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« CAN WE HELP THE WOMEN BY HELPING THE MEN? | Main | HOW CAN YOU TEACH (GENERATIONAL) PERSPECTIVE? »

What Business Can Learn About Millennials from the S.F.49ers

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I am a much bigger baseball fan than football fan, but I found an article about how the San Francisco 49ers changed their operating approach with their Gen Y/Millennial players fascinating and drew some lessons for other industries from it.

The average age of 49ers players is 25.2 years old, so the coaching staff was facing a “force” as daunting as their opposing teams. Managing Millennials was such a challenge that the new head coach Jim Tomsula consulted with Stanford University researchers and ad executives for answers to capturing the attention of the "young brain."

Here are changes to operations and training the team instituted that can provide insights for other industries with largely Millennial staff.

  • Meetings changed from a typical 2 hours to 30 minute blocks of meeting time each followed by 10 minute breaks to allow for turning attention to their smartphones.
  • Enhanced digital playbooks with video clips
  • Weekly briefings on social media
  • Sending alerts to players’ calendars instead of a printed schedule.
  • Practice tapes that can be downloaded to tablets before meetings
  • New teaching styled that get to the point quickly

Results:

  • Culture change from paper to electronic
  • Coaches learned a lot about tech from the players, including weekly meetings on new apps, etc.
  • No one has missed meetings
  • Instant information enabling advance preparation for meetings
  • Some of the go-go players don’t want to take the 10-minute breaks when offered. They are so into the learning that they want to keep going as fast as they can.

Which of these tactics could you adapt for your business? Please comment and let us know.

[An article on this topic was reported in the Wall Street Journal by Kevin Clark 6/17/15.]

Phyllis Weiss Haserot    www.pdcounsel.com

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