Millennial-powered Revolution in Business: Digital, Clear, Fluid, and Fast

Jamie Notter (@jamienotter) and Maddie Grant (@maddiegrant) graciously shared a review copy of When Millennials Take Over (WMTO) with me. As a champion of their Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World, I was very intrigued by WMTO!

WMTO is rooted in the “perfect storm” of trends converging to generate a revolution in business, including the decline of traditional management, the social internet revolution, and the Millennial generation entering the workforce.

Based on researching companies with remarkably strong cultures and the Millennial generation’s approach to management, WMTO explores “four organizational capacities that we [Jamie and Maddie] think will prepare organizations to be successful, both today and into the future”: Digital, Clear, Fluid, and Fast.

Digital – Organizational Life that is Focused on the Customer

Digital is about perpetual and exponential improvement of all facets of organizational life using both the tools and the mindsets of the digital world.

The industrial model of management was, quite simply, analog — mechanical and linear, like a pocket watch where you can see and control how everything works together.

Digital in the Millennial era, on the other hand, has an unrelenting and disciplined focus on the customer or end user — including the employee.

Digital organizations grow faster and accomplish more by focusing on the user, both internally and externally.

The first organizational capacity, Digital, emphasizes Focus — with a shift from controlling how everything works together to focus on the customer.

Clear – Information and Knowledge Transparency for Decision Making

Clear is about an increased and more intelligent flow of information and knowledge that supports innovation and problem solving inside organizations.

The industrial model of management linked information with power, so it tended to hoard information at the top, sharing it in a very careful and controlled way.

Clear in the Millennial era is about leveraging strategic transparency in systems to enable better decision making.

Clear organizations make smarter decisions that generate better results.

The second organizational capacity, Clear, emphasizes Decision Making — with a shift from information as power to transparency for better decision making.

Fluid – Distributed Power for Effectiveness and Nimbleness

Fluid is about expanding and distributing power in a dynamic and flexible way.

The industrial model of management viewed power from the perspective of control and thus as a limited resource.

Fluid in the Millennial era is about systems that enable an integrated process of thinking, acting, and learning at all levels of the organization.

Fluid organizations serve customers more effectively and are more nimble in both strategy and execution.

The third organizational capacity, Fluid, emphasizes Power — with a shift from power as control to power as effectiveness and nimbleness in strategy and execution.

Fast – Action for Leaping Ahead of the Competition

Fast is about taking action at the precise moment when action is needed.

The industrial model of management focused on speed in terms of efficiency and productivity.

Fast in the Millennial era is about systems that can learn and adapt while still maintaining the efficiency and productivity of the previous era.

Fast organizations leap ahead of the competition by releasing control in a way that does not increase risk.

The fourth organizational capacity, Fast, emphasizes Action — with a shift from speed to releasing control.


Optimism is actually an over-arching capacity that is critical for succeeding in any kind of revolution.

Revolutions are never easy. If they were, we’d just call them change.

Without a base of optimism, revolutions fail.

We are ridiculously optimistic, in fact, about the future of business.

Fundamentally, Focus orients Decision Making and Action and Power fuels Decision Making and Action — furthermore, being more digital, clear, fluid, and fast will usher in a new era for leadership, management, and business.

Don’t miss the ridiculously optimistic future of businessWhen Millennials Take Over!


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