connect to customers, partners, and prospects. Maybe we should just watch how our kids do it.