PwC chairman and senior partner Bob Moritz spoke at the Detroit Economic Club yesterday and his message was simple: stop hating on Millennials.
Sure, some of them might appear to be shiftless narcissists wielding selfie sticks while texting and driving, but maybe it's because you've been judging them from a distance:
“If you engage your next-generation millennials, you’ll get more production,” Moritz said.
BoMo is quoted further, saying, "It’s an open-ended world they live in," (which I don't quite understand) and that the traditional corporate world “[is] totally foreign to them” which is pretty much correct.
Allow me to speculate for a moment, but I think BoMo is living vicariously through Millennials. He has two Millennial kids and any time I've read his take on generational issues I have a hard time disagreeing with him and don't get the impression that he's insincere. Admittedly, that's pretty thin evidence, but it's enough to make me think that he wishes it was socially acceptable for him to use Snapchat, join a band (he is a drummer, FYI) and run PwC from a coffeeshop in Williamsburg.
Even if all of that is wrong, at the very least, he's trying to understand Millennials in ways that most of his peers aren't. While some leaders of accounting firms lose their minds about employees wearing headphones, he's busy empathizing. And what he seems to have learned is that expecting all people to work the same way is counterproductive. That if you listen every once in awhile and untwist your knickers about process, you might realize that the results are what matter. Turns out, plenty of Millennials can get results just like Boomers; some of them are even more productive, in fact.
Now, does PwC, as a firm, do this? Ha! No way! At least not to the degree that he implies. It's simply too big of organization with an entrenched hierarchy and infinite liability exposure. That demands all kinds of process and controls that most Millennials loathe to think about.
But PwC has the message down and, sometimes, the message trumps reality.
PwC Wants All Your Millennials