I don’t think a Generation Y (someone born between 1981 and 2000) should necessarily be responsible for your social strategy with a few exceptions *cough* but it is wrong to say that a Gen Y couldn’t understand the business implications of social engagement enough to successfully partake in or spear-head a social initiative.
Primary reasons people say “no, no:”
1) A Gen Y does not have a history of business success
2) A Gen Y does not understand our complicated business
3) Gen Ys are reckless
1a) Gen Ys have a fresh take on your business – they’re not bogged down with the weight of internal corporate perceptions and understand how you’re viewed externally.
1b) Gen Ys are not bogged down with “how things are done around here,” so a policy change, making your business more social, isn’t any more of a challenge for them then starting a new job. This makes them good at…
2a) Gen Ys are good at cross-teaming – this is another tie back to internal corporate perceptions as well as politic. When a Gen Y mind enters the workplace it enters a company, not a department. This is good because…
2b) Gen Ys will tell you the way people conduct social network search – because they do it intuitively, no one taught them, their learning was organic.
3) Gen Ys will take chances – sometimes they’re reckless and that can be problematic, but if you take the time to mentor a Gen Y and hone their skills, you are going to have someone with an aggressively innovative spirit on your hands. For the social space, this is what you need: someone who will take chances and experiment.
**I’d like to thank all of my former and current colleagues who have spent the time and continue to take the time to help me hone my skills.