Generation Y : Soften Your Change to Succeed
Young professionals in Generation Y are passionate about change. The media, human resources departments, recruiters, heck even politicians know it. Change can be a great thing, especially when it is done correctly.
Unfortunately, many Generation Y change agents fail. I have seen it time and time again. They come into businesses, project groups and even social groups and demand change. And why shouldn’t they? These groups and projects are operating on antiquated notions! They are old school, sub par and in desperately need of change, right?
Why should our generation do anything but charge ahead with hard change?
- Older generations still run most of the work force.
- Many older systems, processes, and traditions are deeply ingrained and require finesse to change.
- Change cannot be successful without buy-in from those affected, no matter how big the improvement is.
- Everyone responds well to respect – reckless, fast change with little regard for others is seen as disrespectful.
So how should we soften, and ultimately accelerate, change?
- Demonstrate respect for the existing process, chances are good that you work with the person who created it and they are more likely to support you if you support them.
- Always stay positive, even in the face of stiff opposition, if you get discouraged or abrasive you will only hurt your cause.
- Befriend the gatekeepers: work closely with technical people, support staff and administrators. They will often act as informal character witnesses and feasibility advisers to the decision makers.
If our generation can soften our approach to change without losing it’s passion, we can achieve the flexible, fulfilling workplace we all search for. Without softening our change, we could easily live up to the negative stereotypes that are already discouraging executives and managers in the workforce.
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