The Learning Spotlight
The Perfect Storm
By John Grubbs
January 1st, 2008 came and went as any typical new year’s day. People celebrated the New Year in a vast array of traditions around the world. The hope of a brand new year brought promise of great things to come. Organizational leaders, captains of industry, managers and entrepreneurs all joined the celebration as they have in past years. There were no
headlines of concern, no alarms in the corporate conference room and no big fuss about the pending storm of change that would besiege most organizations for years to come. People simply did not notice or even acknowledge the magnitude of change that day would bring to most organizations in the United States.
Today, we are facing another date that will far surpass the significance of January 1st, 2008 and again most organizations are not aware and certainly not ready for the pending challenge. According to some estimates the workplace began losing tens of thousands of baby boomers to retirement in 2008. Imagine a large tub filled with water that represents upwards of
ninetymillion baby boomers in the workplace. The birth of 2008 opened the drain and a huge vortex of this generation began to escape the tub. This evacuation of talent and knowledge will intensify greatly on January 1st, 2011 as this population begins to turn sixty five years old.
Most boomers want to get the most from social security and are concerned that system they have paid into for so many years is on a path of that cannot be sustained. Threats of cuts and changes in eligibility are very much on the minds of these workers. The self-induced pressure to leave the workplace will only intensify the millions of boomer’s desire to “get out while
thegetting’s good” and unfortunately too many organizations will not be prepared to deal with the talent exodus that is upon them.
Not surprisingly, the boomers are a wonderful position to leverage their talent. Many retired boomers are returning to workplace as consultants and are sometimes charging three times their previous wage. Retirement is wonderful these days if you have key organizational knowledge that many organizations cannot do without. Even more amazing is the fact that some very myopic organizationsare
actually accelerating the impact by offering early retirement “buyouts” to those with the knowledge.
Overlay the exodus of boomers with the emergence of Generation Y (less than 30 years old) and the very limited supply of Generation X in the middle and perfect storm is upon us. This meteorological analogy of three storms forming one super storm in the workplace is very legitimate. Most organizations are simply not ready to weather the pending challenges to be
The current recession and the lower demand for talent have kept the enormity of the problem off the agendas of most executive board room meetings. Executives are either ignorant to the demands of the future workplace (when the jobs return) or they are “rolling the dice” by hoping the storm subsides or even misses their
business. Regardless of the reason, most companies large and small have no plan and certainly do not have a formal talent strategy to implement. They are conducting business as usual and hoping for the best. The change facing the workplace is so significant and yet the preparation is so limited. The next eighteen months is going to be interesting and very expensive. Is the budget ready in your organization?
New Book Cover
Available early 2011...
Surviving the Talent Exodus – Navigate the Perfect Storm for Generational Change in the Workplace
This is book is about the challenge facing most companies as we lose millions of baby boomers to retirement. Most companies don’t realize that January 1, 2011 will be one of the most impactful days for the present workforce…baby boomers turn 65. The future of organizations rest on the
shoulders of generation Y (under 30) and their very different approach to work and career.
How are we going to motivate and lead this new generation of workers? How are we going to capture the vast knowledge from the baby boomers before they leave? How will the workplace change in the next 10 years? There are two types of companies: Those preparing for generation Y and those that will suffer
because they did not!