The importance of values
The evidence is clear. People want to work for companies that are making a difference in the world, and this has important implications for the need for strong corporate values to attract and retain the best talent. At the same time, companies with strong values often find it challenging to change, because the values they are built on can get in the way of their ability to respond to changes in the environment.
Generation Y (born in the 80s and 90s) and Generation Z (born in the late 90s and early 2000s) want to make the world a better place, and believe that business methods are the best way to do so at scale. They see business leaders having a deeper impact on society than religious or political leaders, and they desire organizations to shift from focusing narrowly on generating profit to balancing social and environmental concerns and making a more positive impact.
Living in the midst of a pandemic, we have all become familiar with the idea of contagion. An epidemic spreads through exposure to an infectious agent, like a novel virus. In a basic contagion model, the spread of a disease is a function of contact with the agent and its degree of infectiousness. Epidemiologists often model the risk of contagion as a function of contact (or frequency or level of contact) with the infected and the agent’s virulence.
When it comes to triggering radical institutional change, do ideas work the same way?
“You have to follow your heart and know that you can do whatever you want in life,” Nels, a free-lance graphic designer tells me. “I’m trying to convince my kids that you don’t have to pick a job… You can create a life.”
Nels loves his work, but he is open to change. When I ask him what his professional goals are, he answers, “I don’t know what’s next. I could end up in another completely different industry. Whatever I end up in next, if there’s a next, it’s going to be with the same passion.”
Nels believes that he has power over his career path, freedom in an undetermined future, and clarity in prioritizing work that he loves. These beliefs represent an ideology of work that I’ve coined the passion paradigm.
Millennials are the most educated and the most racially and ethnically diverse adult generation in the U.S. This has led to ongoing hope and hype that Millennials are the turning-point generation in racial/ethnic relations.
Many have long believed that Millennials will grow up, spread racial tolerance and pro-diversity views in workplaces, and begin work to fix a deeply broken system. Perhaps the post-racial revolution is upon us?
While some survey research on Millennials’ racial attitudes and beliefs supports this notion, our recently published research in Socius presents a less optimistic view.