The days of critical thinking have given way to decisions based on emotional intelligence. Participation trumps the days of being informed or instructed. Gone are the days of allowing presentations to bombard us without feedback or interaction. Even the entertainment industry saw such a rise in interactive video games with it’s sales exceeding that of CDs and DVDs combined.
The average graduate entering the workforce has accumulated 20,000 hours on the Internet and 10,000 hours playing video games. In perspective, it takes 10,000 hours of practicing a skill to master it — Joining the top 2% of people in their field.
Emotional intelligence is the basic currency needed to function within the intuitive realm of the Internet, video gaming communities, and social networks. It was the same currency required for religious activities prior to the invention of the Gutenberg press around 1436.
Today, most of the next generation will not attend church unless they can participate or serve. They are looking for an experiential spirituality, not one of logic or discipline. Yet, most churches are just now implementing the philosophies of the mega churches that relied on presentation to quickly grow during the 80s and 90s. Several of these churches are learning that they can’t capture people in their 20s or early 30s.
The corporate world is also learning that the presentation based training programs that worked with older employees are ineffective with the new breed of businessmen and women entering the workforce. The young workers can barely handle the needed people skills, but have mastered the creation of Power Points and spreadsheets.
Even political parties are stumped with how to capture the next generation, as most organizations are still promoting with presentations instead of finding hands on ways for the younger generation to get involved in works of party based services. People no longer want to believe someone who is speaking at them, but rather want to come along side of them in accomplishing something that sees immediate action done.
What would happen if a political party would collect significant donations and invite their younger constituents to enter an abandoned warehouse and convert it with their own hands into a homeless shelter? The parties could still use the core of their organization to make it a viable project.
The Republicans might have big business donate the materials with some level of employee involvement and the Democrats might raise awareness and a few dollars through their online community.
The emotional intelligence necessary for the next generation to make decisions of what church to attend or political party to support, comes down to levels of participation and experiences gained. While presentations will always be a part of business, government and the church, the only organizations that will excel among this new generation of service oriented people are those who engage in hands on activities that directly translate their mission into action.