Immigration reform is a hot-button topic, one that’s complicated, far-reaching, and divisive. Unfortunately, the conversation about immigration often gets rendered down to a simplistic “us and them” continuum. But pulling back focus on the topic reminds us that almost all Americans are descended from immigrants; that in its early days, the country was built by the dreams and hard work of people who came from somewhere else.
A new campaign from Welcome.us—a new nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating U.S. immigration—aims to change the dialogue around immigration by placing attention on the country’s diverse immigrant heritage. The campaign is intended to support and raise awareness for the inaugural Immigration Heritage Month this June, which was initiated by Welcome.us and is now officially recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The campaign’s national spot, “Welcome.us” celebrates the diversity of immigrant heritages across America.
I have worked in a variety of industries and businesses over the past 20 years and something profound is happening as of late. The twenty-something analytical wizard runs the show. Due to their age, of course, they are kept in the background but that is going to be changing. In the case of the high tech industry it already has.
Very few fifty something executives fully grasp this digital change in business. Never in the history of our economy have executives had to have the vast digital skill sets needed to succeed. In most cases, they camp out in the cube of the coding/analytical wizard in an attempt to get up to speed but most fall short. In my experiences, many of these twenty somethings should be replacing these dinosaur executives. Again, this is already happening in Silicon Valley and will slowly make its way into other old fashioned industries.
For the most part, executives have no idea how to hire these wizards either. How could they? Their software experience is limited to Microsoft Word and Excel. How would they know about Ruby, Python, HubSpot, Wordpress, Google Analytics, Black Hat SEO, Shopping cart integration, API’s, and so on and so on. Guess who knows this stuff? The under thirty club. I am close to forty and have spent the last seven years getting up to speed on all of these technologies and by no means am I an expert. No one is. I can, at least, speak quite well to them. The corporate board room better get with the Big Data program fast or we will replace them with the generation of change!
This is no thrash the older generation manifesto. It is just an observation of many years and experiences. The older generation can change but never in their lives have they seen anything of this magnitude. In all honesty, I have experienced more change in the last five years of my life than probably twenty of my grandmothers. Speed and change are the way of the business world now. Today, it is get with the program or get out of the way.
I drove by the iconic location of the old Tower Records in San Francisco the other day and thought to myself how many industries in the past decade have become or are becoming irrelevant:
- 1. Compact Disc Sales: Goodbye: Tower Records, Best Buy, Music industry as a whole, Hello: Apple iTunes;
- 2. Newspapers/Books/Print Media: Goodbye: All Major Newspapers, Barnes & Noble. Hello: Amazon Kindle;
- 3. Video Rental: Goodbye: Blockbuster. Hello: Netflix;
- 4. Film: Goodbye: Kodak. Hello: Digital camera makers;
- 5. Cell Phones/Blackberry: Goodbye: Nokia and Blackberry. Hello Apple, Samsung;
- 6. Desktop Computers: Goodbye: Dell and HP, Hello Apple;
- 7. AM/FM Radio: Goodbye: Local DJ. Hello: Pandora, Sirius/XM Radio.
These are just the big ones. I am certain I am missing twenty or so. There has never been a decade quite like this. Literally overnight, a product or service can be rendered irrelevant after dominating for a long or even a short period. MySpace is a great example. Facebook came along and just smashed them and we never hear about MySpace after it was a ubiquitous website for a short hot minute. Disruption is a term you hear often these days especially in tech circles. Right this very moment, some kid in a dorm room is writing code for some disruptive technology that will revolutionize an industry. Consistent innovation for a large enterprise is very difficult and in this day and age it is a must!