Very early on in my career I learned that, literally and metaphorically speaking, you should always drive looking through the windshield because driving while looking through the rear-view mirror will ultimately lead to a crash. While I have diligently utilized this philosophy (maybe it is a little too thin to be an actually philosophy) throughout my personal and professional life, there are certain situations where only looking through the windshield will lead to disastrous results.
Succession planning is a great example. If you are not at least peeking into the rearview mirror while looking forward to plan for the future it is time to reassess and take action to make sure your workforce can face the business challenges of today and tomorrow.
As the workforce evolves, the longest tenured employees will move to retirement, and without proper planning a skills gap will form across the organization.
- Baby Boomers are exiting the workforce. Since 2011, approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers have turned 65 every day — and this will continue for the next 15 years until they all reach retirement age. 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day.
What can be done to make sure your workforce is prepared for this major shift? The work to get an organization in shape is a bit like the first few driving lessons – a lot of early tension, a much needed time for patience, some solid fits and starts – but once you are moving down the road, looking through the windshield it will all start to make sense.