I am not a big fan of business books. So many are one small idea blown into a book and poorly written too. But I recently read a book with some ideas useful to any small business or non-profit.

When Millennials Take Over by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant

This is an optimistic look at the future of business. It is a short, easy read. Better yet, you may already being doing parts of what they suggest is the future of business – to be digital, clear, fluid, and fast. As you know if we have met, I am not a big fan of the hype surrounding the millennials. They are not so different or so bad but are much like past generations were in their 20-30s. What they do bring is a different view of many technologies and of data-gathering. The book recognizes the hype early but uses them to organize its premise of the changes hitting most organizations over the past five to ten years and how millennials expectations can offer some solutions.

  • Digital refers to ‘organizing and working in ways that leverage’ the possibilities of digital technology.
  • Clear refers to the ‘value of clarity’ inside organizations. And many small businesses do this just to stay in business and grow.
  • Fluid refers to how the ‘heirarchy shifts and morphs decision-making’ as needed to be most effective.
  • Speed refers not to incremental steps but to the mindset and practices that allow your to leap forward as needed.

The book helps you make sense of ways to reduce the administrivia that stops many people from contributing all which they can. It not only demonstrates the critical aspects of your organizational culture to your success but also shows how that impacts the community you build – and why both are so vital. I particularly liked the variety of examples they show – both the good and the bad.

This is a one way to start your brain thinking about ways you can harness the future that really speaks to many smaller organizations’ abilities. You can see how being more authentic and investing in soft skills development across the board make a useful difference. It will help you assess your current culture and see whether it serves you well.

Most of all, I liked the optimism in this book – a trait I have seen in many successful entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders.