So first you may wonder who/what a Millennial is! A fairly new discovery to me, they are people born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s (also called generation Y). What is unique is the difference in their attitude to work – unlike previous generations who were very career and money focused, Millennials care much more about the purpose of the company they work for and the value of what they are doing; value in terms of making a contribution to a better world.
Which of course is music to my ears. Last week I had the honour of being invited back to University College Dublin (where I studied quite a few years ago!) to give a talk on Heart in Business Limited to their graduate school of business. A fairly large percentage of the audience were Millennials. Their response was almost ‘of course’ that is the way to be (heartful in business) and their questions were around ‘how’, rather that the ‘why’ question that others might focus on. One of their questions was about how at the start of their careers they could best influence change, as we had already had already agreed that becoming a heartful business was something that needed to be CEO-led.
My suggestion was that they should join businesses who were already were heartful or were intent on moving in that direction. As we move forward, if more and more of our bright future managers refuse to join ‘old school’ (my judgement!) profit addicted companies, they will hopefully start to get the message that they need too need to change.
I am inspired by the work of Darshita Gillies. She rose from the slums of Mumbai to join the board of Standard Chartered bank. One of her perspectives is that every company should have a millennial on their board, to represent this new generation and their insightful attitude. A wise move and one that I intend to take note of as we form our council at Thornton’s Budgens.
Andrew Isaac Thornton