Baby Boomers have been leaving the workforce now for the past decade and will continue to do so for a further decade or more. Baby Boomers continue to fill leadership and senior executive roles in many of our organisations.
At the same time change is taking place. The first of Gen Y and even early Millennials are staking a claim for leadership roles. If you haven't already done so it is time to put in place a leadership succession plan.
The generational change from Baby Boomers to younger generations is the largest and therefore single most significant corporate change in modern history. It will likely represent a paradigm change as new leadership and management processes are introduced and trialled.
Leadership succession extends beyond simply finding a replacement CEO. It extends to your entire management group. It will likely impact upon your ability to attract and retain the right people in future.
There are risks associated with ad hoc leadership succession. Your current leadership group carries the vision and expertise necessary to steer the ship, they have developed and nurtured long standing relationships, gathered technical skills and can place everything into historical context.
Leadership succession is not about getting rid of Baby Boomers. It is about blending knowledge and best practices with the inquisitiveness and new ideas of those that will be the future leaders. This would suggest that any current leader unable or unwilling to work with, nurture and coach future leaders may be a liability for future sustainability of your organisation.
Only a small percentage of leadership are chosen as a result of any leadership succession plan. That is because the majority of organisations do not have a leadership succession plan. Yet it makes sense to do so. It is much less expensive to promote from within than to recruit and on-board an external appointment. With planning, any knowledge deficit amongst internal candidates can be obtained ahead of being needed.
Who are your future leaders? What will your future leadership look like? What sort of environment will they need to work within and what competencies and experience will they need to work in that environment?
Start by engaging your existing workforce. Seek their input and ideas. Start looking for potential leaders and have in place a process for leadership development. In this way you will reduce the risk to your organisation and help to create workplace where people want to belong.