I’m terrible at introductions. It’s part of my two-year plan.
My life has become the perfect blend of triumph and procrastination. I am 100% certain that I would have been a millionaire by now if I followed Tupac’s advice.
A lover of laughter and all things good. Youngest of seven. Born into a blended family in the middle of the 80’s. Lives on random playlists and prosecco. By the way, I refuse to nickname champagne and other bubbly products. I prefer red sauce spaghetti with my fried catfish. A former “chubby chick”. A self-proclaimed fit chick. Christ-driven. Colorado native. A bandwagon ‘stros fan.
Businesses all face the issue of internal disruptors. During my first semester in my MBA program, I became familiar with the idea of internal and external disruptors. My immediate association of internal disruptors was assigned to personnel who I had worked with; not problems or numbers, but people. It seemed that no one knew how to deal with them, or even how to fix their negative impact.
When working in high-paced environments that experience rapid change and growth, sometimes the ability to successfully carryout the development of employees is difficult. At the end of the day, no one has the time, right? Upon hearing anything that mentions “training” or even sounds like “development,” some busy employees become stifled and reluctant. This is an example of an internal disruptor. Envision establishing goals for a team but being unable to execute because the wrong leadership is in place; stagnated by overworked employees who are not enthusiastic about change. It is understandable, especially in organizations that lack structure, which is becoming more common in millennial-dominated cultures.
In order to remediate the internal disruptor, leaders must first identify what makes that employee a disruptor. This can be accomplished through formal or informal observation of the potential disruptor which often reveal indicators. An example of a common indicator is continuous negative feedback related to that employee. For example, if new hires consistently demonstrate a lack of understanding or low performance under their mentor or trainer, this is an informal indication that the trainer is a disruptor. Their training may need to be observed and evaluated in order to remedy the issue.
Formal observation of an internal disruptor may be obtained through performance reviews or development plans as well. This method allows for a flow of information focused on resolving the issue through transparent management. The leader can ask questions to gauge the employee’s attitude toward their position, team, and even the company. It also allows the employee to voice any concerns that might be contributing to their role as an internal disruptor.
Once the disruptor’s traits are identified, the real fun begins. The below steps outline a general approach to actively coaching the disruptor into improving their positive impact:
Honest & Transparent Feedback – leaders must be willing to provide honest feedback to the disruptor in a transparent format. The leader must consider the venue when determining how to deliver feedback. One-on-one meetings allow safe, productive conversations versus meetings with several people present.
Provide ALL Feedback, not snippets – In order for progressive change to occur, the employee must know what areas they need to work on. It is important to have all feedback presented during the initial conversation. The last thing you want to do is add to the list, which may stifle the employee’s attitude.
Don’t Involve He-Say, She-Say – Avoid mentioning other employees during the feedback phase. Changing the way someone performs is less effective when it is presented with gossip. The goal of the meeting is to encourage the employee to improve their performance, not to alienate them and cause feelings of resentment.
Remain Positive! – Be prepared for a potential meltdown when presenting a disruptor with the plan to improve their performance. Of course, you may not witness a meltdown (I’m exaggerating), but the point is to be prepared for a reaction. If the disruptor becomes negative, stay positive! Demonstrate empathy but most importantly….
…Encourage the Disruptor – A lot of times, disruptors may need a cheerleader in their corner. Part of your job as a leader is to Encourage the Heart (“The Leadership Challenge”). This is the prime time to motivate the disruptor. Figure out their intrinsic values and verbalize the expectations while emphasizing a can-do attitude with realistic optimism.
I have recently become very intrigued by their application of old theories in today’s booming world of technology. The world has shifted and changed in many ways since the birth of the microcomputer. Social media has impacted the world of business, and the introduction of new networking applications, like LinkedIn, have changed the way people regard their value in life.
Sure, job searching is an important reason to make connections. But the millennial impact on society has also influenced the need for surface connections that are now often validated through double-clicking (Instagram) or the “like” button (Facebook). Our needs and motivations are validated through the impact of social media, technology, and millennial desires; redefining McClelland’s Theory.
McClelland’s Theory, also known as “Three Needs Theory,” is defined as “a motivational model that attempts to explain how the needs for 1) achievement, 2) power, and 3) affiliation affect the actions of people from a managerial context.” Two former heads of Facebook recently criticized the affects that Facebook is having on the personal motivation of individuals (Fortune Magazine Article “Facebook is ‘Ripping Apart’ Society, Former Executive Warns”). During a speaking engagement in November 2017, Sean Parker, the former founding president of Facebook, explained that Facebook has changed the way that we have relationship with society and each other.
