Gen-Y Picks Societal Development Over Profit

In a recent study of over 1,000 of their global Gen-Y population, Deloitte discovered that 92% don’t think success in business should be measured purely by profit. In fact Gen-Y favor innovation, and societal development (56%, and 51%) as a measuring stick for success. 52% of Gen-Y believe that the business sector will have the greatest impact of solving issues plaguing our society, and a whopping 86% of Gen-Y believe that business have the same if not more potential than the government to solve our greatest challenges.

While you could argue that Gen-Y employees would have that sentiment, I think there is a far greater narrative here. As a Gallup poll shows, faith in the government is at an all time low. The frequent stalemates that occur in Washington don’t allow for real progression when it comes to tackling larger societal issues. There will always be red tape in any sector you work in, however it is much easier to push new ideas forward in business. Business allows you to collaborate, compromise, and be inspired by your competitors, in a way that the Government cannot. Combined with the vast resources available to businesses, you actually have a better recipe for success.

Now looking at the first figure, Gen-Y is ready to change the way we measure success in business, and also use business to change the world. Sounds great right? So what’s the problem? Well also according to this study, business leaders don’t fully agree. 71% believe that success shouldn’t be measured by profit, and 35% feel that the business sector will have the biggest impact on solving societies challenges. Clearly a disconnect exists between what Gen-Y expect of business leaders, and what business leaders believe can be expected of them.

If we are able bridge that gap, and empower leaders to strive for innovation and societal changes, maybe we can prove Gen-Y are right in believing that business holds to keys to our future. According to the study, these beliefs stay pretty consistent regardless of geographic differences. What is being represented here are global beliefs on a small scale. If we can expand on this idea on an international level, according to Gen-Y, we should be able to solve some of the larger problems not just affecting our society domestically, but those abroad

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