What's After the Boomers?

Leadership Expertise and Business Skills May Be at Risk

Research shows that less than 25% of organizations have a succession planning process in place to accommodate the exodus of boomers as they start to retire.

Research shows that less than 20% of organizations (worldwide) have begun thinking strategically about how to ... address the pending retirement boom of the boomers.’ Jeanne Meister, The 2020 Workplace

Research shows that "A turbulent decade in the equity markets, a marked decline in the number of private-sector pension plans, and an unwillingness or inability on boomers’ part to save enough means many members of Canada’s biggest generation face retirement years that may not exactly be golden...one thing was clear: the en masse retirement of the boomers presents a huge challenge that is still going untended.[Max Fawcett, 'Baby Boomers Sit Atop a Ticking Time Bomb' in This Magazine, March 2010.

So what can business leaders do to develop the next generation of managers and leaders?

What is your company doing to help prepare Boomers for retirement?  What is your company doing to prepare itself for the exodus of those boomers whom hold critical skills and positions, those important to the continued growth and success of the bottom line? Most companies don't develop succession plans.  If they do, normally, the plans are only for the top positions in the company, most likely the President or CEO.  Very little effort or money is expended identifying the critical roles, the critical skills, or the people who currently reside in those roles or hold those critical skills.

Then there's the business owners, the entrepreneurs, who don't bother to plan how their business will continue, once they decide to retire.  'Just 24% of small business owners...said they had a succession plan worked out for retirement.' Pete Evans, CBC News, October 2011.  What's of even more interest with boomer entrepreneurs hoping to sell their businesses is it will most likely not be a sellers' market.  There will be many more businesses for sale than buyers looking to buy.  So it is even more critical for entrepreneurs to have a succession plan and a retirement plan in place.

So why don't we do succession planning?

    Because we are too busy and don't have the time.
    Because the process is complex and complicated.
    Because we run our businesses on a monthly and quarterly basis and don't think long term.

All valid reasons.  So what can one do?

Involve those who are getting ready to leave (retire) within the next 3 to 5 years in creating a process to transfer the critical skills and roles to the next generation.  Build a boomer legacy by creating a mentoring environment, an environment where boomers mentor the next generation of leaders and the future leaders teach new skills to the boomers.  This satisfies both generations' need for continuous learning and being recognized for their contribution.

Look to external experts to help you build your succession plan.  There are many resources available on line to help you create your plan, ensuring you cover all the bases.  There are business brokers who can access expert resources to help you build your plan and get your business prepared for sale.  And there are experts, consultants, who can step in to coach and guide you in development of your plan.

We need to face up to the fact that no matter what we do, we all age.  Getting ready to embrace and accommodate the next stage in life should be planned carefully so that we can all enjoy our retirement years.  It is the responsibility of the boomer generation (whether as corporate leaders or business entrepreneurs) to step up and prepare themselves, each other and those that work for them to leave behind a legacy of productivity, profitability and success.

Utilize our workshop - Getting Ready to Retire or our upcoming Seminar "Getting Ready to Reinvent" - with toolkit to help you and your staff build financial and lifestyle plans.  Contact us at match@bm2b.ca for information on our workshop and toolkit.


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Comment by Jermajesty | 2014-04-24

That's a nicely made answer to a chnlnelgiag question

Please calculate 7 plus 4.*