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The challenge of the new generations

The challenge of the new generations: will manufacturing industry be able to welcome the Gen Z?
The succession of generations has always been a challenge for the business world: ever since we can remember, we are witnessing a more or less intense battle between old generations, which tend to perpetuate the status quo - strengthened by experience and successes - and new generations that would like to bring changes and innovations, relying on the need to keep up with the times.
Never as in recent years, however, such changes have been turbulent: generational differences are always faster and more marked, so that in a few decades we are up against worlds, which are opposite in many aspects.
This is of course a generalistic consideration, which should be deepened (but this is not the place) through specific sociological studies: we have just to accept the fact that priorities and lifestyles are deeply different for Generation Z guys, not only from the so-called Baby Boomers, but also from those of Generation X - who of Gen Z are actually the parents - and from those of the Millenials too. And these changes must also be taken into account by the world of work: companies, who will be able to better intercept new trends, new desires and new lifestyles, will be successful in the long term.
How does this translate to a manufacturing company? Three factors must be taken into account: the very high level of digitalization, hyper-specialization and attention to work-life balance.
The first aspect is therefore related to new technologies: if Millenials saw the birth of the internet at a young age, learning to use the tools of the network and being an integral part of the information revolution, the guys of Generation Z are the first true digital natives: in fact we are used to say that "they were born with the smartphone in their hands". It is therefore evident that their way of relating with what surrounds them will be radically different from the Baby Boomers and also from the Generation X.
The second aspect is related to the increasingly vertical specialization: for example, it is likely that we will face customers, who will have more and more in-depth and high-level knowledge in their specific field, but they will lack, on the other hand, those knowledge connected with the cultural patrimony of a specific field, which only “rise through the ranks”. 
The third aspect is related to the search for a better balance between life and work: until a few years ago, the paradigm was to look forward – that is to finish school with the compulsory education or continue until high school or university - , to find a good job and a good company, to make a career within this company and often also to devote much of your time and energy to the job, clocking in and out daily. Today we tend towards a radically different approach to work: not predetermined schedules, possibility of working anywhere, goals before presence. This inevitably facilitates those sectors where it is possible to foresee a remote and flexible work without the inevitable process obligations.
It is evident that this, for a manufacturing company, is a challenge at the same time complex (on the other hand would it be a challenge otherwise?) and exciting. There is no universal recipe to win this challenge, but one thing is certain: immerse yourself in the positive energy released by these boys and girls who are so inexperienced but have at the same time an incredibly rich toolbox. This can be the way to create winning teams, combining their enthusiasm and their alternative vision of the world with the experience of those who preceded them. A fire to be fed and yes, maybe even in some cases to be controlled, but not to be extinguished for any reason.