What this article is all about: The article is about changing scenario in current management and leadership world. As the generation changes, it’s becoming more and more difficult for leaders to lead their business and the people. Leaders try to think about what going wrong without any kind of realization about the real reasons. From my experiences of the corporate world around me and the working environment I faced, am trying to help those leaders to lead in smooth manner (at present, by writing such articles). If it will help in any manner, I will feel it’s worth the effort in sharing my points of view and presenting this article to the business community throughout the world.
Let’s talk about the situation at present and possible inference we can make from that. People who were born between 1980s and 1995 are majority in the workforce as of now (@2014) or maybe they are about to join the workforce. The eldest of the lot (80-95) would be almost 34-35 years old now.
|Generation||Born and Brought up in||Parents Belonged to|
|X||1950 to 1979||1925 to 1960s|
|Y||1980 to 1994 (approx.)||1950s to 1979 (approx.)|
|Z||1995 onwards||1985 onwards|
It’s very important to understand that people who were born and brought up between 1950s and 1970s had a different scenario of their childhood that would have been completely different from those who have been brought up in 1980s to 1990s. Former lot had different mindset, their parents who might have been brought up between 1920s to 1960s would have given them training and upbringing of different kind as per their understanding of the world and their own mindset.
I can bet that the parenting methods of upbringing kids that worked in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s or 1980s will not work in current time. Similarly, the management techniques and theories that worked in those 10/15/20 years back will not be totally relevant now.
I can agree upon only those principles that remain the same but the methodologies for applying those principles will be completely different. To be very specific and blunt to some of the leaders and managers of today’s time, especially the non-freedomic policies of traditional organizations. I mean authoritarian/dictator types leadership styles. In simple terms, “I know it all” types leaders and managers. There are so many other aspects to discuss, but as per my personal experience and knowledge, this was the type of leadership that is killing more productivity and growth than anything else in this world and in any organization. I see these as cultural issues rather than economic or financial issue.
The problems and questions of managing the generation gap is valid in Family as well as business environment, it may be a national issue for a country like India where majority of the working population at present are Generation Y population. They are not made of the same matters as Generation X people. Sorry, no offence to anyone but we are different. (Yes, I too belong to Generation Y workforce). We are not same as Generation X and the early we understand this fact, the better it is for our country.
It’s imperative for the current and future leaders to understand the bitter truth that today’s youngsters do not want the kind of leadership we have been applying for last many years. They want to be led in a new way with new rules of the game called ‘Leadership’ (including management).
Example is Google, a family (team) of creative people; the employees are given freedom to work as per their convenience. They are given freedom 20% time http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2013/08/21/googles-best-new-innovation-rules-around-20-time/
For many of the best companies in this world (please visit http://us.greatrated.com), their employees come on company’s priority list. Unlike ordinary, struggling organizations where they struggle even for 4-5% organizational revenue growth every year. The best companies are growing at unimaginable growth rate than ever. This happens when they try to see the interest of workforce as well as customers and not just focus on profiteering and similar stuffs. I see these responsibilities towards the workforce as the social responsibility obligation of the enterprise.
And why these pitiful organizations shouldn’t struggle? I am completely ok and not at all sympathetic with the situation of those struggling organizations who doesn’t give a damn care about their workforce. It’s a ‘Law of Karma’ – ‘Jaisa karoge waisa bharoge’. It’s a rule of nature that works. Every action has equal and opposite reaction. What goes around comes around. And why I should be sympathetic for such crap in this country. I better focus to eradicate these stuffs to create good examples.
As human beings, we can’t help anyone unless they want to help themselves. Unless the leaders of the organizations realize that something is wrong somewhere. Something is wrong with our management/leadership style. Unless this happens, even God will not be able to help them. Always thinking about Shareholders’ profit is like waiting for death of your organization. Unless the growth is wholesome for the benefits of employees and the customers, there is no way they can be helped.
At personal level, an individual cannot change his happiness and wellness level or he cannot make his life better unless he realizes that he is not the best at this stage. One may still be good, but one must realize that he/she is not at best and he is not great yet. At personal level, for life improvement, unless we accept that something is going wrong somewhere, unless we think we can do much more and much better with our life, we cannot improve our life or put our life to any better purpose. If I am wrong in thinking this way, please send me feedback.
(Pardon me for using ‘He’ everywhere, because mentioning he/she will irritate the readers and would confuse the viewpoints)
Applying the same analogy in Business environment, unless the Company (Company is represented by Board of Directors) feels that we are not good at this stage, we are stuck at less than 4-5% growth rate, things are not going as it should be, and so many things, the company cannot even take its first step towards growth. The realization should come first in the Board Room rather than at employee level. But, I can bet on this, employees realize the difficulties and problems way earlier than even management does, you know why? Because they are the one who are directly dealing with your customers or clients. They know what your clients and customers have to say. They are the one who witnesses the world around them, every day. They are the ones who are exposed to the revolution going around in the world. And you know what? Majority are Generation Y. They are observing the world very carefully and I may not be exaggerating to say that at times, they are way smarter than the old generation leaders, they are quick and efficient, and in your heart you must have accepted it.
To conclude, today’s generation (young working population) has different mindset, different rules of the game, they want to be led in their own way. They want freedom; they want to show their potential, creativity and innovative capabilities to this world. They want to be heard. They want themselves to be utilized at full capacity and more importantly, they want to be treated as human beings. Give them space and challenges to show their potential and you will never need to worry about the growth of the organization.
To complete the article, two lines of Mr. Ratan Tata will be perfect to quote here. “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk farther, walk together”
(Written by CA Rajesh Pabari – for feedback kindly contact [email protected] or WhatsApp on +919022780919)