Contributing Author: Alessandra Gandolfo | Consulting Partner | Altitud Executive Search | IPTER Chile
Entrepreneurship usually starts with strategic planning to find a niche in the market, a strategy to penetrate it, and over time generate new services and product lines, in order to expand market share. Always with a growth mindset. In larger companies, this includes canceling small companies, absorbing competitors. Even expansion processes contemplate the purchase of companies in other countries, to continue growing and generating more revenue. Entire generations studied about their career goals and hopefully reaching to positions in the best and largest companies, to continue growing and earning more and more. Needless to say, this was not humanly sustainable.
We have been living through a pandemic that locked us up, shook us and showed us a space-time of silence, in which we were alone, isolated. But, at the same time, we saw how the air and waters were purified, nature flourished, and we believed that we had learned and that the world from now on would be different. It was like a sigh in time, but something remained, perhaps not in all, but in many of us.
There was already a generation of millennials, “the different ones”, criticized by older generations. These millennials did not want to sacrifice their lives or put up with working as hard as their parents. They were looking for quality of life and family time and the business world was not prepared to receive them. There was a strong generational clash, and no balance point was to be found.
Today we see how small new companies are being born and a generation of centennial professionals is joining the labor market. They do not want to live in big cities, they can work remotely and do not want to be employed. They seek to follow a dream of creating something new, based on ecological values, sustainability, on quality versus quantity. Those values are their beacon, for which they are willing to work. Free time is valued and cared for, as is respect in interpersonal relationships. There is greater awareness of what is good for the Human Being as a whole, including body, mind, and soul.
Today values such as collaboration allow entrepreneurs and business professionals to meet and support each other. There is a hybrid work system, which allows people to do what they love socially whether it be spending time with the ones they love, travelling, cooking etc. and not having to make long daily commutes. Entrepreneurs are understanding the vision of the new generations and its great contribution. These generations come with a built-in technological chip and an ecological sensitivity, both of which are invaluable for a better quality of life, a healthy organizational culture and sustainable development over time.
Somehow, it seems that these times of unemployment and uncertainty have not been in vain. Intergenerational resistance has been softening, human relations are becoming more collaborative than competitive, and the vision of what business success looks like is no longer measured in terms of profitability and growth, but rather transcends towards sustainable development.