Give Millennials A Break
Chris Brosnahan

Culture Change and the Millennial

Shifting norms change the rules on all of us, but Millennials may be bearing the brunt

I just read an excellent post by Chris Brosnahan on the plight of millennials. The dialog in comments with Andrew Smith is both telling and useful. It is awkward to generalize about a random slice of the population. It’s the bane of historians and sociologists. But there are some core points here that need focus.

The shift in this article is a powerful one, and it’s the first I’ve seen it expressed like this.

Our workplace norms are what’s changing. It’s a culture shift. New behaviors are the result. We've assigned ownership and blame to the effected parties without evaluating potential causes.

I am gen-x by most calculations. I worked for only 3 companies in the first 18-years of my career. Do I long for that continuity and past notions of job security? Absolutely. Do I miss pensions? Of course.

But the ways of the world and the workplace continue to shift, and they’re shifting at an accelerated rate. Consider the impacts to social change of the last 20-years: the internet, 911, the 2009 economy and Trump.

That’s more change to sort out than anyone wants.

Millennials are getting more than their share of rule changes, at a faster rate than is comfortable. Loyalty is a clear casualty. But there are benefits from adversity, new skills like adaptability, creativity, and resourcefulness. These are the key tools we now need to survive.

Yes there is hope. Not in labels, but in understanding change, and taking needed steps to navigate it. Talking about it objectively, with empathy and compassion, is the first step.

Chris and Andrew, well done. This is an important conversation. Let’s be sure it continues.

My 100wpd challenge #15. More on org culture via my blog and my book, the DNA of Collaboration. Stay tuned here too, I’ll be writing more about this on Medium.