I’m a huge fan of Gartner and loved being part of their EXP Program while I worked at corporate.  My favorite tech conference was their flagship Symposium conference that is held every year in Orlando and is going on this week.  I have not attended the conference since I retired from corporate but find that I still miss it.  It was chock full of information as well as fun.  A good balance. Since I can’t be there, I’m doing the next best thing which is keeping track of the tweets that people post at #GartnerSym.  People are providing such great information that it almost feels like I’m there…almost.

One of the Gartner analysts posted an interesting blog on the Gartner website while attending Symposium.  Michael Maoz posted a blog titled: ” How can a CIO move beyond stereotypes“. He touches on the challenges that CIOs today are having accepting the younger developers (Millennials) and their way of working.  They simply come from different worlds and bring to focus the gap that is getting bigger between the old and new guard.

Michael gives a great example of that gap in his own life when his 14 year old daughter used his IPad , and “synched it with her iPod Touch and then synchronized all of her posts from Twitter and facebook and her favorite fan pages to both”.  Like many of the posts I’ve written, it’s yet another example of Millennials using technology in ways those of us who did not have access to it early in our lives will never grasp.  They have a natural way of interacting with technology and manipulating it in ways we can’t fathom.

As Millennials continue to enter the workforce and in particular, IT Depts. they will bring this ingenuity with them.  Unless CIOs keep an open mind and accept the new guard, their tendency will be to shut them down and Michael references H.G. Wells’ classic “Men Like Gods” to make his point.

He’s absolutely right.  I see that happening a lot with IT leaders.  I know how it feels because years ago as I started hiring Millennials, I did the same thing.  I wanted to either fire them all or shut them down.  Luckily, I decided not to and instead I began to put them under a microscope and observe them intently.  That observation allowed me to develop my C.A.R.E System for Leadership which developed out of a lot of trial and error in working with Millennials.  That trial and error slowly shifted my mindset to accommodate & harness the different way the Millennials see things and the different way they work. That was a game changer for me and completely changed my perspective on leading teams. I’m happy to be able to share the results of that trial & error with other corporate leaders today.

Michael is absolutely correct when he says that CIOs will have to add a new dimension to satisfy their connected customer and connected employees.  The C in the C.A.R.E. System for Leadership stands for Connect & that is a key component of the system.  Both consumers and employees have an active voice in social networks and sometimes they are interchangeable.  The better they feel as employees, the more they will support your brand online.

So what about you?  Ready to let in the new guard?