Zconomy: Welcome to the New NormalPublished December 8, 2020
The Future is in Gen Z’s Hand (or Digital Wallet).
Gen Z will influence the future of business in a massive way and eventually reshape business entirely. Anyone who studies trends, consumers and employees know that the youngest emerging adult generation is often the driver of the biggest change. In fact, we see that Gen Z is the generation that is driving trends from the youngest up to the oldest. Want to see what Baby Boomers will eventually do with technology? Watch what Gen Z is doing now.
One thing we are already seeing in our research: what worked to attract, keep, and motivate Millennials as employees and customers does not work as well—if at all—with Gen Z.
This could not happen at a more challenging time for many leaders. Why the urgency?
Because within two years Gen Z will be the fastest growing generation in the workforce. They’ll also become the most important generation of consumers and trendsetters. Their economic power and influence are only going to grow with each passing day.
Adding to the urgency: Baby Boomers are retiring and moving into a “less is more” mindset. These same Baby Boomers, Gen Z’s grandparents, were often viewed as reliable employees and customers, the backbone of many longstanding businesses. As these Baby Boomers transition into a new life stage there is only one group on the horizon to fill the gap as workers and consumers: Gen Z.
In fact, Gen Z is expected to be the beneficiary of a massive wealth transfer from older generations to the youngest, which could exceed twenty to thirty trillion dollars. How would a generational change of that magnitude affect your industry, businesses or community? Or even your own family?
Financial services firms, banks, robo-advisors and every other business that depended on retaining Baby Boomers and their assets are already scrambling to keep the money that they will be moving to other generations. That is only compounded with Gen Z likely not expecting to seek face-to-face conversations in order to save, manage and invest their money, because unlike even Millennials, Gen Z has never had to go to a physical bank branch to do their day-to-day banking.
Gen Z expects the future of finance to be mobile, intuitive, easy-to-use, and, most important, extremely personalized to them and their needs—the same thing they expect at work and throughout their life. How will this level of personalization expand to other areas outside of banking?
Already, brands are struggling with Gen Z. The urgency is only going to grow.
At the Center Generational Kinetics, we are excited that Gen Z is now emerging and can be accurately studied across geographies around the world. To truly understand a generation requires both quality and original research as well as quantity of research. Gen Z research is still very limited because of their youth, but our quest to lead research into the generation every day is already unearthing a trove of insights and unexpected findings. These discoveries can inform and drive understanding, strategy and practical solutions to help leaders effectively connect with Gen Z at every point in the customer and employee life cycle.
The rise of Gen Z calls into question the future of work, life, consumerism and the planet. Some of the questions our research addresses include:
- How will a generation that appears to have a more informed and conservative perspective of money think differently about saving, investing and spending? What will this mean to your business?
- How will this generation navigate a world overflowing with endless information at their fingertips? Will they find a way to wield this to their advantage and drive gains important to them, or will it be overwhelming, taken for granted and underutilized?
- How will a generation that is so immersed in a digital world adapt their social skills to enter the face-to-face workforce and society—or will they expect the world to adapt to them? How will this shape your hiring, management or sales process?
- How will being raised by Generation X and older Millennials—not Baby Boomers—affect this generation’s values, priorities, voting, and what they bring into adulthood? Will they choose to take care of their parents or choose a different path?
- How will COVID-19 and its aftermath affect the generation when it comes to work, money, education and their thinking about the future?
The more we study Gen Z, the more excited we are to uncover and tell the generation’s story, to bring them to life, not from the vantage point of a single or small sample group of Gen Z, but by looking at Gen Z across the United States and the world via data, stories, quotes, and frontline strategies we’ve uncovered that work for leaders.
Gen Z is heralding a “new normal” across industries and around the world.
Are you ready to make the most of it?
Excerpted from Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business—And What to Do About It by Jason Dorsey with permission of Harper Business Publishing, Copyright © Jason Dorsey, 2020.
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About the Author
Jason Dorsey is President of The Center for Generational Kinetics, which delivers research, speaking and consulting to separate generational myth from truth for leaders around the world. His team has repositioned global brands to win each generation and taken clients from last to first in both employee retention and customer growth. Considered the #1 generations speaker and researcher and called a “research guru” by Adweek, Dorsey uses original data-driven research to explain generational behaviors.
Years at GLS 2019