Terrifying Demographic Realities

At BSP we have been thinking since 1999 about the coming onslaught that will create the greatest opportunities in the history of the talent acquisition space. 


It will also create the greatest challenges. Malthus turned on his head. The post-war Baby Boom of 1946-1964 created a generation roughly 80 million strong. The generation right after that is sometimes referred to as Generation X which consists of people born from 1964 to 1981. Now that the oldest Baby Boomers have reached retirement age and millions more will over the next five years, there will be gaps in senior level executive talent in many organizations. Succession planning has all but been ignored in all but the most strategic entities. There is still a pervasive sense of those at the top feeling threatened by even approaching the idea of succession planning. David Ogilvy (1911-1999) has always been one of several core influencers who have contributed greatly to how we think about talent at BSP. He said:

 “First, make yourself a reputation for being a creative genius. Second, surround yourself with partners that are better than you are. Third, leave them to get on with it.”

This seems to have been forgotten. It is not about being threatened by those better than you are, it is about hiring them and making them your partners. A leadership team made up of superstars creates success for everyone in the organization and compensation structures must be structured so that all will share in the rewards of that success. A successful organization is not a pyramid where only a select few reap in the rewards. 


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