Whether leaders of today like it or not, a new generation is making an impact on the workplace. Millennials or Gen Y’ers are forcing leaders of today to change their traditionalist thoughts of work. When I think about this topic, I remember a song from the Musical, Hair that starts off talking about the differences between 1948 and 1968. The differences between generations are not a 2012 phenomenon, but one that have been facing generations for generations.
It is really a matter of perspective. Each year since 1998, Beloit College publishes a mindset list for incoming Freshmen so educators can put into perspective their students reference points. As leaders, we must keep these reference points in mind as well.
Regardless of our industry, change is inevitable. It is how we as leaders cultivate the change within our industries to continue to make us more viable. If we stifle innovation and thought, we begin to choke out progress. As I sit here in a Starbucks writing this blog post on my laptop, I know that others may be reading this on any number of devices, from their phones, to tablets, to a home PC, to their TV. These mediums were not available 30 years ago. We have become, as a friend of mine has told me I am, urgency addicts.
Millennials are children of these innovations. They expect instant communication and feedback. The postal service will no longer work for them. As leaders, we must be communicating constantly. We need to have open doors and open minds, the later of which can be somewhat difficult at times. As leaders we need to respect that today’s millennial workplace is better educated with less experience. This needs to be channeled properly to ensure cultures are cultivated that grow thought and execution in our verticals.
Take a look over the course of the next week with those in your office (or virtual office). Are there opportunities available to open our minds to change? Can you as a leader be more inclusive of new ideas and channel ideas into action. Communication is the key as it is imperative to explain why change can not occur, or conversely why it is occurring. Explaining the why and the why now into understandable terms across the organization makes progress and innovation much more attainable.
Have a great week! Become a thought leader within your organization if you are not already one.