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How Millenials Spur a Management Revolution


When you spend time in and around organizations, you discover too many people dissatisfied and frustrated with the hierarchies and controls that impede people’s ability to voice views, and box people into roles that limit their abilities. They complain that they don’t see the big picture, don’t feel that they’re making an active contribution, and don’t get feedback on any regular basis. It is evident that the organization models are oriented more to efficiency and consistency than to really leveraging the human potential.

The roots of discontent lie in the internet revolution, which democratized information, and the widespread adoption of smartphones and social media, which created expectations for instant feedback. The shift is also driven by the coming of age of millennials (from 1981-1996). Millennials don’t just want paychecks; they want praise. Millennials don’t want bosses or performance evaluations; they want mentors and development plans. Millennials care less about job stability, predictability, or longevity than autonomy, flexibility, and sociability. Millennials expect not only financial compensation at work, but also value-driven satisfaction based on making a difference or working for an inspirational company. Millennials don’t live to work but work to live, expecting a better work-life balance than previous generations.

What is the role of managers in a 2.0 world?

The answer is, it’s a different role. Instead of being supervisors and controllers and protectors, they’re resource gatherers. They’re facilitators of collaboration. Their value-add is to support and enable others to succeed by providing useful feedback, reconciling competing interests, and allowing employees to focus their time on using their heads, hands, and heart to get their jobs done. Instead of being control-oriented managers, they’re really meant to be new age managers, whose role is still important, but very different.

To read the full article from Columbia Business School, please click here.


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