I read a really interesting statistic recently in a joint article from Ray, Williams, and Wellins on Harvard Business Review. They mentioned “Over the next decade, approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers will retire every day. Young leaders will have substantial opportunity to climb the corporate ladder – by 2030, millennials alone will comprise three out of every four individuals in the U.S. workforce.”
I just turned 50 and that statistic shows me by the time I’m close to my own retirement season, millennials will be running the business world and probably the country. I’m all for next generation initiatives, but what concerns me is the struggle most companies experience with how to consistently develop their younger staff over time into effective senior leaders.
As a member of Generation X – caught between the Boomers and Millennials – I clearly understand the struggle they each have with each other, not to mention the professional differences between our generation and both of theirs. We all come to work with different perspectives and attitudes directly influenced by how our parents raised us, the work ethic they instilled in us, our core values, and certainly our varied professional experiences.
Each of our generations has its strengths and flaws. If we can all stop focusing on what annoys us about each other, and instead focus on how senior leaders can create a culture of value and development for next generation leadership, I believe only then will corporations, businesses, and non-profits across the globe will become stronger, have more impact within their target market, and certainly create a more satisfied workforce overall.
In the article from Ray, Williams, and Wellins, they discuss how Johnson & Johnson and American Express are using forward-thinking initiatives to address their future talent needs. It’s jam packed with gems of wisdom and clearly proves that time, commitment and resources – including real-time challenges, coaching, and learning tools – invested in next generation development do pay off financially and relationally to increase a company’s bottom line and significantly reduce turnover (you can read the article here).
How is your company doing with its growth and succession planning to ensure your continued viability 10 – 30 years from now? As the owner of your company, you know you’ll eventually you’ll have to pass the baton to someone, and that your senior leadership team will turn over from time to time. If you don’t yet have a plan for how to manage those changes in a way that keeps your company profitable and effective year after year, give us a call. We would love to help you through our Ascend Leadership Development program. To learn more about it, fill out the form below to schedule a complimentary coffee and consult. We look forward to supporting you however we can.
Kris Cavanaugh Castro is the People Development Coach at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Kris has over 25 years of coaching, training and mentoring leaders to greater success; and she periodically writes about leadership development and facilitates change management conversations.
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