Walking with Millennials: 10 Things I’ve Learned That Your Business Can’t Ignore

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I feel like I was born with a computer in my hand; I embrace them both from a business and personal perspective.

But I am a Gen-Xer, so certain realities are true. I was not born with a computer in my hand, but rather a typewriter, record player, and an Atari game console. According to the folks who define the characteristics of each generation, I have different priorities, perspectives, and drivers than Millennials (a.k.a. Gen-Yers). But how different?

Understanding the Differences

A couple of months ago, EMC shared the results of its 2014 Privacy Index survey, which took a look at data and information trends from a macro perspective. The research suggests that the younger and more connected you are, the more likely you would be to exchange your privacy for data and information.

Additionally, there has been no shortage of articles pointing to the many other big differences between Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers. For example, my wife and I are serial house hunters. Since the growing trend among the younger generation seems to be smaller homes, not McMansions, it makes us wonder what will happen to the home values of McMansions? Who’ll pay for a 10,000 square-foot house in Saratoga and will these areas become ghost towns as the new generations step into the center of the bell curve?

Basically, the wealth trappings that captivate (and, in many cases, motivate) Gen-Xers or Baby Boomers, such as flashy cars, large houses, swimming pools, senior jobs managing scores of people, etc., do not resonate with the up-and-comers.

Compound this with the fact that I run a rather healthy-sized operation and I am left puzzled as to “how ready are we, really?” and “do the Google-like campus trappings really matter now?”

The Experiment: Project Brigade

Given these facts, how do organizations prepare to pass the proverbial baton to the next-generation of leaders?

The answer lies in understanding what makes that generation tick. It’s not enough to say we’re different; we need to understand how Millennials think, why they do what they do, and most importantly, what motivates them to do what they do.

Continue reading the post on our sister site Reflections.

Guy Churchward

About the Author: Guy Churchward