The Next Generation of PMO Leaders Do It Their Way

Following on from my recent article covering the experience of working with a one-generation PMO; the youngest generation, the next generation PMO has been at the forefront of my mind and research.

Generation Z’ers grew up during the great financial crisis when home and loan debt were the highest in a generation. A situation whose consequences rippled throughout the world with devastating results for many people. As a direct result, it is believed that Gen Z’ers are more likely to identify a future that they themselves control through either entrepreneurship or investment rather than the long-term security of one job in one organisation with a guaranteed pension.

According to research collated by NowSourcing, 21% of Gen Z’ers had a savings account by the time they were 10 years old, paid for education themselves, and are focused on working for themselves, with 41% citing that they plan to start their own businesses and 45% planning to invest in something world-changing.

Gen Z’ers value social connections and good experiences over more traditional work/life balance and great employee benefits – they are focused on the impact. The impact that behaviour has on themselves, others, and the planet and will not tolerate organisations that prioritise the bottom line above workers, society and the environment (Business Wire). They understand the fragility of our situation

Forbes states that this shift in values coupled with the fact that they are the true digital natives of our time (their learning has been defined by the openness, vastness of the internet and technology that is infinitely malleable after all); has created an unwavering confidence in their ability to attain success, an open-minded approach to the way things are done, and fundamentally an unencumbered view of what is possible in the world of work. Gen Z’ers do not want to be defined or confined (limited) by either their environment or by someone else.

Gen Zers are showing that they are much braver than their predecessors – and from a PMO or project management perspective they have the power, mindset, and mindfulness to change the way the rest of the industry thinks. They can bring about a world where true sustainability in projects, and PMO-Business partnerships exists.

I have recently worked with a young PMO Manager whose PMO Charter includes an entire section on how mindfulness, respect and tolerance from the PMO team will enable authentic relationships for the long haul which will ultimately provide a degree of business value (maybe) never seen before. This approach puts the People, Process, Technology streams for Transformation into the order they were meant to be dealt with for once; People first as seen in John Kotters 8 step model for successful change.

By Emma-Ruth Arnaz-Pemberton