Leading Change: Is It Any Different for Millennials?

by Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta

Is leading change any different with a millennial stakeholder audience?

Millennials in the workforce have been a popular discussion for a while now. Quite timely too, as they are increasingly becoming a vital part of the workforce. As vital as this generation grows, is there any difference with dealing with them with regards to Change Leadership?

I delivered a talk recently on ‘Responding to Change Better and Faster’, and they asked me if leading change was any different with a millennial stakeholder, i.e. pace of adoption and openness to change. It made me stop and ponder.

Leading Change: Is It Any Different for Millennials?

I answered, “Yes, it is different in how we approach change with them, and the future of change management and leadership generally.” You will find that millennials are coming into organizations at the onset of having their own set of values. A different mindset from say, how some of us started off in the workforce. They’re looking for alignment between their own values and that of the organization. Something that we’re also seeing with the great resignation. They’re looking for inclusivity as well, and also, they are much more DEI conscious.

So my take is this…

When we talk about disruption in the business environment, we’re not only talking about technology, AI, the pandemic etc. We’re also talking about the disruptive change that the millennials are bringing into organizations. Sometimes toppling the typical organizational structure, hierarchy, culture and status quo. So when it comes to leading change, we’re also talking about leading a multi-generational workforce. And where change is becoming less about following a linear process or where one model is expected to fit all.

So yes, how we lead ‘change’ in a ‘changing’ workforce is ‘changing’.

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