“Brad Szollose, author of Liquid Leadership and an expert on generational leadership development says, “The reason companies must start embracing Millennials instead of rejecting them is simple; Boomers will be forced to retire soon…”
For decades I have observed business trends from the stage and from the trenches. For the third consecutive year, I am pleased to share with you what I see as top business trends that leading companies embrace to drive success. In some cases, I spot trends that are starting to take shape. In other cases, I spot established trends that have not yet found their way into the mainstream. I see some of these patterns by interacting with participants when I speak at events, and others I notice while working closely with businesses of varying sizes. Feel free to take a look at my past predictions from 2015 by following the link at the bottom of the article. Here are the Top 10 Business Trends That Will Drive Success in 2016.
1. Top Performing Companies Will Focus On Connecting CustomersIn discussions with industry leaders like Seth Godin and Clay Hebert (among many others), it has become clear that we are in a Connection Economy. The connection economy rewards value created by building relationships and creating connections, rather than building assets by industrialism. This mean the most valuable companies will connect buyer to seller, or consumer to content. If you don’t buy that argument, consider these facts:
1. Uber is the largest “taxi” company – yet they own no vehicles and excel at connecting riders with drivers.
2. AirBnB is the largest provider of accommodations – yet they own no real estate.
3. Facebook is the largest media company – yet they create no content.
4. Crowdfunding businesses like Kickstarter and IndiGoGo are expected to surpass venture capital for funding in 2016 – yet they have no funds to invest.
2. Smart Businesses Will Shift From Complaining About To Embracing MillennialsThe largest group of individuals, according to the Census Bureau is people in their 20’s (80 million). This group, often categorized as Millennials, now represents the largest customer and employee segment. They are also soon to be the largest business owner segment. From 1947 to 2010, Baby Boomers represented the largest segment of the population. “Brad Szollose, author of Liquid Leadership and an expert on generational leadership development says, “Millennials want to work for companies they can be proud of, and buy products from companies that give a damn about the things that matter most to them.” Szollose adds, “The reason companies must start embracing Millennials instead of rejecting them is simple; Boomers will be forced to retire soon. This leadership exodus will leave a leadership gap like we’ve never seen before. Since Generation X is much smaller demographically than Millennials, who do you think will be the dominant force competing for those positions? …”
“Baby boomers were taught to shut up, listen, and follow the rules. Boomers had a need and desire to look busy to their bosses.” Said Brad Szollose – Author of Liquid Leadership, and a workforce performance strategist based in New York.
“Millennials are attuned to results and efficiency. When the task is done, they are not going to give the appearance of being busy. They want to find the best way to get something accomplished, and are not willing to blindly accept the way others did things in the past.”
Karen has been running a successful company for more than 20 years. She knew what made her employees tick, and knew just which messages would capture the attention of her ideal customer. Over the past several years she noticed with more employees and customers coming from the Millennial Generation (also known as Generation Y), things have changed. What used to motivate her employees doesn’t seem to be working anymore. And, her customers now have different expectations. Karen commented that if she doesn’t figure out how to adapt, she could be in trouble. If this sounds familiar, you might be interested in how to sell your ideas to Millennials.
Who Are MillennialsMillennials are not a separate species. They are loosely defined as the generation that approached adulthood around the year 2000. They might be described as a bit irreverent, arrogant, and independent. They might not dress respectfully – the same terms that were used to describe baby boomers 30+ years ago. You can bury your head in the sand and hope that the Millennial Generation will start acting like the prior generation. That approach, however, didn’t work so well in the past, and is not going to work for this generation, either. Just like any other generation, Millennials base their behavior on past experience and what influenced them while growing up. Prior generations would work in an industrial-age company for decades before retiring. The new generation is the offspring of those who were victims of downsized companies and eliminated pensions. Whereas the prior generation experienced the emergence of technology, the Millennials don’t remember the world without a tablet or smartphone. As Jay Baer of ConvinceAndConvert.com says, “The smartphone is a silly name. Anyone younger than me seems to use it for ANYTHING but a phone conversation.”
How Millennials Are WiredIf you want to sell your ideas to any audience, you need to understand how they think. I spoke with some of the most respected minds when it comes to Millennials to try and uncover how they are wired, and how to capture their hearts and minds. “By 2017, Millennials will outspend baby boomers.” Said Jason Dorsey, Lead Millennials Researcher at the Center for Generational Kinetics. “Millennials are completely outcome driven. You can’t ask them to start at step one of a seven step process. They need to see the result. So, start at the end, and share how your steps help them reach the desired outcome. They are not tech-savvy. In fact, our generational research center discovered that Millennials are not tech savvy but tech-dependent. This is a huge distinction everyone from managers to marketers needs to know.” “Because of technology, businesses are forced to evolve and adapt rapidly – Millennials do this well –“ Says Rayanne Thorn, – VP of Marketing for HR Technology company, Dovetail Software, and editor for intrepidHR. “They like to adapt and adopt, they have grown up with technology. Engage with them appropriately and organizations will reap the rewards…” “Baby boomers were taught to shut up, listen, and follow the rules. Boomers had a need and desire to look busy to their bosses.” Said Brad Szollose – Author of Liquid Leadership, and a workforce performance strategist based in New York. “Millennials are attuned to results and efficiency. When the task is done, they are not going to give the appearance of being busy. They want to find the best way to get something accomplished, and are not willing to blindly accept the way others did things in the past.” When it comes to brand loyalty, Szollose explains, “Whereas boomers were loyal to brands based on advertising, Millennials are attracted to brands who think and act like they do. If you are hip enough, Millennials are willing to pay more to be associated with you than with others.”
