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Millennial Momentum N


ate Silver wasn’t the only one to precisely predict the outcome of the 2012 elections. Tose of us familiar with Generational Teory saw the President’s reelection coming during the 2008 election, knew it would happen in 2012 and are al- ready confident about 2016’s outcome. Why? Because we have been charting the rise of the all-powerful Millennial Generation, those Americans born between the years 1982 and 2003. We first marked their outsized influence in 2008, when only 41% of Millennials were of voting age and they comprised less than one-fifth of the electorate. We watched them mature in their political consciousness within the Occupy Movement. And regardless of how we wanted the election to turn out, we knew with near certainty that Millen- nials would ensure the defeat of whoever the 2012 Republican nominee might be. Te Millennial Generation

represents an unstoppable tidal wave of political, social and cul- tural change in part because their numbers are unprecedented. At 95 million strong, they outnumber the vast Baby Boom generation by nearly 20 million. Tough making the crucial difference in the 2012 election, only 60% of Millennials were eligible to vote last year. By the time nearly all of them are able to vote in 2020, Millennials will comprise nearly 40% of all adults and will dominate the electorate. Contrary to historical precedent,

American life from government and politics to education, entertainment, social justice and, of course, business. Te Millennials are America’s

fourth civic generation and, in just a few years, will comprise more than 60% of the nation’s work force. More to the point of this column, they will comprise more than 60% of those who produce, bring to market, buy and use metal castings. And the pace at which Millennials are bringing change will increasingly gain momentum in the decade ahead as they become the next generation of managers and CEOs. We all know the basics about

involve tens of thousands of players of Foldit, a popular video game, in work- ing together online to solve molecular puzzles that have stumped scientists for years. Teir success may point to a new way of uncovering cures for here- tofore incurable diseases and certainly point to new ways metalcasters will be designing work spaces, structuring jobs and otherwise doing business in the fast-arriving Millennial age. Finally, Millennial customers and

To remain competitive and attract Millennial talent, CEOs need to learn the fundamentals of Millennial management.

these young people do vote in large numbers. Tat’s so because Millenni- als are a civic-minded “fourth turning” in the cycle of generational change. As such, creating change is in their DNA; it’s what Millennials want to do and what they are meant to do. Generational Teory tells us that every 80 years or so, and in the midst of the most stressful and tumultuous events in American history, a new, positive, community-oriented “civic genera- tion” emerges to save us from ourselves by remaking literally every aspect of

52 | MODERN CASTING February 2013

Millennials—they are more diverse, tolerant and idealistic than any other generation in American history and, at the same time, are less ideological and more solution-oriented. But today’s CEOs must consider three other key characteristics. First, Millennials work differently, and their affinity for YouTube-type video technologies will give new meaning in the years ahead to the “old” lean notion of the visual workplace. Beyond the virtual confer- ence room and the virtual water cooler, CEOs need to begin learning about and deploying visual management techniques now in order to ensure Millennial employees can be most pro- ductive and interactions with Millen- nial customers can be most effective. Second, Millennials are all about

working collaboratively and using their social networking mindset to solve difficult problems. For example, Mil- lennials designed and led a program to

employees will demand that all busi- nesses contribute to the betterment of society and not just to their bottom lines. Pepsi, for example, has already pulled all of its Super Bowl advertising and is using that money and more to fund community development grants. Business schools are already reshap- ing MBA programs to support a generation intent on optimizing both an organization’s bottom line and its social mission. Likewise, many firms are, through flex- ible work hours and other means, encouraging their employees to do substantive volunteer work. And of course, many businesses are “going green” and playing the sustainability

card in large part to make their business- es more attractive to potential Millennial employees and customers. In the Millennial age, businesses will

no longer be just businesses; they will be highly visual and collaborative engines of positive social change. To remain competitive and attract Millennial talent, CEOs need to learn the fundamentals of Millennial management and begin now to incorporate them into every aspect of their company’s culture. To understand more about Gen-

erational Teory, read “Te History of America’s Future” by William Strauss and Neil Howe. For great and glorious details about how Millennials have changed and will continue to change every aspect of American life, read “Millennial Momentum” by Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais.

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