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In any sizable firm, successful sustainable business development is not reserved for the lone rainmaker or even a lone generation. Client relationships are too valuable to be based solely on one individual, one level of seniority or one age cohort.
Differences in generational perspectives can bring frustrations, resentments, inefficiencies and threaten professionalism (“collidescope”) – but don’t have to. Handled positively, differences can produce great creativity (kaleidoscope) with productive, engaging, harmonious, career enhancing outcomes. I suggest we pursue sustainable professionalism within a flexible framework that still upholds ethical values. Our model must be dynamic to adjust to changing styles of competency models and leadership that appropriately suit each generation and foster collaboration.
It happens every time we have a "recession" or economic turndown. But this time it is more daunting not only given the severity of the economic situation, but also given the demographic realities. The talent crunch when the economy turns up and firms are hiring again will be magnified because so many Boomers are approaching the age when they will "retire" from current positions - voluntarily or involuntarily.
Some call their parents from the office five times a day. Some receive a bad review and quit their jobs, moving back home on their parents' urging. Others rely on their parents to weigh salary or compensation packages while some have seen a parent stomp into the workplace to rebut a bad review or boss's criticism.
Given the potential loss of clients if a key firm contact leaves, uncertain and poor economic times make the need for succession planning even more urgent. The situation is magnified when prospective successors are not fully prepared to step in. Next-generation partners lacking business generation and client relations skills leave a firm on shaky ground.