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Generation WE

November 19, 2008
by Drex DeFord
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Hope you’ve had a great week. The weather looks awesome for the weekend here in Seattle. No matter where you’re at, get out there if you can and have some fun!

Once in a while I stumble across a book that, as I read it, makes me shake my head north-south and say, “yea…that makes sense to me now.”

The most recent was a free on-line book called Generation-WE ( by a guy named Eric Greenberg. In it, he talks about citizens born between 1978 and 2000. There’s 93 million of them. They out-number baby-boomers (only 74 million of us). And based on Eric’s extensive survey and conversations/observation, he comes to some pretty interesting conclusions:

They are willing to follow, but will lead when necessary. They volunteer quite a bit, and they’re very community-service oriented. They’re focused on environmental issues. Technology is natural for them. They often have broad groups of friends, many of them that they only know through social networking websites. They want to save the world. They have an overwhelming belief that healthcare is broken.

…and they’re always plugged in. They text message, instant message, facebook, myspace, and twitter. And they’re significantly responsible for the results of the most recent election (even those who couldn’t yet vote). They expect it (“everything”) to be available online…as consumers, and as members of a work team. A pretty remarkable group, really. My daughter is one of them…and Eric’s findings are very consistent with what I see in her everyday.

They are today’s healthcare consumers. They are tomorrow’s healthcare consumers. They are some of Children’s (and your organization’s) employees today, and there will be more of them on our (your) staff next week/month/year.

Think about that as you work with your leadership and teammates to plan and implement new systems, processes, and capabilities.

It’s a fun time to be in healthcare…

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