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Millennials will shift power from Management to Employees

Posted by | May 11, 2015 | Employer, Millennial

Via LinkedIn : The shift of power from management to the employee is a relatively new business management approach which works to empower the employee and in doing so people feel more connected and cooperative to the mission at hand. I am all for it, to a limit. That limit is the precise point where organized business motion begins to become disorganized business kayos. How far is that point really? You need to know it when you see it – for it comes quietly and without much fanfare. It has the power to send a good company into a fatal nose dive. It also can lead to great value creation, execution and profits.

The reason that business kayos goes unnoticed for so long is because everyone looks busy and things are happening all around you. It’s not until the damage reports start coming in that people realize the carnage is real and growing. Then there’s the velocity of the business going down. If the velocity is too great, then there is no time to pull it out. Even if the resources are there, those resources cannot be installed quick enough to be effective. But since you know this point of transition, we can move on. There’s no risk, right?

The new trend is to engage the millennial workforce with “lifestyle perks” to motivate this elusive 94 million strong work group to new heights of work performance. Too bad some 40% of them are not working and cannot find a job. This new strategy is attractive since most millennial/s appear to have mentally abandoned “The American Dream” – for reasons not of their own making. They were led without their knowledge to a place where for the first time in our nation’s history since records were kept, the standard of living is declining, not rising and the opportunities are shrinking not expanding. It’s all by design. 6 trillion later and nothing tangible in employment or GDP has been accomplished except for a widening income gap and more debt. Good plan…but maybe that was the plan.

Lower pay, shorter hours, “work a day and play” thinking, coupled with an entitlement mentality where no commitment demands are the norm, (both personally and professionally), are translating business into a new kind of work environment. One where traditional managers are having a hard time functioning with this mindset. How do you get value out of a someone who really doesn’t much care? You don’t.

Is this a good description of this new class of worker? I am still learning. But, I do know their attitude towards “command and control” type of management is far different than the norm. I do know that they multitask well and simple repetitive jobs bore them to death. I do know that they “work to live”, not the other way around. I was brought up that working was part of achieving the American Dream and self fulfillment. Most senior managers will agree. So the objective is engagement, not use of force.

On the other side of this unexplainable aloofness, are a few souls who thrive in this new paradigm and are exceeding beyond anyone’s wildest imagination of wealth creation. They’re redefining the path to success, both online and brick and mortar strategies (based largely on control of intellectual property resources). They are highly visible examples to the millennial class that it is possible to become rich and still be young. Single highhandedly in some cases, a few have shifted massive amounts of power to the employees around them and created powerhouses of wealth. It’s a normal outcome of their personal culture and belief system. A few “older” early adopters are jumping on the bandwagon.

In a belief system where everyone is equal, this is routine. It’s only when the real world demands distinctions does value contributions begin to be made. To their credit (and our generation for teaching it), they don’t see color…they see people (as it should be). But this too is changing and not by their own doing, or ours. 150 years of civil rights progress is being systematically derailed – not so much by events per se, but by a twisted political grand design, one who is playing all sides against each other for political gain. A design which creates tribes, class separation and adds fuel to the almost extinguished fire through jealousy, envy and supporting mistaken values because ends justify means and where accountability is out the window. It’s irrational and destructive. The class which will pay the price most is the millennial work force. Sadly, evil people flourish off the back of conflict because without it, they have no income, no power and no purpose. But that’s a different issue. The point here is millennial/s don’t see color and I don’t either. We all see people being misled for altruistic and political purposes and it’s wrong and evil.

In a perfect world, power is shifted to the employee and the organization is flat. This works when there exists a clear division of individual responsibility, functional clarity and a clear mission at every level. This is true more often for development and loosely framed organizations which rely heavily on individual value creation and fulfillment.This is why some internet based companies excel.

In traditional manufacturing, retail and service companies however, value is about “functional efficiency and execution.” Here, leadership is essential to define those functions, organize them, monitor them and improve them. Employees should work in a framework of a well thought out Live Business Plan. One that reduces risk and increases the likelihood of success.

Are you part of something larger, more important than yourself? This fundamental creates a desire and passion to see the enterprise succeed. Companies need a flag, a creed, a plan and a mission people can really get behind. They get behind organizations which are self-fulfilling and has purpose.

Leaders must be able to answer two questions for the common worker.

  1. Can we do it?
  2. Is it worth it?

I will add one of my own:

  • How will we do it?

Answer these questions and you have found the vital behavior conditions to win and succeed when odds are against you. Do so in a context of “personal, social and structural” support and success is a well defined box that drives efforts from all sides. I highly recommend you read the book “Influencer.” It’s powerful stuff you can use immediately in your company and in your community.

The shift is on to redesign the organizational chart. It’s beginning to look like everyone is a manager and everyone is a worker.

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