The late 20th century was a period of major social, economic and political change as society transitioned from the Industrial Age into the Information Age. There were big changes in knowledge, how people see knowledge and how they use it. Now in the 21st century, knowledge and ideas are the main source of economic growth – more important than land, labour, money, or other tangible resources. Increased emphasis is placed on relationships, on empathy and care, on the spiritual and emotional aspects of people’s lives.New patterns of work and new business practices have developed, and as a result, new kinds of workers, with new and different skills, are required.
This paradigm shift is profoundly altering the rules of success. At The 21st Century Leadership Company we see this reflected across our experiences working with clients in a broad spectrum of businesses. Most significantly, you cannot lead people in the same way as they did in the Industrial Age. One area where this is acutely obvious is with the millennial generation. One of the largest generations in history, employees now in their 20’s and 30’s grew up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations. They want to be recognized for their contribution to their employers, despite the lack of job security. They want to work for leaders who treat them fairly and respectfully, to form positive connections with colleagues and feel proud of what they do and its impact on the world.
The millennial generation may have grown up in a digital world amid uncertainty and a constant stream of praise from adults, but ultimately, they want the same thing that every employee wants – control over their own schedule, choice of projects, learning opportunities and meaningful work relationships. At The 21st Century Leadership Company we believe that the key to success lies in focusing on the needs of the next generation, which will create a better place to work for everyone.We work with companies to create an environment where there is strong, open, two-way communication; where there are high levels of cooperation and support among employees; where roadblocks to innovation, such as internal politics are reduced and where employees have a say in decisions that affect them.
We know that in some cases employers face the difficult challenge of learning how to connect with their employees in a way that creates value for the individual. Firstly, it is impossible to create value without understanding what it is that the employee values. The employer needs to know what motivates their employee, or why they do what they do.
To help our clients develop this awareness and understanding we use aself-assessment tool called the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI). It helps people understand their motives, values and what is important to them when relating with others. In our experience the SDI is highly successful as a personal development tool because it drills beyond behaviours and gets to the motives that drive behaviours. We use it in all our programmes and development activities as it provides a powerful experience for individuals that helps them to understand how other people see things and apply this awareness to their interactions with others. If you would like to know more about how we work with our clients to motivate and engage employees and lead successfully in the 21st century please contact us. Start your journey with us today.