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Author's profile photo Tom Flanagan

The Millennial Generation: Fact vs. Fiction

The latest broadcast of SAP Radio covered the hot topic of Millennials. If you missed the live show, it’s available on demand here featuring the following panelists:

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Rick Thompson, VP Talent Management at Rising Medical Solutions, (@RisingMS)

“‘They’re immature, lazy, entitled, self-centered, and shallow.’ Those were all descriptions of my generation, the Baby Boomers, when we were entering the workforce in large numbers during the 1970s.” These words from Rick Thompson showcase his opinion on the unflattering the Millennial generation has, especially because he has found that Millennials are much less rebellious than the two generations before them (Boomers and Gen-X). Rick is convinced that multi-tasking is a myth, so he doesn’t buy that Millennials excel at multi-tasking. Rick advises people who lead Millennials to not “fight their seeming addiction to social media and technology, but rather to learn to leverage it.”

Shawn Price, President of SAP Cloud at SuccessFactors, an SAP Company, (@ShawnPrice1000)

Shawn Price believes that leadership today is no longer about command and control, but about mentoring and coaching. By 2030 this hyper-connected, tech savvy generation will make up 75 percent of the workforce. So Shawn feels that social and mobile technology is flattening hierarchies and increasing access to information anywhere, anytime, any device. Shawn encourages leaders to set the tone for the company culture and to be open, transparent and communication-focused.

Tracey Arnish, Senior Vice President of Talent at SAP, (@Tracey_Arnish)

Tracey believes Millennials can be the key to innovation. However, leaders must step out of their comfort zone and allow Millennials to challenge pre-conceived notions of best practices or ways of doing things. Tracey feels that leaders need to harness Millennials’ imagination and self-expression and nurture it in a productive way. Tracey encourages an adoption of a coaching and mentoring philosophy to leadership. Tracey believes that this will produce a generation who trusts and supports organizations more than ever before.

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