IN TODAY’S OPEN-SOURCE HEADLINES . . .
The millennials are coming! The millennials are coming! Just when you thought every article that could possibly be written about this generation had been published, a new wave of reports from the military and Intelligence Community has been released. The issue at hand? It’s not just that millennials are here, but that they’re soon going to be outnumbering other demographics, and taking on a majority percentage of management roles.
An Army Times article offers 11 tips for managing millennials in military service. Among the take-aways? Yes, it’s true that millennials may be more likely to question authority or lack discipline. But they may also bring more innovation to the table, if given the opportunity. Millennials typically thrive when given clear expectations, and then being allowed to run with an idea, rather than have someone watching over their shoulder. They also thrive when given technology. Does hands-off and high tech sound like the military you’re used to? Probably not.
Millennials in Intelligence – a Tale of Two Generations
A separate RAND study looked into the implications of the millennial generation on the IC. In 2015, for the first time, millennials outnumber baby boomers as the largest segment of the workforce. The RAND study found that 61 percent of millennials are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference. That same generation doesn’t necessarily see government as the solution to the problems their generation faces.
Another key trend the RAND study pointed out is the open communication preferred by millennials, and enhanced within this first generation to live with personal computers in their homes. Millennials are used to getting information and feedback constantly. A traditional IC model of withholding information unless there’s ‘need-to-know’ is less popular for millennials.
Millennials: More Information Needed
The RAND study emphasized that more research will be needed as government, industry and academia alike look for insight on this next generation of leaders. For both the military and IC, understanding the unique qualities of millennials is important as baby boomers, Gen X’ers and millennials all begin to work together at the helm of the C-suite. And while private sector companies are already beginning to implement changes to improve the workplace for millennials, government, as a rule, is always slower to change its practices.