Millennials around the world will be bringing forth a new era of innovation. Innovation, not just to solve the complexities of civilized world, but to simplify even the basic functions of life. Like the prior generations, the biggest challenge to solving problems in the current generation is the biases of the past generations. The solutions will not be engineering miracles. To be sure there will be plenty of those, but the tough problems will be solved with cultural solutions that neutralize the strong biases of the past and allow common sense to prevail. The Millennials are destined to be cultural innovators who will not only create solutions, but will ensure the adoption and use of those solutions.
Their cultural solutions will resolve:
- Turnover and retention,
- Engagement and organizational vitality,
- Commitment to fulfilling the promise of the brand,
- Performance, and
- Team work.
Millennials are not the dominant culture — yet. In most organizations, the cultures of Hierarchy, Clan, and Market/Customer focus are competing for dominance. Hierarchy and Clan are in the majority but Market/Customer focus and Adhocracy are making significant gains. The recent growth in interest in innovation (Adhocracy) and Market/Customer driven cultures is very exciting.
Like their predecessors, the Millennial innovators’ impact on the organizations in which they participate and will eventually lead and own will increase and they will become more prevalent as the dominant culture in organizations around the world. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the Clan culture became popular within the Baby Boomers, and the once hierarchical organizations began moving into the team based management style. Similarly, there will be a transition to Adhocracy as organizations adopt a culture of innovation.
Corporate culture might be the biggest problem for the Millennials, but is not the only one. With a little help for their predecessors, they have laid bare more weaknesses or opportunities than corporate culture. Each of which continues to waste untold resources and is the cause of corporate failures, including:
- Slowness of organizational change,
- Inability to fully use the new power tools (techniques and technologies),
- Ineffective business processes,
- Continual over investment in information technology (inability to catch up), and a
- Lack of good project managers to get things done effectively.
What’s needed to fix these issues? The design of a new organization structure that can enable the business to utilize contemporary tools and techniques to break the chains to the past and create a new future based on non-traditional concepts and folk lore. We call the next generation organization the NOW Organization.
Next: The NOW Organization