As the world continues to evolve at a rapid pace across all borders, business and industry leaders likewise need to cope and adjust to new practices, skills, and mindsets of present industry trends and workforces in order to maintain the harmony and balance in the workplace.
More than just presiding in a traditional work environment where everyone is forced to adjust to the boss, it is the boss who needs to climb down from his ivory tower in order to adapt to the present-day thinking and work philosophy of a youthful workforce or millennials that badly need a listening ear from above.
“Leaders are change catalysts, but leaders hinder change as well. They are merchants of hope and hope agents also. It is scary, but scarier not to change for you will be left behind,” declared Francis Kong, a well-known management consultant, author, and inspirational speaker.
Kong explained that due to the advent of the millennials (those born from 1980 to 2000), the corporate world should try to divert from their traditional thinking and styles to suit this new breed of employees who possess a different brand of mindset – one that is more adaptable and conducive to the modern-day customer.
“The millennials are ambitious, creative, and idealistic. They seek change, clash with old management styles, and feel unappreciated. Then they leave since the senior managers don’t know how to handle them,” Kong bared in his speech on “Inspiring Change” delivered during the Mandaue Business Summit held at the Oakridge Pavilion in Mandaue City beside Cebu City.
He cautioned that the millennials are quite inquisitive and ambitious in a healthy way, as they don’t really seek instant success and/or results. But they wish for the company to be more flexible and open to new ideas and not just stick to tried-and-tested methods.
“They should be seen as creators and not just consumers. They have a mindset all their own. The challenge lies in the talent attraction, acquisition, and retention in order to maximize their skills and abilities,” he added.
Kong also reminded the audience that the millennials are the “Google” generation, having been raised during the internet age where most of their answers to life are just a few clicks away, hence their advanced mindset and way of thinking.
Among other qualities needed for the new generation of leaders, the Adversity Quotient (AQ) is also critical since the leaders should not be obsessed with profits all the time, but also remain resilient in order to bounce back in times of crisis.
It is a sad fact that many corporate giants such as Kodak, Motorola, and Pan-Am, and others have failed to cope with new industrial trends and have fallen due to inability to adjust to the ever-changing global market.
However, it is also encouraging to note other companies such as PLDT, Chrysler, Lego, and Tylenol and others which have bounced back amidst adversity and fierce global competition.
Regarding training, Kong recommends the hiring of business practitioners since they both possess book and industry knowledge who can regale the staff with stories and anecdotes from their experiences.
“While trained people may leave for greener pastures, it is worse not to train them for the company may not move forward. Let the knowledge and skills trickle down so it will not remain within a few people but exist within the company system,” he said.
The Mandaue Business Summit constitutes an important component of the Mandaue Business Month which fetes the charter day activities of Mandaue City under City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing.
By RICHARD RAMOS