Monday, August 12, 2013

“Millennials are not better or worse” - They are just different, and will need to adapt to management.

The title of this piece is an adaptation of the last line in this piece titled "What Gen Y needs to know to become leaders ". As you can imagine the irony was not lost upon me! After thinking about it for awhile I decided this fit in perfectly with the post I was originally going to attempt to write tonight about food.

This piece which more or less reads as an instruction sheet on "how to become a leader just like me" I think really illustrates the box within a box where we find ourselves. It predefines as a "leader" as a manager when what the world really needs right now are drastic revolutionary changes. This piece also perfectly illustrates the disconnect between generations with over-generalized psycho-analytics. I'll start with the obvious:
As for those working for millennials, expect them to break down walls – literally, for open-concept offices – and break down the hierarchy. They don’t believe in the “up or out” promotional premise of the past in terms of climbing the ladder, and see value in skipping sideways if it offers a fulfilling role. Equality is their instinctual approach; witness the difference between social movements of the 1960s with clear leaders and those such as Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring where action occurred without leaders.
The analysis of the "results" such as breaking down walls, etc, are fairly accurate if not understated. I anticipate as the real situation becomes clear for Gen-Y the situation presented will simply require a new way to "do business". It's not like there will be a choice in the matter. This brings me to the reasoning: "Equality is their instinctual approach", like Gen-Y is a species on the Discovery Channel or something. Uhh hello? OWS was in response to severe financial crimes which to this day still have not been properly accounted for. It was much less an "instinct of equality" and more so "a deep distrust of anything authoritative" and with good reason. You "leaders" of the day might just be finding out about all this NSA stuff now but the OWS people have known for much longer and anyone who didn't quickly learned all about the security state; they lived it.

What the hell is wrong with people? An "instinct for equality", hah, no it's an instinct to not get financially raped and enslaved. One thing at a time. Priorities.

Gen-Y is looking at a retiring generation right now who have all the leadership qualities of a teleprompter. But in the mainstream media you can't put all of these points in one article you see. It's becoming pretty bizarre that at the same time cities and countries are going bankrupt, housing is unaffordable, pensions are disappearing, etc etc, never mind the obvious environmental problems staring Gen-Y in the face while their resources to deal with them are sucked dry beside articles like this which psycho-analyze the generation and consider none of that! There's that disconnection for ya.

I'm pretty confident that the people who will emerge as the leaders of Gen-Y already have some sort of an idea what to do, or if not what to do at least what may be coming. By all I don't necessarily mean from a knowledgeable about current events point of view but perhaps more an "instinct" that things clearly are not getting better.

It's clear that we're going to have to throw out the conventional book on how things are done but what that means is different for different people. What the world needs right now are not groomed managers but rather roughneck adventurers. People who are willing to put it all on the line and do something different in entirely new directions and hope some people follow them there.

Last night on Twitter Someone posed the question 'How on earth do you tackle the fact we're increasingly fat and inactive? Free leisure centres and restrictions on junk food sales?' to which I responded 'How about everyone grows food?'. To me this seems like a perfectly natural step forward for us, for a generation facing limited resources, high costs, and an uncertain climate; redundancy is needed. It's already happening:

Detroit embraces urban farms to create jobs
Riverbend Gardens has opened up land to inner-city agencies to provide fresh vegetables, work together

Afterwards a time-displaced pirate responded in disbelief. I just don't get it, why as a species are we so opposed to putting our sweat into our food? There is such a repulsion to this idea that in the 21st century we'd have anything to do with the production of our food, this is changing of course as the above examples have noted and of course there's people with gardens, etc. But why isn't food production solidified in our policy? In our society? As a community activity, and a valuable skill. Why are the basics of food production not taught in school? Of course dependence is the answer, dependence on the system, on the dollar.

Going back to the article about Gen-Y and leaders.
Another millennial impulse is transparency. Again, within limits, it’s fine. But as managers, they will have to be careful not to divulge company information that needs to be kept secret – say, that layoffs are coming next week. That seems obvious. But millennials don’t like to keep secrets from teammates, and will have to learn to hold back.
Millennials tend to lead blended lives, in which work and personal lives mesh, which means they view workmates as friends and want to share. Mr. Karsh noted that, for older generations, when someone asks colleagues how their weekend went, the answer is usually one word. “Great.” “Fabulous.”

Not millennials. They go on and on about their weekend, seeming to spare no details, starting with the ride home from work. “They need to watch that they don’t give too much information in such situations,” he said.

Millennials often have many close friends at work. But as they become managers, like those in generations before them, they will have to renegotiate relationships.
Haha, great advice eh! I interpret this as "Right now Gen-Y doesn't really like to fuck each other in the ass, but they'll have to learn that's the way business is done.". I think we need a little more community, not less. Not just a little, a lot. The workplace doesn't have to be a rigid just-in-time authoritarian nightmare and as the absurdity of Gen-Y and many generations to come slaving away to pay off fiat banker debt to keep the infinite growth paradigm alive while dealing with ever more catastrophic disasters, depleting water, food, and energy supplies they will come to realize what the real priorities in life are and all of this "manager etiquette" will seem inhibitive to a true leader of our society, of our species.

The older generations have been without a real leader for so long they can't even remember what leadership means anymore.

We are the insurgents.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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