Enterprise hits and misses - Walmart raises the retail transformation stakes , CIOs set a new tech agenda, and the future of work debate heats up

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed February 22, 2021
This week - Have Millennials and Gen-Z exposed a broken system of work? And is the 9 to 5 job a permanent casualty of work-from-anywhere? Your whiffs include snarky shots at Microsoft Teams, Gartner's MQ, and reporters Zooming from bed.


Lead story - COVID-19, Millennials, Gen-Z and the future of work - a system change is needed - Derek sparked debate with his provocative series on what generation next wants from work - and where employers are falling short.

Why should we care? Well, for one, these generations will make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2025. Derek makes an effective case for a mismatch in values, autonomy, and workstyle for the younger generation - versus the half-baked, one-step-ahead-of-the-robots gigjobs employers pass off as careers these days what employers are offering up.

Derek tallies up the younger generations' criteria: they're online, they're social, and they're looking for personal development and a sense of self. Oh, and that work-from-home thing? Not so much fun when you're forced to share your home workplace in not-so-spacious surroundings. Derek is right: the younger crowd will be eager to mingle in co-working and office environments whenever it is safe to do so.

Most importantly, there is a desire for outcome-focused work, with a desire for autonomy. Derek:

Being a cog in the wheel of the big corporate machine often isn't enough for these generations. My sense is that they want to work towards outcomes that matter and be given the autonomy to figure out how to get there.

Agreed - but check the comments from Den Howlett and MVP diginomcia commenter Clive Boulton. Two points stick in my craw:

  • I don't believe these work expectations are necessarily tied to age. I know plenty of folks my age who crave the same things from their work, and find it falling short. Age as a lens is a rough filter; in truth our motivations vary.
  • The most talented young workers may be able to dictate the terms of engagement; the rest will get leveraged by the gig economy into more vulnerable positions.

To be fair, Derek anticipates these points. Whether it makes sense to classify generational workstyles is a fair question. But for employers in planning mode, check Derek's follow-on, Ideas to attract and retain Millennial and Gen-Z talent in the COVID-19 workplace.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

A couple more vendor picks, without the quips:

Jon's grab bag - The externalization vs the responsibility of tech was on deck this week; Cath kicked it off with The role of digital and data in achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Chris followed on with Bitcoin volatility madness in Friday Rant - ‘Who let the Doge out?’, carping on the Diem and other cryptocurrency conundrums.

Stuart took on a social media story with broader news import in Facebook unfriends Australia - a war with a sovereign nation that might yet boomerang back on it around the world. Finally, make sure your junk food cravings are under some semblance of control before clicking on Stuart's KFC's special recipe digital vs Burger King's whopper of a transformation challenge (I'm glad my local KFC is closed right now...).

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven picks 

Overworked businessman


During a Zoom call, Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers wanted to know if a reporter was asking him a question from bed. He was. And if you're feeling a bit cooped-up during pandemic times, the grass isn't always greener in the great outdoors: Bear bites woman’s bare bottom from outhouse toilet in Alaska. Nudging close to the enterprise:

More AI snark, though it's really Microsoft Teams snark sneaking through:

Technical debt always catches up with you, as Josh Bernoff documents in this dual evisceration:

Finally, I turned a spammy PR breaking point into a Gmail filter victory:

Let's leave it there, I'm sure we can offend some more folks next time. See you then...

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.