Boomers and Millennials get all of the spotlight so I want to shine a new light on two groups of people who really are defining what the future of work looks like.
Right now GenerationX leaders account for 50% of the leadership and management positions, yet make only 20% of the global population. So these leaders are already making a huge impact in businesses all around the world and they are starting their own businesses too.
They have over 20 years experience and were raised in a different time, with a whole new set of values, unique to them. They are #LeaderX. They grew up in the 80’s when the western economy went from being on it’s knees to rising to huge economic growth. The first adopters of technology, they remember a world without email, smart phones and cloud technology. Yet their essays were written on a basic home computer and saved on a floppy disk.
They saw the global issues unravel on their TV screens and watched their MTV idols raise awareness of injustice, big corporations and inequality. They were the jilted generation who first adopted personal responsibility for the impact they have on the world and wanted to live a purposeful life. They saw their parents focus on work, instilling the work hard ethics, yet feeling abandoned and alone as stressed parents were too busy to be totally present. They joined Greenpeace, acid rain, famines, Aids, apartheid and all of the isms in society and wanted more for our planet.
This created a group of leaders who believe in fun, autonomy, freedom, relationships and experience. A group of parents who raise their kids to make a difference, fulfil their potential and live life on their terms whilst being global social citizens.
They are the parents of Generation Z and now they must create working environments that allow them to thrive. GenZ don’t see diversity unless it’s not present. They expect inclusion and are quick to speak up, or tweet about it if it’s not being done. They demand respect because they treat others with it. They want to be counted, treated humanly and to be given opportunities. That’s how we raised them.
They are turning to apprenticeships and trade schools over formal education. They listen to podcasts and learn via YouTube, always developing themselves..
They have seen their self-reliant parents balance work and life, and to maximise life with experiences that add value. They want the same though their work. They have seen the millennials get into huge debts for their education and are now rejecting classroom education for life experience.
They don't think about work life balance. Instead they think integration. They are always on, always thinking, chatting, learning and experiencing life, friends, culture and work. There is no separation.
They are entrepreneurial and tech savvy and aren't afraid to start their own business. They see a problem and want to make it right. Their parents have built the belief in them that they can do it. They are optimists and aren't worried about their futures the way Millennials are.
And just like GenX, they value, autonomy, relationships, experience, fun, meaning and purpose. Bring both together in business and they will inevitably change the world.
Take a look at the cool infographics here to learn a bit more about the generations.
- Create businesses that are true to your beliefs, values and where you are proud to work.
- Think about the advice you give your own kids. Would you want them to work in your team?
- Give others the opportunity to try things out for themselves. Micromanaging isn't your style anyway.
- Be a mentor and a coach