The former CEO, Chamath Palihapitiya, explained that Facebook encourages popularity by leaving users feeling empty and that the vicious circle drives people to “keep sharing posts that they think will gain other people’s approval.” This directly linked to the need to affiliation and also, somewhat, power, as supported by McClelland’s Theory.
The question is, when will it stop? Considering the rate of innovation, new social media apps are popping up every day. How will consumers respond to technology in the future? What are the long-term effects of social media consumption? What are the negative impacts of the like button?
In my opinion, much of it can be resolved by focusing on self-actualization. As defined in “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,” self-actualization occurs when an individual maximizes their potential by doing the best that they are capable of doing. There are certain beliefs associated with a self-actualized person, as outlined in the article, “Maslow: The 12 Characteristics of a Self-Actualized Person.” Based on the characteristics of self-actualized people, the last three (3) represent the contrary nature against the need to be liked:
Self-actualized people embrace the unknown and the ambiguous.
They accept themselves, together with all their flaws.
They prioritize and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
While they are inherently unconventional, they do not seek to shock or disturb.
They are motivated by growth, not by the satisfaction of needs.
Self-actualized people have purpose.
They are not troubled by the small things.
Self-actualized people are grateful.
They share deep relationships with a few, but also feel identification and affection towards the entire human race.
Self-actualized people are humble.
Self-actualized people resist enculturation.
In the future, perhaps parents should remain aware of the impacts that social media and technology have on their children. If it has the power to interfere with their self-actualization, then restriction should be applied. Essentially, children cannot afford to be raised by computers and exposed to social media at an early age.
By valuing the organic, intrinsic rewards that are offered in life, we can reduce the negative impact of social media in our lives.
Millennials are proving to be a force in the rethinking and establishment of organizational culture in the world of business. There are many environment changes that have contributed to new perspectives of ideal culture in the workplace, perspectives that consider demographics, collaboration, technology, and diversification. Business is booming and in order to keep up, managers must shift their cultures to adjust to the demands of the new emerging majority: the millennials.
Businesses are experiencing the pressure to be innovative, the pressure to produce technologically-advanced output. Many managers must focus on the figureheads and disturbance handlers, as they can contribute to the future goals of the company. Managers who are able to tap into the knowledge workers, can expand on opportunities of growth in innovation, quality, service, speed, cost competitiveness, and sustainability. The importance of thinking outside of the box is more important than ever before.
The changes have led to flexibility in the workplace for emerging businesses. For instance, more companies are modifying their dress code to match their cultures that emphasize forward-thinking, as dress code may stifle their creativity (it sounds slightly scientific but remember, we’re talking about millennials). For more perspective on the desires of the millennials in the workplace, please read the Rob Ashgar’s article, which presents statistics on the desires of this group of 20 – mid-30s individuals.
Managers must also consider how the adjustments will affect their contributing employees who may struggle to adjust, leading the manager’s to consider forecasting or scenarios. Overall, they must be proactive in their efforts. The world of business is moving at a rapid speed. For the established company who works on a 9-5 schedule for most of its firm, it should consider adjusting the flexibility of hours, as “74% want flexible work schedules,” per the findings of the Intelligence Group (Ashgar).
Undoubtedly, businesses will need to continuously adjust to the open system issues, but it can be done. We are able to see the positive effects of the adjustments. Businesses are bolstering tremendous sales as they innovate and make cultural adjustments, which can be seen by companies like Uber, Google, and Apple.
The introduction of a new leadership blog focused on millennial impact in the work place.
We hear it all the time: “I want to work at Google,” “I wish I could work for Amazon,” and now, more often, these wishes are becoming a reality. Reality is, we live in a world dominated by technology. The emergence of the internet and social media has given birth to a world that is dominated by million-dollar technology companies who are establishing new ideas in the world of leadership. Thus, many traditional ways of business management are changing.
Within the last five-years, I have experienced a dramatic shift in my job environment that could be mostly attributed to the change of venue from “old people” to “new people;” more cordially described as going from “traditional management” to “millennial management.” Imagine that, a new way of working in a world surrounded by new, innovative technology. It could truly be a recipe for disaster but we can all agree that it is too early to decide.
Nonetheless, many new business management and leadership styles have been established in the last few decades, mostly attributed to the fast-paced and advanced growth of the technology industry since the mainstream birth of the internet in 1990. As a millennial, I have experienced several management styles, directly affected by the impact of technology.
This blog will allow you to live vicariously through many past and current experiences that have, and will continue to, shape my leadership style. I will dive into several questions like, is millennial development an effective way to produce leaders? What exactly is millennial development? How can traditional management effectively shift their culture to accommodate the millennial employee? What are the positive and negative effects of transitioning their culture?
There are many items to consider when I ask these questions. But don’t worry, I will provide a ton of perspective along the way (thanks to great minds and great resources with varying perspectives).