What does it mean to run a business? If you ask people from different generations, you may get vastly different answers. Everyone thinks they know the right answer, but the truth is, while there are certain ideas and principles that remain unchanging, there is no single, correct way to run a business. And that is because the industry of business has changed dramatically over the last few decades. The same practices, concepts and technologies used in 1985 have no place in today’s digitally-driven world. Let’s take a close look at some of the ways that business has changed.

Growing Acceptance/Diversity

It’s no secret that America has a terrible past in terms of racial diversity. This country’s history is so deeply rooted in prejudice that almost every facet of American society has felt its impact, including the workplace. Admittedly, American businesses 20-30 years ago were far more diverse than before then, but there have been drastic changes to diversity and acceptance in recent years. Companies are now incredibly careful about what they say and how they say it, PR teams are on constant standby to avoid disastrous scandals, and minorities have been gaining a variety of positions in several industries. Only 20 years ago, those with tattoos would be looked upon as unprofessional, but the business world has been adapting and learning acceptance on all levels. It’s a fantastic period in our society that shows no signs of stopping.

Younger Workforces

A major reason the business world has become so accepting may be due to the growing number of young professionals. A large number of startups are founded by incredibly young entrepreneurs in their early-to-mid 20s. Millennials grew up in a much more diverse world and so, they are much more inclusive and accepting of people of all races, colors, creeds and sexual orientations. These younger workforces also have a different mindset. They are more eager to work hard for their companies; they thrive on open-floor concepts and fun company cultures. They are also willing to work stable, full-time jobs, even if that means less-than-stellar compensation.

Communication Is a Constant Necessity

Decades ago, the most communication that could be done in an office was either a written memo, a fax, a phone call or a physical conversation. Today, communication is a constant. There isn’t a single moment that someone can not reach you in some way or another. Email, text, phone call, social media, you name it. Not only have the methods of communication changed, but also the practice of communication. Communicating through email is vastly different than communicating through text or through a tweet, which is vastly different from communicating on LinkedIn. There are just so many different methods of communication that you need to be well-versed in almost all of them.

It’s 2018 and business has changed. The world is in a radically different place than where it was 10, 15, 20 years ago. If you’ve been in the business industry, in any fashion, hopefully you’ve kept up with the times. If not, you certainly should.