Elvis Has Left the Building
Bryan Rimmer and Allie Golon
Elvis has definitely left the building. And he took his skills, knowledge, and vast experience with him creating a significant knowledge gap. Corporations all over the world are facing up to one of the biggest hiring, training, and people development challenges of the last 50 years. Put simply, many firms have big holes where their experienced management teams used to be.
Beginning January 1, 2011 and forecasted to continue through 2030, roughly 10,000 Americans have turned 65 years old—every day1. And with that milestone, many have retired from their employers, leaving a massive “knowledge and experience gap” behind.
Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964 (a notable increase in births in the period following World War II), are a significant demographic in the U.S. and beyond. The UK Managing Director of Robert Half, Phil Sheridan, recently noted that employers were facing a “profound shift as baby boomers look to exit the workforce. With employers challenged in finding the skills they need to grow their businesses, establishing a succession plan with a robust attraction and retention strategy will be critical to succeed in today’s economy.”2
There’s arguably never been another Elvis. What will happen when your key talent leaves the building – permanently? How will you replace this invaluable resource?
There is not enough time to transfer a lifetime of work and management experience. What will be the likely result? More and more firms will suffer a shortage of quality executives needed to fill the management succession chain to guarantee continued business growth. Many will fail in this objective – leading to poor decision making and even worse business performance. And technology offers a double-edged sword: possibly a smaller workforce, but a more technologically enabled one.
How will you build your young team’s skills in time – and keep them inside your tent? You have smart, young, high potential people. They have excellent functional skills, doing a great job in their departments and their divisions – and you have identified tomorrow’s leaders. But maybe it is just a bit too soon to give them the reins to a major (or even minor) part of your business. Too risky. If you don’t give them that chance soon, the more ambitious ones may leave for greener pastures. This has always been the case, and with such a massive and looming shortage of key executives, your best talent could easily follow Elvis out the door.
Think about how a modern, complex business simulation could help your young teams grow in skills, accelerate their experiences, and close the knowledge gap.
A business simulation can and should be a part of your leadership development efforts.
Immersing learners in a realistic environment, business simulations provide opportunities to make critical decisions from which the resulting outcomes are witnessed over the course of a few hours or days, not over the passing of years. Cause and effect are better understood, and the development of business acumen and other skills are rapidly accelerated. Business simulations allow you to close knowledge – and experience – gaps.
You need an effective way to transfer knowledge and fend off an impending skills and knowledge gap. You need to do it in a safe environment that doesn’t affect your bottom line.
You need to explore business simulations.