Adopting a Millennial Mindset in the Boardroom

The rapid pace of technology evolution and ease of access to information is changing the decision-making environment in the boardroom. Millennials are using technology as a platform to work smarter, not harder while serving client needs more efficiently. A 2011 PwC survey found that 78 percent of millennials asked said that access to the technology they like to use makes them more effective at work. Understanding how millennials adopt technology and manage rapid change is a critical tool that you can leverage to use technology more effectively and serve your board more efficiently.

Utilize the following best practices to adopt a millennial mindset towards technology:

1. Don’t be afraid of change. Millennials are a risk-obsessed generation; they believe that making mistakes is how they can learn, as opposed to the Baby Boomer mindset where mistakes in the workplace can be fatal for one’s career. As such, millennials are much more comfortable in today’s rapidly changing technology environment. Learning how to accommodate changes and accept the risk of failure is an essential driver of the millennial mindset. To successfully do this, flexibility is key – Baby Boomers must be willing to alter strategies as needed and stray from what is comfortable and/or traditionally accepted to maximize the effectiveness of technology in the boardroom.

2. Leverage technology to connect with peers. Sharing, communicating, and discussing the information at-hand in real time builds a sense of connectedness. By collaborating with peers about topics that are important to you and your board, you will gain a sense of purpose and progress towards your work.The first steps towards improved collaboration is the use of social networking sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. In addition to boosting connections with peers, these sites aid in improving comfort with multitasking, a skill that is essential in enduring the shift into a more multi-faceted work approach from the more traditional, single-focused workflow.

3. Integrate technology inside and outside of the boardroom. Develop a strategy for using technology devices both in and out of the boardroom. Millennials believe that the technologies that drive their personal lives forward have a similar role in the workplace in inspiring faster and easier communication and innovation. The integration of consumer technology into the boardroom allows constant access to corporate resources and unlimited interaction with corporate systems.

What is perhaps most important in successfully assimilating into the millennial mindset towards technology is remaining open to change, both operational and cultural. Directors should strive to be agile, digitally literate, and comfortable in a rapidly changing environment in order to most effectively and efficiently incorporate technology into their decision-making processes and simplify their roles.