Generation Cloud: How Online Gaming is Shaping New Tech Leadersby Laurence Cruz
Raised on a steady diet of video games, Millennials approach work and technology in radically different ways from their Baby Boomer counterparts
Business advisor and Internet entrepreneur Brad Szollose remembers the career-changing moment he became fascinated in the Millennial generation. He and his wife were headed out to dinner and trying to get their 17-year-old nephew, Sebastian, to pull himself away from an online Rock Band game so he could join them.
In the verbal tug-of-war that ensued, Szollose, who co-founded the first Internet agency to go public in the mid-’90s, kept insisting Sebastian simply quit the game already. Sebastian, who was pounding wooden drumsticks on a drum kit of color-coded plastic sensors, kept making what initially sounded like excuses. He couldn’t quit. Why? Because he was in the middle of a song (“Tom Sawyer” by Rush; he was playing the part of drummer Neil Peart). Finally, Sebastian blurted out: “You don’t understand—the guitar player is some guy in France, and the bass player is this girl in Japan.”
A light went on in Szollose’s mind. For the first time in his life, he caught a glimpse into the brave new world of the Millennial gamer. Trained in virtualization and…
Brad Szollose: Changing The World One Millennial Entrepreneur At A TimeWhat do you do when your company experiences a 425 percent hyper-growth for five years in a row and expands from two business partners to four with over 60 employees and offices worldwide? The answer for successful entrepreneur Brad Szollose is this: help other smart companies realize their business potential and proper ways to handle how technology has impacted corporate culture in the Information Age. Former C-level executive of a publicly traded company that went from entrepreneurial start-up to IPO in three years taking the first Dot Com Agency public in an IPO on NASDAQ. Szollose is also the #1 Bestselling and Award Winning Author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia — Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing the Way We Run Things. With real life experience in the field on entrepreneurial advancement, Szollose looks to help those emerging into the corporate world with his experiences. He values education through experience to help create awareness of the changing ways businesses have to function.
By applying his knowledge of the entrepreneurial world, Szollose is working to prepare the current workforce for the changes needed to keep up a business and alter it to engage current and …
“95 percent of business advisors, authors and professors have never owned a business,” he said. “What you’re getting in those cases is textbook theory.”
Connecting With Bill Sobel:
An Interview with Brad Szollose
Nov 17, 2014 CMSWireBrad Szollose is a lot of things: a serial entrepreneur, former C-Level executive of a public company, a business adviser, millennial expert and an award-winning business author. So he knows a few things about which he speaks — and this is what he wants businesses to know:
Brad Szollose chosen for BHS Fall Speakers Series: How to Lead in The Digital Age.This Wednesday, October 8th, 2014, I am inviting you to join me at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for The BHS Fall Speaker Series. I will be driving an open keynote session about #Millennials, and mainly, How To Lead in The Digital Age! Here is the poster below and the link for you to sign up. We are almost sold out, so get your tickets quickly: http://surveymonkey.com/s/2014seminar
“Brad Szollose surfs above the wave of five #generations in the new 21st century workplace. He has comprehensive knowledge of the Silents, Boomers, and Xers, and offers invaluable insight into the Millennial-Wikipedia Generation.
[Brad’s] insight on neuroprogramming differences between culturally disparate groups is second to none, and while his book is ingenious, futuristic, daring, and ahead of its time, the logic of his rhetoric and arguments will allow all digital immigrants to chew their cud, and to come out with digested concepts and a challenging but exciting vision of the new universe.”
Kent Gustavson, PhD
Author, Speaker, Educator, Musician.
“We Are Alive” TEDx Keynote Speaker
I am writing to thank you for your recent presentation at Medmarc’s annual broker meeting in Las Vegas. Your observations about generational behavioral styles and related values were enlightening and timely. As you probably observed by looking at the meeting attendees, the insurance industry is “graying” and we need to attract and retain more Generation X, Y and Millennials to remain vibrant and relevant to our customers. Armed with a better understanding of how these groups think and what motivates them, we are far more likely to be successful.
Your observations and your book are invaluable to that understanding.
Thank you again for your contribution to our meeting…” Mary Todd Peterson
President and CEO
Medmarc Insurance Group
Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose Made The List!!!
In a world where Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials are thrown together and expected to work side by side in peace and harmony, the question becomes: “how can we leverage the power of this generational diversity to cultivate a climate of collaboration, creativity, and innovation?” Internet entrepreneur and keynote speaker Brad Szollose tells us how through humorous and insightful research and storytelling.”Click here to read more… A big thank you to Todd Cherches. And a thank to all the authors who made the list as well: Susan M. Weinschenk Ph.D., Dan Roam, Julie Dirksen, Sunni Brown, Adam Grant, Seth Godin, Bryan W. Mattimore, Garr Reynolds, Adam Bryant, Nancy Duarte, Noah Scalin, Kim Golombisky and Rebecca Hagen. Not bad company;-)