Preparing for next-gen workers, with next-gen brainsCNN Money, Shelley DuBois
Many of the employees entering the workforce in the next few years will have been raised on the Internet, which has shaped the way their brains are wired. Are companies ready for this generation of workers? "We used to teach in a way that demanded a tremendous amount of memorization, but now it's more about cognitive agility and multi-tasking," says Paul Thompson, professor of neurology and psychiatry at UCLA's school of medicine. "The part of the brain, called the hippocampus, that's involved in memory is a little different than the multitasking part at the front of the brain." Young people are getting very good at multi-tasking, he says, which is basically a working memory trick. But the ability to do several tasks at once perhaps comes at the expense of long-term memory, he suggests. "The ancient Greeks used to have fantastic memories because of the terrific cost in putting anything down on paper. Army generals would know the names of all their troops. We just simply don't need that memory at all."