What the Facebook Generation Is Teaching Us About Democratized Collaboration

By 2025, more than 80 million millennials are projected to be in the workplace [1]. On the one hand, some feel this brings a wave of ambitious individuals with high expectations. On the other hand, millennials, more than any other generation, stand to democratize collaboration, which in turn empowers individual workers of all ages. It is worth exploring this generation’s impact on the workplace inmillennials2(1) more detail, and how they stand to transform it.

Millennials: Who Are They?

Millennials is the generation that “lives online” and “works online.” What does this mean for their work habits? It’s not that they don’t want to work: they want to work differently. “It’s a different mindset today than 10 to 15 years ago,” said Avinoam Nowogrodski, CEO and founder of Clarizen, the recent winner of the 2013 SIIA CODiE Award for Best Project Management Solution. “Everybody in this generation is sharing information, everybody knows what everybody else is doing, and everybody has a voice.”

Tools That Millennials Use

Millennial workers were raised in the digital age of transparency. They are accustomed to posting their activities online and having their progress followed. For them, success at work is about proving your worth to the team and the project. They must have an online voice and be constantly augmenting that voice and adding clarity to the team. Indeed, millennials thrive on transparency and a sense of team cohesion, which is something that social media provides. Because they are used to interacting online regardless of their physical locations and the time of day, millennials will provide the impetus companies need to embrace workforce mobility.

Merging Established Practices with Millennial-Era Ones

For companies to successfully transition into millennial work culture, they must re-define established, effective project management practices within the context of interactive, real-time transparency that encourages employee participation. It’s no longer about establishing rigid rules to blindly follow. In fact, this new work culture will transform the quality of the work experience – and, ultimately, the work output.

“Clarizen has helped everyone at Future State gain awareness of what’s happening around them,” said Kathy Krumpe at Future State. “We help our clients collaborate more effectively across generational, geographical and cultural boundaries, and align to shared vision and clear outcomes. With Clarizen, now our internal teams have built better cohesion, because everyone understands everyone else’s responsibilities—and their progress in each project. For the first time, everyone is aware of what is happening around them—not just what is happening with their own tasks.”

The net result? Democratized collaboration, empowered individuals and operational excellence.

“Clarizen is giving a voice to each and every employee and making each and every individual count,” said Nowodgroski. “Instead of being bystanders, millennial workers aim to become the center of their own work universes. Clarizen’s solution helps to harness each individual employee’s potential and makes the most of their own unique attributes, skills, capabilities and values. It’s about collaboration—and it’s about individual empowerment in the workplace.”

Interacting Within the Big Picture

Visibility, an understanding of other people’s responsibilities and the ability to collaborate in real time gives entire teams a vested interest in their work. They feel like what they’re doing matters, because they can see how if fits into the bigger picture. The right tools will establish that context. Maybe we have something to learn from millennials, after all.

About Clarizen
Clarizen is the enterprise-class leader in work and project management solutions that harness the power of the cloud to get work done efficiently, effectively, and with better results. Fast to deploy and easy-to-use, Clarizen is redefining enterprise collaboration by connecting social context with tasks and projects to drive increased productivity and profitability. Clarizen fuels the high-performance teams of more than 2,000 organizations across 76 countries, including more than 25 of the Fortune 500. In 2013, Clarizen received the SIIA CODiE Award for “Best Product Management Solution.” Founded in 2005, Clarizen is privately held with offices in San Mateo, California and Hod Hasharon, Israel. For more information, visit clarizen.com.

[1] Forbes, “Why You Can’t Ignore Millennials,” Dan Schawbel, 4 September 2013.
//www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2013/09/04/why-you-cant-ignore-millennials/