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Can Millennials/GenZ Disrupt Lean-Agile Enterprises?

Can Millennials/GenZ Disrupt Lean-Agile Enterprises?

Here is a question most enterprises ask and few can correctly answer:

How do you get the best millennial talent to work for you?

Millennials and the GenZ are two groups that are maturing up to be a part of the workforce. I have seen scores of companies chasing millennial/GenZ talent and failing horribly at it. The sole reason is the companies are chasing after millennials with just a job list in hand and have no idea about what the people they are pursuing really want/need.

The common strategy that businesses put into play comprises of flexible work privileges and open workspaces. Others use the happy hours on Thursdays or organize beer parties on Fridays.

While all these can do just about enough to catch the eyes of millennials, they do not really answer the core question: what is that millennials and the GenZ really wants? They basically want a few things:

  1. An environment that values empowerment and collaboration
  2. A platform that appeals to their core interest(s) (millennials are like any other demography in this regard)
  3. The agility to work freely without always being “process-bound”
  4. A hint of appreciation for the uniqueness and creativity that they bring to work
  5. A general good feeling about the work they are doing

Many of my clients in the Life Sciences industry are adopting SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) and are in the process of implementing lean-agile transformation into their organizations.

With the imminent transformation of more and more enterprises, we inadvertently hit the million dollar question: Is it possible for the millennials/GenZ to fit in with Lean-Agile Enterprises?

The quick answer is yes. Let us stretch a bit more and peek into how the needs of millennials/GenZ fit into the principles of the Agile Manifesto.  

Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools

Giving a millennial an outdated tools is like asking a sloth to win a swimming contest. This is a generation that values innovation and connectivity more than anything else. This is a generation that lives with SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And it’s not just the selfies that they use it for.

They share information, fun, wit, and stories on the social media. Millennials make the most of the text, images, and stories on their social media feed. With the right orientation, they can do the tools to improve a company’s brand engagement.

Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation

Millennials generally fall into the sharer/collaborator/creator category. They’ll surely find success and motivation in an environment where working software is highly prioritized over a string of Excel sheets.     

Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation

Unlike what that overhyped meme told you, millennials are a bunch of focussed individuals who work for and value success. Since they are both self-aware and persistent, they do exceedingly well in customer interaction. With the right guidance and appreciation, they can do great in customer negotiation.

Responding to Change over Following a Plan

The GenZ is adaptive and tech savvy. They understand and acknowledge the change that new technology brings to businesses. Whether it is the use of bots to do tedious, manual work, or of MakerBots for 3D printing, or even the application of advanced data analytics, they can do double the work in half the time.

The bottom line is that we have a generation of people that is raring to join the workforce and promises to add creativity and uniqueness to every bit of work they do. With Lean-Agile, they can become a more intensive part of the workforce with greater satisfaction for themselves and higher profits for their companies.

Futran Solutions is a Scaled Agile partner and Jyoti Vazirani is a certified SAFe Agile coach who is a vocal supporter of the evident compatibility between Lean-Agile and the millennial working style.