IBM projects that by the year 2020 millennials will be the dominant generation in its company and its channel partners.
To deal with this IBM’s Mike Gerentine, global vice-president of channel marketing has set up the IBM Emerging Leaders Initiative and recruited 40 millennial participants – 20 from IBM’s staff and 20 from channel partners that work together in a buddy system.
Apparently they’re collaborating together the way colleagues normally would, via conference calls, in-person meetings, and perhaps some Snap Chat sessions involving customised Bitmoji.
The generation born 1980 or later has sometimes got a bad rap as being too self-involved and entitled, Gerentine says they aren’t that different from other generations.
They are more social and digitally savvy, but they still want to work in a collaborative environment with people. IBM wants to create a groundswell in business partner firms to start developing leaders for the future.
So far the programme is focusing on non-technical employees, those in functional roles of marketing and sales, and the participants are being asked to take on two projects within IBM.
They must be evangelists of IBM’s internal social app, Gerentine says, and become experts of its new digital marketing platform, helping other employees deploy it and then put it to use.
In a statement Gerentine describes the programme as critical because IBM believes millennials are essential to helping define future needs and interests in the technology marketplace.
“I’m fully committed to ensuring that Emerging Leaders have a voice. Our companywide share new technology solutions with them, listen to their feedback, and learn from their insights.”
The programme is expanding. There’s an open call to recent college graduates that are now working at IBM partners, or the employers that hired them, to get in touch with IBM. A nomination form is required to be filled out for consideration to take part in the programme.