I had the opportunity to participate in the Chicago Cubs/Aon Executive Summit last week. It was led by Tom Ricketts, the Executive Chairman of the Chicago Cubs, and Greg Case, the President and CEO of Aon. The agenda included several interesting panels that were attended by more than 100 Chicago executives. I moderated a panel on “Talent Management in the Age of Millennials: Opportunities and Pitfalls” that included Alex Suarez, the Director of Player Development for the Cubs, and Sue Townsen, Managing Partner for Human Resources for KPMG. (picture attached)
It was fascinating to hear the challenges of managing and developing young baseball players from around the world. Alex explained that setting clear expectations, holding people accountable, and explaining consequences were essential to building a strong organization. We discussed that situations where millennials may have unrealistic expectations as to how quickly they should be promoted may be the fault of management in not setting “clear expectations”.
Sue did a great job of explaining the desire of millennials for “purpose in their work”, that it is much more than money and a job. They expect the organizations for which they work to also have “purpose”. It is very clear to me that millennials want to make a difference in the world NOW, not 10 or 20 years from now. I gave an example of how I perceive the difference between my generation and millennials…it is a little bit of a generalization, but it rings true. My generation wanted to make a difference, but there was a view that we would do it after we were settled and more secure in our lives. The millennials I have the opportunity to teach at Kellogg don’t want to wait until they are 40 or 50 years old; they are ready to make a difference now. For example, while 30 years ago maybe 5% of students were involved in not-for-profit activities while in school, today more than 80% of Kellogg students are involved in at least one not-for-profit.
Have a great week! I always appreciate your thoughts and comments.