In the tumultuous 60s and 70s, the younger generation was admonished to “never trust anyone over thirty.” This idea was made a cultural touchstone by the likes of luminaries such as Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and the Beatles (the younger generation who don’t understand these references should consult Mr. Google).

Today, the older generation seems to apply the opposite perspective – it’s hard to trust anyone under thirty. Employers talk about a new generation of workers with a “me first” mentality who place more value on their own entertainment than on company loyalty and work output. This generation values travel experiences, cultural interaction, and want to see the world on their own terms, by non-conventional methods and alternative choices.

Managing Director at EOH Infor Services, Mark Bannerman says: “The Millennial generation has been raised like no other before it. Its membership has been electronically educated, babysat, monitored, befriended and networked, with all the inherent advantages and drawbacks it represents”.

It’s how they read, think and interact – or not, as the case may be. Bannerman adds: “They place great value on a ‘like’ from their tribe. If you can’t cater to, entertain or amuse them, you should not count on their patronage. They are contradictory, BUT, they have our complete attention…and there are many good reasons for that – they are set to rule the world”.

We live in an unparalleled age of widespread, high velocity technical and social change. Social change takes place on a global scale and an hour-by-hour basis with the help of mass media and an informational network. Now, from a social perspective, thirty years isn’t a lifetime, it’s two or three.

There are more than 2.9 billion millennials worldwide. This will make up more than 50 percent of the worldwide workforce by 2020, and more than 75 percent by 2030. They comprise the most ethnically and racially diverse generation the world has produced. Millennial perspectives and attitudes are more globalised, and they have more spending power than any other age demographic. They embrace an online lifestyle, social connectivity and brand loyalty. Bannerman expresses: “To win them over to your product or service, you must woo their social tribe, and once you do, they remain fiercely loyal”.

Millennials are not only increasing the demand for advanced technology, but are also changing the style of interaction, and therefore the business models that underpin those interactions.  Millennials prefer self-directed research, unimpeded around-the-clock access and rapid fulfillment – all the characteristics of compulsive behavior linked with shortened attention spans.

Like it or not, millennials have the clout to change the way the world behaves and how it will do business; only the smart will survive!

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