Shadow Boards

Shadow Boards

“Shadow Boards” – An Innovative Approach to Merge Generational Insights

Generational differences within an organization can be either leveraged or tolerated; each approach creates different results. In today’s fast-paced and competitive marketplace, I believe the benefits of leveraging our differences far outweighs just tolerating them.

Jennifer Jordan and Michael Sorell address this topic through an article they wrote on Harvard Business Review about how companies can tackle the challenges of keeping younger employees engaged to capitalize on changing market conditions.  It starts by showcasing Gucci, an Italian luxury fashion company. They explain that during Mario Bizzarri’s tenure as CEO in 2015, he revamped the company and created a “shadow board” of Millennials who have met regularly with the senior team to gain their insights on best practices and marketplace knowledge.  That innovative approach grew sales 136%. Since then other companies have implemented a “Shadow Board” approach with fantastic results, including French AccorHotels who developed a new business model to compete with Airbnb, Stora Enso whose Shadow Board redesigned a supply-chain process after senior team experts were unable to do so, and GroupM who transformed their organization in several areas due to creative thinking from the younger generation.

Establishing a Shadow Board is not simply picking younger employees and having them sit at the table. The three best practices Jorand and Sorell mention are to: 1) Look beyond high-potential employees, 2) Make it a CEO sponsored program, and 3) Keep evaluating and iterating.

Take a few minutes and read through the entire article here to determine if a Shadow Board could be the next step towards achieving your company’s long-term goals.

  • Are you ready to grow your company? Learn how we help business leaders CREATE|DESIGN|BUILD Extraordinary Businesses.
    Sign up for a complimentary Discovery Session

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


If this article was helpful and prompted you with an increased desire to improve your effectiveness as a leader so you can take your team to the next level, contact us to learn more about our Aepiphanni Ascend Leadership Development program.  Fill out the form below and we’ll be happy to schedule a Coffee & Consult to chat in more detail about how we can help.

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.

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Need help with establishing Shadow Boards for your employees? Start here.

We would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and comments below. If you are seeking advice on how to grow your business, streamline systems and processes, implement software or overcoming challenges to growth, please contact us, directly or submit a request for a complimentary Coffee & a Consult to learn how we can help you CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD an Extraordinary company.