You Are Wrong About Millennials, and It’s Going to Wreck Your Business

By John Dillard


Like any significant change to a business, industry, or government organization, culture matters -- a lot.  In previous blog posts, I’ve introduced the trends in technology and data science that are turning knowledge work upside down, especially in professional services like consulting, law, accounting, and finance. The final ingredient to the idea of Microslices is how millennial attitudes are accelerating that change.

Most of what you’ve read about Millennials -- that they are entitled, lazy, etc etc -- are just ageless and false tropes that every generation applies to the younger ones. Millennials, however are different -- and there is research to prove it by Pew, among others.

Although the term “millennial” refers to a particular generation, anyone can adopt a Millennial attitude:

First, a high trust in technology and relatively low trust in people
Second, a focus on outcomes rather than a focus on activity
Third, a willingness to experiment with new methods, processes, and technologies.

So what? Well, those three characteristics fundamentally change the way Millenials buy and sell things. I’m not talking about groceries, here -- I’m talking about expensive, complex professional services that cost millions.

Without these tendencies, the transition to Microslices in professional services is impossible. As professional services organizations make significant shifts in data science and technology, they must prepare themselves by taking on a culture that is receptive to increased specialization, compression, and automation.  

There’s nothing wrong with those born in the millennial generation, but having the world’s knowledge at our fingertips has caused the development of a new set of expectations for how advice is bought and sold.

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