Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Boomers Eligible, But Not Really Retiring

Two out of three Boomers say that they may never retire.

Another 60% plan to cycle between periods of work and relaxation.

Surveys conducted by MetLife, Harvard and AARP offer us these statistics. In the Federal sector, although nearly 1 million Boomers are eligible to retire between now and 2016, the impending tsunami may not be the crisis that we envision.

In fact, an article in the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal reinforces the notion that Boomers won't really retire...that they have several reasons for staying versus starting a life of leisure.

Warning to Gen X and Millennials: if you intend to move into vacated positions sometime soon, you had better begin to learn from the people that plan to return to the office after submitting their formal resignation. Although Boomers may not remain on the full-time payroll, they will be sticking around in other ways...which just may be a benefit to you and your organization.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Facebook's Increasing Prominence

In the last week alone, I have learned about four situations where Facebook is being used as a forum for information distribution:

1. National Highway Institute: A training officer from NHI attended my "Wikis and Webcasts and iPods" presentation at the TOC Institute back in April. Within a month, they created DOT's first presence on Facebook.

2. Department of Labor: I was giving a presentation for the Industry Action Council last Thursday and learned that a group of interns at the Department of Labor decided to create a Facebook page to organize their communication and networking over the summer and beyond. In fact, I spoke with three of them today and found out that they are conducting a survey among the Millenial interns...stay tuned.

3. American Red Cross: According to the article: "Facebook is but one of the Web 2.0 and social media tools the nonprofit is relying on to help relay information to storm victims and Red Cross volunteers in areas affected by the natural disasters."

4. American Federation of Government Executives: AFGE produced MySpace and Facebook pages to educate young voters about their rights. "College students will account for a large portion of the voting population this election year. Most of them are new voters, making them easy to deceive," said Andrea Brooks, national vice president of Women's and Fair Practices. "It is our objective to have more of these students successfully cast a ballot."

Every week, more and more organizations are waking up to the possibilities of Web 2.0.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Presentation: Graduate School, USDA Evening/Weekend Faculty (Welcome!)


I just finished sharing the "Wikis and Webcasts and iPods, Oh My!" with about 25-30 faculty members that instruct for the Graduate School, USDA. If you are one of them, I want to say 'thank you' again for attending the presentation! I hope that you learned something new. If you haven't used one of the Web 2.0 tools before, I also hope that it inspired you to have the "courage" to explore!

As you can see on the right column of this page, I have posted the presentation slides - they are essentially the same slides that I used today....although I originally presented the content to a group of Federal training officers, so the Resource Guide is directed more toward that target audience.

You may find the Resource Guide that I provided to you this morning at the following link:


Also, feel free to send me an email or make a comment on this post or the presentation below.

Thanks again for attending...I enjoyed our time together and hope that you did, too!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Study: Four-Day Work Week is Optimal

I have seen a few different stories about this study by a couple Brigham Young researchers. It seems that a four-day work week led to a 60% increase in productivity and customers reported better service. The employees liked it better, too!

Then the article makes the connection to the next generation of employees:

(Professor Rex) Facer said the so-called millennial generation, which is now entering the workforce, is very interested in having their time to themselves. Older generations perceived certain times during the week as work time, regardless of whether a family event was happening at the same time. The millennial generation, on the other hand, is more likely to take off time during the day for a child's baseball game or take off a Friday for family time.

"They have a very different expectation than did older generations on the separation of work and family," Facer said.

Many government agencies already allow employees to work according to 4 days/10 hour per week 'flex-time' arrangements. This study lends strong support for the idea.

Look out! Once Gen X and Millenials take over the reins, all of us may enjoy three-day weekends!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Millennials and Web 2.0 - Tech Savvy? Not So Fast

Millennials may not be as tech savvy as you think.

Two weeks ago, while attending my younger brother's undergraduate commencement activities, I had a chance to interview him and six friends (all in their early 20s) about Web 2.0 tools.

"Isn't Twitter the greatest?!" I exclaimed.

Met with blank stares, I realized they required some explanation. "You know, it's like being able to text to a bunch of people all at once. One guy even used it to get out of jail in Egypt." They weren't moved by my enthusiasm.

"Okay, so what about Second Life? Surely, you all have avatars."

Again, they looked at me as if I had arrived from another dimension. "It's a virtual world that you and others create," I explained. "It's like living in a video game that is being updated continuously."

By now, I realized that this crowd was not easy to impress. In fact, their response to Second Life was not amazement, but angst. They wondered why someone would want to engage in another existence when real life posed enough problems.

Undeterred, I gave one last example: "Do you have profiles on LinkedIn? I mean, now that you are graduating and looking for jobs, it's a no brainer that you're taking advantage of this tremendous networking tool."

Strike 3. Not one of them had heard of LinkedIn, much less sought to expand their online Rolodex. Good thing I didn't use the word Rolodex either.

This encounter with one group of Millennials further reinforced my conviction that we need to be careful about categorizing an entire generation. It also adds to the idea that the newest generation is much more diverse than it predecessors due, in part, to the rapid changes brought about by the Web.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Young Government Employees and Technology


After a 2-week hiatus (vacation and conference), I'm glad to be back on the blogosphere.

If you are visiting this site for the first time after attending my presentation at the ASTD International Conference: WELCOME! I hope that this website serves as a valuable resource to extend our learning and interaction beyond the one-time event.

Today's story comes from Federal Computer Week:

Young people and technology at the Government Leadership Summit

An excerpt:

"Although we talked a bit about collaboration tools and about blogs, most of the energy, including from the audience, was around social-networking sites such as Facebook. We talked mostly about how the participants themselves used technology, a little about how their agencies did so.

I give the exact ages of the participants because one of the most interesting things to come out of the panel is that there are big differences among different micro age-groups of young people (although to older folks they may seem like an undifferentiated mass). When you think about this, it should hardly be surprising, given how fast technologies are changing."