Thinking about Millennials is bad for your organization. I mean, really bad. Here’s why.
At an event last week designed to help create engaging brand strategies for millennials I listened as one of the audience members went on and on about how difficult it was to deal with millennials because they are so entitled. These comments were met with much head nodding and agreement.
I got thoroughly excited by these comments because not only are they grossly inaccurate, but the audience agreement indicated a widespread bias. This combination of things meant that there was a precise need for what I do, and an opportunity to dramatically impact strategic development by shifting how we think about groups of people.
I recently had the opportunity to lead a company retreat focused on big picture, strategic thinking. The client needed something that would help the team to move their own thinking (and their customer’s thinking) away from simple tips and tricks, checkboxes and other, short term, tactical approaches. Instead, they wanted to focus on delivering real value through the implementation of solid strategic thinking.
The conventional wisdom posits strategic thinkers as possessing some kind of ineffable quality. Maybe they were born with the talent for it, or maybe they developed it along the way somehow, but it is often considered to be unexplainable. Some people just are big picture thinkers while others might be better at the day to day tactics.
I don’t believe this conventional wisdom.
Our culture celebrates business heroes, but it’s a remarkably inefficient pathway to success. Everyone in your industry is right now reading books, attending workshops and taking courses that are teaching them to be more innovative, more entrepreneurial, more visionary. In fact, there has been an explosion in this market in recent years.
Maybe you’re even reading one of those books. Maybe you’ve got some on your shelf right now that promise to teach you to be a better leader, inspire more commitment, imbue you with the tools to command more influence among your peers and employees.
Of course you’ve heard the analogy of the forest and the trees. We all have. We know that if the only thing we pay attention to is the tree in our face, we can never truly know or understand the forest. It’s wisdom that is so common as to be meaningless. What you likely don’t know is how you can systematically pay attention to both the forest and the tree. It’s easy enough in hindsight for someone to show you where you lost perspective and forgot about the big picture, but how do you do that IN THE MOMENT?