First, before we get into the article by Bob Moritz that appears in Harvard Business Review, can we talk about this dramatic Moritz photo?
That looks like a man from which I would happily purchase commoditized professional services.
Now, the article. BoMo is writing about how PwC keeps Millennials engaged, but can't do this without reminding us that things were much different back in his day:
Sometimes I wonder what my reaction would have been if, as a twentysomething starting out at Price Waterhouse nearly three decades ago, I had been magically transported to today’s PwC.
I would have been stunned by how much had changed. During most of my career at the firm, the rewards system focused more on quantity than quality of work, although clients demanded standards just as high then as the ones they do now. Bigger bonuses and promotions went to those who sacrificed more of their personal lives, whereas our current HR policies primarily reward quality and value the work and life needs of every person. The Millennials among my colleagues emphasize finding satisfaction in their jobs and are willing to be vocal about what they want from a career and a company. They’re also extremely globally oriented—they know and care much more about what’s going on all over the world than I did at their age. And they’re adept at leveraging technological advances to be more flexible.
In other words, you did the work and you shut your mouth.
But most of all, I would have been astonished that PwC’s Millennials don’t only demand to know the organization’s purpose—its reason for being—but are prepared to leave the firm if that purpose doesn’t align with their own values.
When I was coming up, we knew what we were doing, but we didn’t ask why we did it. We didn’t give much thought to our, or the firm’s, role in society. For me, that point crystallizes the generational issues that PwC and many other organizations are facing as they hire greater numbers of Millennials.
Back in BoMo's day, you didn't ask questions. You didn't need a mission statement or a diversity policy. You walked uphill both ways in the snow to the client site and you liked it, damnit.