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The Six Disciplines Blog


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Next Generation Leadership Development: Meeting the Challenge of Training Millennial Workers

According to the American Society for Training and Development, by 2020 it is estimated that nearly half (46%) of workers in the United States will be millennials. This new generation of workers is unique in that they are the first to grow up entirely in the computer age.

And to quote from the Forbes article “Organizations Concerned About Leadership Programs For Millennials

“Organizations worldwide have pinpointed a lack of capability when it comes to providing leadership programs for the millennial generation, according to Deloitte ‘s Global Human Capital Trends report. The ability to develop leadership programs for millennials is cited as an area of weakness by 60% of HR and business leaders worldwide across all industries, according to a study of 3,300 business and HR leaders from 106 countries.”

Is YOUR organization ready for leadership training with millennials?

Six Disciplines is ready to help.

The Six Disciplines Leadership Development Program uses a team-driven methodology, supported by executive and peer coaching, and is enhanced by using integrated mobile performance management and goals management software.

A major benefit of the Six Disciplines coaching model is that we provide your organization with on-the-job training of leadership best practices that build stronger leaders in strategic thinking, change management, project management, team leadership, process leadership and most importantly, self-leadership.

Because our leadership development model is integrated with the Six Disciplines methodology, our program reinforces these best practices through processes, coaching, software, and teamwork. The continuous, repeatable nature of Six Disciplines enables continuous applied learning in your organization on an annual, quarterly, weekly and daily basis.

With everyone on a common program with common terminology, all employees are able to apply and reinforce the same principles with each other. This synergy helps your organization to grow faster and sustain learning over time. This is in stark contrast to the approach of sending employees to an offsite training for a few days, having them come back into your organization, soon to forget what they learned – without applying it.

How can your organization balance the uniqueness of millennials, while at the same time, leverage their power by aligning themselves and working toward common goals? We’ve observed that the majority of individuals (millennials included) tend to fall into two basic mindsets. As an analogy, one values the beauty and freedom of independence of action (e.g. like a natural garden where different plants and flowers grow on their own. In this mindset, the emphasis is on individuals being free to express who they are in their own way.

The other mindset is a focus on what could be achieved if everyone aligned themselves around a very specific plan. This mindset is more analogous to an orchestra where there is an orchestral score, a conductor and very talented, highly-trained and disciplined musicians who agree to focus on playing exactly the right notes at the right time. In this mindset, individuals sacrifice their desire to play a different score or a different instrument or to play at a different tempo to be a part of achieving something bigger, something amazing and beautiful that would not be possible otherwise.

Building great organizations requires building great teamwork where there is a balance between moving in a common direction and finding ways to help individuals become leaders at the same time. Leadership development within the Six Disciplines program is designed to create the discipline required to have a shared direction and framework for decision- making — without creating a bureaucracy that stifles the individual worker. Without some basic disciplines, you’ll have chaos and frustration. With too much discipline, you’ll have an organization of stifled, unengaged individuals.

Key aspects the Six Disciplines leadership program, specifically for millennials:

  • Accommodating different learning habits – supporting self-directed learning, mobile, remote access, and extensive use of brief, small segment videos, and online training.
  • Support for doing work that matters and work/life balance in a creative and reasonable time frame – reinforced by individual action planning with built-in accountability.
  • Support for more leadership training and to be able to acquire more skills on the job – where the quality of the training content reigns over quantity.

Finally, the most important leadership development aspect (when it comes to training millennials), is for them to first understand what you, as an organization – values – and what you want them to know and learn. This is the hallmark of the Six Disciplines methodology.

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Since 2005, the Six Disciplines blog offers posts about performance excellence, strategy execution, business coaching, leadership development, innovation, and business process improvement. This blog has received prestigious awards for leadership and management and has been syndicated by several major media sources.