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Leadership

Is Your Organization Creating a Leadership Pipeline?


Research from Creating a Leadership Pipeline: Developing the Millennial Generation Into Finance Leaders revealed millennials share the same aspirations as previous generations, but they express them differently.

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The millennial generation — those born between 1980 and 2000 — number more than 53 million people in the U.S. alone. For many, Generation Y conjures up images of entitled young people glued to technology and demanding workplace perks — but like many stereotypes, this one is largely inaccurate.

In fact, research from Creating a Leadership Pipeline: Developing the Millennial Generation Into Finance Leaders revealed millennials share the same aspirations and traits as previous generations. They just express them differently. Unlike prior generations whose identities are often tightly connected to their jobs, millennials tend not to identify with a job or title so much as their purpose. This is more of a different attitude about work rather than a diminished work ethic.

The worldview of the generation dubbed “millennials” is shaped by constant, rapid change — often to detrimental effect. While millennials desire to have an impact on society as much as any other generation, they have little patience with slower-moving, non-transparent organizational climates that fail to tap their full potential, particularly their comfort with rapid technology innovation. This ability to move quickly is the very trait that enhances their creative problem-solving skills.

Still, some negative perceptions persist and some senior finance leaders have trouble seeing this generation as the executives of tomorrow. This report takes a closer look at these concerns to shed light on what can be done to correct misperceptions and help prepare this new generation of workers to assume finance leadership roles.

The role of finance leaders in nurturing the next generation of leaders will be the development of a wide variety of methodologies and practices to engage and transfer knowledge based on this generation’s desire for individuality. Current thought, both researched and anecdotal, highlights how a work atmosphere that values engagement, retention, feedback, mentoring, education, and anything else that nurtures the individual employee is critical.

Instead of viewing this as an indulgence of youthful demands, organizations should view these efforts as an investment in a changing workforce. Robust retention and engagement programs benefit workers of every demographic, and highlight the shift today toward an employee-centric work environment that values the goals of the individual as well as the strategic goals of the enterprise.

Creating a Leadership Pipeline: Developing the Millennial Generation Into Finance Leaders findings are based on an extensive review of existing literature as well as in-depth interviews with senior-level financial executives and subject matter experts.

Recommendations for bridging the leadership gap include mentorship programs, enriched engagement incentives, continual learning advancements and other initiatives intended to support a work environment that nurtures new talent. This will help finance leaders engage millennials professionally and, in so doing, attract them earlier in their careers, creating a leadership pipeline and driving higher levels of retention.

Be sure not to miss the Creating a Leadership Pipeline session at this year’s Summit Leadership conference in Colorado Springs.