By Demetrio Zema, Founder & Director
I constantly hear that millennials are leaders of the future. This proposition (I feel) is wrong, or at least misleading.
Millennials are the leaders of today. They have already changed the operation of modern business, and are continuing to do so.
Every single day I see inspiring millennials challenging the business landscape. Born from the early 1980s, this generation is championing change in businesses of all stages – from pre-seed startups to multinational corporations.
So why should this matter to you? If you are a business owner or entrepeneur it is crucial to understand the dynamic professional environment in which you find yourself.
Making an impact
The key difference between millennials and previous generations is that millennials believe there is more to business than making money. Millennials believe in creating a sense of purpose, fostering personal and team development, and making a positive impact.
As a millennial myself, and just like so many others around me, I was frustrated by the inadequacies in my industry. Why are lawyers so expensive, yet inefficient? Why are there no accessible and holistic legal services? In attempting to develop a viable alternative, I joined the community of modern firms built on ‘NewLaw’ philosophies that challenge the status quo and maximise client value.
But don’t just take my word for it. According to this 2017 survey, 76% of millennials across 30 countries believe that business is a force for positive social change. Companies driven solely by financial outcomes are rapidly becoming a relic of the past.
Balancing work and life
Aside from this key difference, a priority for millennials is to strike the ultimate balance between work and personal life. A work/life balance for the modern entrepreneur goes far beyond eternal submission to the 9-5, rather, it demands a level of choice.
For millennials, work/life balance is a critical factor when seeking and retaining employment. The survey reveals that 84% of millennials have leveraged some degree of flexibility in their organisation. This might include flexible working times or locations, and even being able to choose, within guidelines, what their job entails. Further, millennials want to be part of a company that supports their development and growth into leadership roles.
These preferences are already driving organisations to dramatically shift their business structures in order to entice young professionals and to boost productivity.
Changing leadership and culture
Traditional business leaders believe in a working culture defined by a high level of control over employees. In this out-dated and autocratic model, ‘productivity’ is fostered by strict adherence to set hours in an office location. A rigorous corporate structure delineates levels of responsibility.
Sound familiar? Chances are that you've experienced a traditional model at some point in your professional life.
Millennial leaders understand that giving autonomy to the employee allows for a more inclusive and motivated working environment. Productivity is driven by a dismantling of hierarchy and open channels of communication, that enables employees to play a genuine role in creating an innovative business based on their own values.
More motivated and engaged employees leads to greater productivity and job satisfaction, which inevitably generates business success.
A wave of change
Millennials are disruptive now, not merely some time in the future. They are already industry leaders: creating positive change, demanding work/life balance, and revolutionising working culture.
Traditional businesses must embrace the momentum of the millennial wave, else risk being washed away and replaced altogether by an upcoming millennial.
At Law Squared, we partner with passionate entrepreneurs and businesses who need our technical help and expertise. We’d love to have a chat with you, so feel free to drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
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