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How Millennials Think

Open Minds and Progressive

If we’re going to improve productivity, stay competitive, and avoid making wasteful, repetitive errors at work, we’re more likely to do it with a new style of thinking, as opposed to relying on experience.

Experience hasn’t always been a good teacher. Sometimes we need to break out of the mold.

Do Millennials think any differently than the rest of us?  It’s hard to say, however their open mindedness and desire to improve things might be more practical results in your line of business.

They may not possess the crippling mental blindness and tunnel vision typical of older generations, which stops us from innovating.  Is it just their youth, or do they have something extra that could let them accelerate innovation? Are they fast-track leaders?

We won’t get deep insight with brain models or MBTI typologies to figure Millennials out. We might only find a slight shift from typical personality types. And they’re still young and unfinished.

Minds Shaped by Big Media/Political Events?

Any comparison of how the generations think and make decisions often cites the big events of their era such as booms and recessions, Watergate, wars, yet that’s not exeptionally helpful.  We all get over bad times and forget the good times. By the time we’re 30, we’ve all been white washed and experienced it all.

Are Millennials any less smart, capable or visionary than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers? I doubt you’ll find much difference.

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Do they read books like Babyboomers, or dig into code like Gen Xers? No, they don’t. They grab quick info and opinions online and attempt to construct a quick understanding. Who can blame them. There’s a lot of data, opinions, and images online that are generally accurate. Overanalyzing might not be necessary. They’d rather let machines do that hard stuff.

Millennials’ tech and global savvy will make them instrumental in shaping our mobile future worldwide. — Brad D. Smith from brainyquote.com/topics/millennials

Hypergrowth Seems Just Fine

Because value is so temporary (jobs too) and knowledge so easily available online, it makes Millennials focus competitively on being quick to find the best and exploit it. The paths, people, technology and solutions are changing so fast, it seems like something brand new is happening all the time.

They seem to take pride on knowing the cutting edge and hopping on it. And when they see pictures of Mark Zuckerberg and other instant digital business millionaires online, they’re pretty certain they’re on the right track.

Millennial’s open mind and instinctive focus on the source of the next solution is invaluable

They can hardly do it on their own. In fact, business and industry are so competitive, it takes a team to do anything now. The power of Gen Xer’s and Babyboomers individualism is much less effective today.

Millennials just build a team to fill in the blanks, and work together to meet whatever challenge happens. Instead of mentors, which are few and far between, many are just looking to software to solve management challenges. Some use Artifical intelligence systems which learn what works and doesn’t work. They don’t seem to need the wisdom and experience of older generations.

To understand how Millennials think, just look at the business environment they face. They’re trying to solve it like a young person would.

Millennial Awareness Unhampered

Young people are much more aware and they don’t have the automatic mental blinders and filters that older generations are hampered by. Millennial minds are more open with a fresh perspective. They haven’t learned to limit themselves.

But in the role of leader, one must filter in the best options and make clear decisions. Millennials don’t seem to be suited for such independence and decisiveness.

So if hard, cold, even cyncical baby boomer/Gen X decisiveness is not their forte, how could we possibly seat them in the directors role?

Media Distorts Their View

Each succeeding generation is more aware of everything. The media and Internet opened all that up, even if they’ve never been honest or accurate. It’s easy for a Millennials to trivialize a Baby Boomers entire life and completely misunderstand it based on news reports and blogs.

This awareness makes it even tougher for Millennials to know what works. They could look very bad after completely missing the pitfalls. In fact, unscrupulous business people could lie waiting to ambush the doe-eyed millennials.

But here’s the thing. The answers to any problem or challenge are already present.  Intelligence is simply the open mindedness to see it.

So let’s generalize for comparison:

MillennialsGen X and Baby Boomers
get help, delegateact hard work, planning, persistence
collaboration, reviewsindividualism, logic
Trusting, naive, overly influenced by mediauntrusting, proof, don’t take chances
Soft thinking, possibilitieshard thinking, literal, clinical
Common good and well beingfamily good, stability, status quo
Imagination and possibilitiesrules and the status quo
flexibility and growthorder and establishment
self-improvementdedication to family/employer

 

From the above, you can see how Millennials have adapted to a fast changing world, where technology can make you rich or make you homeless. Loyalty to a company is seen as irresponsible since technology wipes away jobs and companies quickly. Flexibility, adaptability, and awareness are what drive their thinking styles.

New Attitude Toward Business and Lifestyle

Millennials thrive on open access, growth, efficiency and freedom. Using Uber, Amazon, smartphone apps, and living downtown seems the most efficient lifestyle. Millennials are thinking about time in the big picture sense and may actual treat time with more respect.

With change happening so rapidly today, a lot of the rules that older generations live by, simply don’t work. Technology is augmenting and replacing human judgement and enabling better decisions.

And Millennials are more collaborative and team oriented which is vital for any business manager.

Millennials recognize change and progress as a priority and therefore adapt everything else to keep up and stay competitive. They’re young and their thinking is young.

If they aren’t ready to lead, their leadership style and thinking are certainly worth studying.

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