Many different surveys and infographics highlight expectations and challenges ahead for Millennials, the largest generation standing at 14% of the population. A special thanks to Ryan at USC for sending me a link to the Nonprofit Colleges Online infographic. Millennials - Big and Bold InnovationHere are some key findings in it:

  • Millennials are more tolerant than any other generation by 2 to 1
  • Millennials are optimistic, even with rising college costs and college debt, which quadrupled to $1 trillion
  • 59% of Millennials want to or have already started a business
  • Millennials are tech savvy but it is more than this:  They use technology to create and innovate

Yes, an interesting infographic. What may add to the interest is the Deloitte Millennial Innovation Survey. It picks up in more detail the last point – Millennials embrace innovation.

Sixty-two percent of Millennials describe themselves as an innovative person, and two-thirds say innovation is key ingredient in making an organization an employer of choice. This impacts how Millennials view the purpose of business:

  • 36% – Improve society (number 1 for South East Asia, Brazil, Netherlands, United States, India, Canada, France, and Germany)
  • 35% – Generate a profit (number 1 for South Korea and South Africa)
  • 33% – Drive innovation (number 1 for China and Spain)

And, it goes beyond just purpose. In looking at how performance should be gauged, 87% believe business success “should be measured in terms of more than just financial performance.” Other performance metrics are centered on employees, customers, and community:

  • 70% – Employee satisfaction and retention
  • 68% – Customer satisfaction and retention
  • 61% – Contribution to local communities

Mixed in is innovation, with 78% feeling innovation is essential for business growth. In the view of Millennials, the sectors most responsible for innovation include:

  • 52% – Technology, media & telecommunications
  • 47% – Consumer business
  • 37% – Manufacturing
  • 23% – Health & Life Sciences

Millennials view the following sectors in the most need of innovation:

  • 64% – Public sector
  • 48% – Energy & Resources
  • 38% – Consumer business

Personally, I wish health care was in this mix, too.

Impact of Millennials – Big, Bold, and Innovative

A few months ago, I wrote a post entitled Millennial Leaders: Welcome to the Arena. It is an arena filled with change, and it continues to pour in. It is exciting! In many ways, for other generations, it will be Welcome to the Arena of a New Generation. We need to ignite our innovative drive again.

From the Can Kicks Back, we see Millennials taking the initiative in driving change within the public sector. From David Karp, we see how innovation from within an organization can reach new customers in a centered way. Having just finished reading the book by Alexis Ohanian, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed, we see how innovation unfolds straight from college to a very successful company and solution, Reddit. More than this, it is his call to innovate and create more! It is a call to act for all! It is an exciting world of change and innovation ahead and, most importantly, it is needed.

This is a big, bold, and innovative generation, and we need to foster their leadership. It is about leading from the middle. It is about creating a culture to encourage the innovative spirit of Millennials. For older generations, we need to answer the call by ensuring our organizational cultures encourage innovation and provide an opportunity to try, fail, learn, succeed, and repeat. For Millennials, your innovative spirit is more than welcomed; it is needed.

As a Millennial, how are you embracing your creative and innovative mindset? For other generations, how are you tapping into the Millennial innovative inclination?

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