In the world of the ready-made-wisdom of motivational memes, un-engaging know-it-all-in-five-minutes web tutorials and five-steps-to-emotional-intelligence recipes the stress on training is losing traction. Managers tend to not give training much importance and sink or swim approach to employee development seems to be the norm in some corporations. Results must not only be delivered but also accurately forecasted preferably at least two quarters in advance. Managers are made from brilliant employees that are supposed to develop management skills on spot. About a third of the workforce is made up of millennials, people that have more patience for machine interaction and lose focus on human interaction on average every three minutes. In everything we do and say, in everything we push towards one goal or another, we have lost patience, we are jumping steps and stages, yet our brains did not evolve yet, structurally we are still all the same dough. Fail and fail fast is today’s mantra. It sounds like a tragedy, but in fact it’s not all bad news.
Although all these seem to be huge difficulties facing the office of today, they are as one of my former managers used to say “nice problems to have”. I see them as the premises for setting up a new grasp and approach to training and skill education; the reason for saying that is my understanding that, in the end, in this effervescent present bio stores, yoga parlours, fair trade, crowd funding platforms and start-up business, now more than ever values count. Brand counts. New engaging and dynamic brands are born every day. The approach on all valuable examples is customer centric. Now I and you at the same time, we dictate the product, we demand the service.
This is where training comes in. For millennials trainings, should be engaging. Everybody is talking about the skill gap this generation has. True! The skill gap is there! And it is huge! Also, the critical thinking is missing. People do not take time anymore to look at situations from different angles, rather just act on first impulse. Problem solving approach to challenging situations is inexistent! No more can the classical approach with explaining the theory function now because more than any other generation millennials learn by doing, drilling, interacting. Trainings should be dynamic jolts of energy with hands on examples, spiced up with role-plays and lots of case studies. They should be founded on extensive training needs analysis and repeated ad nausea. Repetitio est mater studiorum! This is the best approach I see when dealing with young people that have been born after the technology boom of the 90s, people that take everything my generation did not take for granted. For the rest of us, the ones that look back at our youth years the technology affiliation was a learned thing, for them it’s a granted thing.
Following this idea, I would like to draw your attention to the newly opened Prague Startup Lab. (www.praguestartuplab.cz) Bringing together industry experts and brilliant start-up ideas, this project is aiming to change the approach in training millennials to designing and delivering top tier business sessions with a millennial flavour to it, so that in the end will ramp up start-up companies to overcome the most challenging aspects of their business approach. Because after all, no matter how brilliant your idea is, if you can’t sell, you will not sell it. Because after all, no matter how much money you think you will make, if you can’t verbalize monetization, you will not convince any investor or venture capitalist. Because in the end it’s not all about why you do what you unless you can coherently present, talk, influence, monetize and sell yourself and your business.
Training the Future in the end is giving the millennials the steroids they need to perform in today’s business world without letting them known they are being trained.
What do you think? :)