Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Sarah Sladek is an author and consultant regarding the Millenials. Here is some info about her new book. I love the title. I read her first book. It was very informative.

Book teaches Boomers how to recruit and retain X, Y employees

Working nine to five isn’t the only way they make a living. They would rather start a business than climb a corporate ladder. Salary is not their primary motivator. And they certainly aren’t going to work forty years at the same company for a gold watch at the retirement party.

Generations X and Y are changing the way our world works because what’s worked in the past isn’t working for them. In many ways, they are like rock stars: high performance, high maintenance, and in high demand.

This is the insight offered by author Sarah L. Sladek in her latest book,Rock Stars Incorporated: Hiring the High Performance, High Maintenance Hotshots Half Your Age. The book dispels the myths about the slacker, self-centered generations and provides valuable insight on how to manage, motivate, and market to these rising stars.

Sladek uses examples of famous rockers in her book as metaphors for what’s happening in the world of work. An Xer herself, she explains that like most rockers, Generations X and Y have been largely misunderstood and heavily criticized.

“We’re often labeled as high-maintenance troublemakers—whether being demeaned as anti-authority non-conformists, self-centered slackers, ego-centric know-it-alls, or generations of pierced and tattooed weirdos,” Sladek says.

Nevertheless, Xers and Ys are the highest performing generations of all time. “These intelligent, worldly, technology-savvy, multi-taskers have talent to offer, but we won’t waste our time working for a company that doesn’t provide us with ample opportunity, freedom, and respect.”

On average, young professionals spend 20 months on a job, making it difficult for companies to succession plan or establish a reliable workforce. Sladek’s book was written with the intention of helping Baby Boomer management attract, train, and retain Xers and Ys and lead their companies to success.

Focusing on new recruiting and retention strategies for a new generation, Rock Stars Incorporated features valuable tips and tools, including:

Best practices in hiring, managing, and marketing to Xers and Ys;
A formula to calculate your company’s talent gap, turnover rate, and employee tenure;
Strategies for succession planning, career pathing, and talent management; and
Numerous examples of innovative and successful X-Y work environments;
While Rock Stars Incorporated is presented as an entertaining, easy-to-read book of advice, the message eludes to serious ramifications for employers and economies. With talent shortages threatening the vitality of companies and industries worldwide, every company out there will want, and need, to recruit and retain young talent.

Sladek makes a strong case for understanding and responding to the generational shift that’s taking place. Her book explains the companies that keep Xers and Ys engaged, motivated, and productive, will realize distinct competitive advantages and prosper. In contrast, those companies that refuse change and ignore the generational shift will face considerable challenges.

“With the massive exodus of Boomers upon us, it has become increasingly obvious that the only succession plan a business has is its employees. It’s time to start focusing on the next generation of leaders and employees,” Sladek says.

“The arrival of Generations X and Y to the workforce has created a wave of unprecedented change and social impact. But the companies that are proactive in the battle for talent and focus their energies on recruiting and retaining Xers and Ys will win the favor of the latest and greatest talent and prosper in the years to come.”

Rock Stars Incorporated is available for purchase at www.limelightgenerations.com.

About the Author
Sarah L. Sladek is the president and CEO of Limelight Generations, a generational marketing company based in Minneapolis. Her first book, The New Recruit: What Your Association Needs to Know About X, Y, & Z, was one of the first books to address the generation gap in membership associations. She has published numerous articles and traveled extensively giving presentations and workshops on the topic of younger generations.

Microsoft Gives Away Software Worth Thousands To Students

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates says he wants to "equip a new generation of technology leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to harness the magic of software."

By J. Nicholas Hoover
February 19, 2008 09:50 AM

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is giving away, free of charge, development software that would normally cost about $3,300, the company announced Tuesday. The effort, called DreamSpark, is aimed at giving current high school and college students jump starts for their IT careers.
"We want to do everything we can to equip a new generation of technology leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to harness the magic of software to improve lives, solve problems and catalyze economic growth," Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said in a statement.

It's not all altruistic, of course. Microsoft hopes that by giving students software for free, the students will be more likely to purchase the paid versions later.

DreamSpark includes Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition, Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, Expression Studio, XNA Game Studio 2.0 with a free year-long subscription to the XNA Creators Club, SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition and Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition. When Windows Server 2008 is released to MSDN, it will be available to students as well.

In the beginning, DreamSpark will provide college students in 10 countries access to all this software, and Microsoft hopes to expand the program worldwide and to high school students by the end of 2008. Students will log into a site on Microsoft's Channel 8 student-oriented Web site to get access.

The software will be available under an educational license, meaning that it isn't licensed to use for business. However, it won't stop working when students leave their institutions, and Joe Wilson, Microsoft's senior director of academic initiatives for developer and platform evangelism, said in an interview he hopes students will use the software as a way to get their business careers started.

"If we have a thousand more ISVs or new start-ups, I think that's a great outcome for this program," Wilson said. "Students are on the honor system. Overall, students are going to go do what the best thing for them is at that point, we don't sit around worrying about that."

It could be challenging for Microsoft to verify identities, but the company has a verification system in place to make sure students are students and not professional developers. It uses public and private sources of information to verify identities, including a database run by academic software company JourneyEd in the United States and other educational information networks in China and Europe.

That's not to say non-students won't fall through the cracks." There's no magic button to instantly verify students," says Wilson.

Microsoft's effort follows that of Adobe, which began giving away a free version of its Flex Builder development software to students in November.


Turns Out Social Networks Aren't Breeding Grounds For Sexual Predators

The most interesting part of this post could be the comments. Make sure to read the view of parenting and the responsibility of parents. I find this interesting. I think Gen Y wants parents who are parents, not friends.

From TechDirt
Over the past few years there has been a huge number of grandstanding politicians claiming that social networks like Facebook and MySpace were breeding grounds for online predators, who were trying to entice children. They've been pushing for new laws, basically so they can get into the papers along with some quip about how they are out there protecting "the children." Of course, it turns out that the entire premise is faulty. A few years back we pointed to a study that showed the problem was entirely exaggerated. Very few kids were approached by predators and most who were could easily brush it off, so long as they had been educated about the risks. Now there's a new study out going even deeper in noting that sexual predators are unlikely to pretend to be teenagers using social networks, but rather are very upfront about who they are and what they want. In most cases, the victims knew that they were chatting with an older person, and believed that they were in a legitimate relationship, rather than being tricked. Once again, this suggests that all the hype and new laws being proposed to deal with the "problem" of predators on social networks are misplaced. The focus should be on basic education. Teach kids to have some "internet smarts" and they're probably going to be just fine.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Amazing Race VBS Intro Video

Embedded Video

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