Jul 26, 2010

Who's In Charge Here? Retaining the Next Generation in Philanthropy

Thanks to Katrin Wilde for forwarding this article along. You can read the full version by clicking here!

By Tuti Scott, President and Founder of Imagine Philanthropy, an international consulting firm.
Baby boomers are hanging on, and next generation leaders are waiting -- and waiting -- their turn.

According to Trading Power, produced in partnership with the Council on Foundations, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies' 21/64, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and Resource Generation, this is the first time in history that society is experiencing a delay in leadership transition, as people live longer and retire later. The economic recession has further delayed retirement plans, leaving baby boomers in positions that even they expected to have left by now. And some seasoned leaders are turning to a model of "leadership expansion" rather than "leadership transfer," sharing leadership duties with younger employees. Some retain an executive emeritus role. Others take a sabbatical while potential successors serve in "acting" capacities.

In each instance, the elder leader needs to respect new ideas coming from his or her younger partner, according to the report. If the philanthropic sector fails to tap the next generation's skills and knowledge, the emerging leaders will simply move on to sectors that will.

But would younger workers stay put, even if they had a clear path toward a leadership position? The Pew Research Center's ongoing study, The Millennials, contrasts the attitudes of generation x-ers and millennials with that of aging boomers. Pew finds that expectations about career advancement differ between younger and older workers; millennials in particular are accustomed to the idea that they will -- indeed, must -- find their own path of career advancement. In other words, they may jump among organizations and sectors.

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