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They are calling it the "silver tsunami" and "elderquake."  Whatever it is called, it is certainly big, and is surely going to sweep through the workforce in a way that we have not yet seen.  Some companies are preparing, and others are not.

In our work developing Future Leaders, we are finding that many companies have not really thought out the potential impact and are relying on the same processes that handle the turnover rates we have experienced over the last few years.

There are still big unanswered questions:

  • When will it hit?
  • How fast will it move?
  • How deep will it go?

Besides the age distributions, there are other variables at play that impact us more directly.  In short, the reality is that we do not know exactly what the impacts will be.  What we do know is that it is coming, and that it will change the face of business in a very dramatic way.

As with every other aspect of business, the course of action is to plan for the eventuality and build flexibility and adaptability into your process.  Succession plans are a good start.  The next step is to consider how to add in planning for the business these successors will be leading, not the one you have now.

While the retirement wave is the presenting issue, the underlying issue is to prepare the people to lead this transition.  You need to have a leadership development pool that is both deep, wide, as well as adaptive.  This will require thinking about developing Future Leaders who will be adequately equipped to handle this amount of change.  Ultimately, it about passing the torch of leadership during a challenging time.

You may be interested in our 1/2 Day Fast Forwarding Future Leaders Workshop as well.

Click here for more information.


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