When reporters talk about the news on Wall Street, it immediately makes me think of the movie with Michael Douglas playing the role of Gordon Gekko. If you are not familiar, “Wall Street” is about a corrupt executive - Gordon Gekko - who has made billions on the stock market as he wields his gigantic ego and power to influence minions to do his work. A lot has changed in the world of technology and finance since that movie debuted in the 1980’s, and the same self-righteous attitude and persona apparently still exists.
If you don’t believe me, just ask Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. On Friday, Facebook was announced as one of the most successful IPO launches in the history of Wall Street, and all anybody is talking about is how Zuckerberg dared to show-up to investor meetings wearing a hooded sweatshirt instead of a suit. In light of his monumental announcement and the successful way he runs the company, I say, “What’s the Big Deal?” To Wall Street, Mark Zuckerberg depicts the unfair stereotype of the X and Y generation as being lazy and disrespectful to authority and is a radical problem to the “way things are done.”
I happen to believe he is the perfect disruptive force that provides a fresh perspective on the future of corporate culture that is in dire need of repair. I read a book recently called “All In” by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton which discusses the failing business culture today and the need to implement management strategies that help to energize, enable and engage employees. In this case, Zuckerberg’s chosen attire is a great example of how today’s business leaders are choosing new ways to engage and manage their employees. It’s also a statement that says the corporate world should be prepared to be influenced by the next generation.
The great part about working for a technology public relations company is that we are often privy to the next best solution that will possibly change the industry as we know it – like Facebook. And, in turn, we produce successful and meaningful campaigns that deliver our clients’ messages to the masses. This environment breeds the type of working professional that embraces change; and not just in terms of adopting advanced technology tools, but corporate culture as well.
While we may not advocate wearing a hoodie to the workplace, the typical dress code for PR firms is “business casual.” Many experts believe this is the best way to keep employees happy and more productive, and in no way does this mitigate the respect or professionalism we have for our clients or vice versa.
Additionally, our industry is at the forefront of utilizing social networking tools like Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn that have revolutionized the way our clients have been able to deliver its messages to the appropriate customer base. I am proud to be part of an industry that understands the importance of change, and flexibility in an evolving market place.
Facebook went public on Friday, and we should celebrate the true success of a company that has certainly earned my respect. It doesn’t matter if Mark Zuckerberg wears a hoodie sweatshirt every day the rest of his life; it’s time Wall Street investors accept this corporate culture as the way of the future and should show him and his company the esteem he deserves.
*Image courtesy of WCVB.com Boston