For stepping up to take the lead—right now—and helping others do the same
William Meller doesn’t see the point in all the talk about companies investing in next-gen talent for some big handoff down the road. Why wait? “Young people should be using their voices as leaders in the present, not just as rising leaders for some far-off future,” he says. “We want to help our companies, our countries and our environment right now.”
To change the focus to the here and now, Meller has planted himself in the thick of the action: signing up for coaching and mentoring programs at his employer, Dell Technologies, joining PMI’s NextGen Insight Team, and starting a content hub with articles on careers, management and business.
His passion for culture change extends to his project work, where one of the first initiatives he worked on was an agile transformation. “It had to involve all levels of the company, and it challenged the status quo for the whole organization,” he says.
Q&A: William Meller on shaking off bureaucracy and why he’d recruit Cristiano Ronaldo
What project most influenced you personally?
I’m always delighted to think about how humans got to the moon, and it’s amazing to think how many coordinated activities were done around one single mission. It’s influenced me to believe that there isn’t a problem that we cannot solve with a project.
How are young people changing the world of projects now?
They are showing—through practice—that some bureaucracies or formalities that do not actually generate value will not have much space in the next decade. Young people like to dedicate energy to things that make sense and really add value to the project, the environment, the team, the customer.
What’s one way managing projects will change over the next decade?
With projects generating and consuming more data, we’ll see an opportunity to improve the standards we control, the metrics we collect and how we communicate all of this information in real time.
What famous person would you want on your project team?
I really love football, so I would pick Cristiano Ronaldo. He goes above and beyond his natural talents to work hard for the best possible performance. In a project environment, having someone who constantly challenges themselves could be motivating for the team.
Perspectives on how young people are changing the world of projects.
We are showing—through practice—that some bureaucracies or formalities that do not actually generate value will not have much space in the next decade and in the next generation of project managers. —William Meller