Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out

Posted on March 4, 2008. Filed under: HCI Summit, Trends |

jobpreference The non-profit sector is experiencing many of the same issues global business need to address, according to “Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out,” a recent Meyers Foundation report. Talent management needs to be addressed, or non-profits risk losing their prized younger recruits.

The survey of nearly 6,000 next generation leaders found that there are significant barriers for the new generation: work-life balance, insufficient life-long earning potential, lack of mentorship and overwhelming fundraising responsibilities which may prevent many younger nonprofit staff from becoming executives. The Washington Post reports that non-profits often lose their employees to better paying corporate jobs.

From the Post:

If the sector continues struggling to retain talent, it could have a dramatic effect on social services in Washington and around the country, said Paul C. Light, an expert on nonprofit groups and a professor at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

“It’s really a significant problem and one that is just so important to the future of the sector,” he said. “Nonprofits are so focused on meeting their mission in the present tense that they don’t think of succession planning for executive directors, they don’t think of recruitment for future employees. It’s just not on the agenda because they’re under such pressure to deliver, especially during economic downturns like this.”

One of the goals of the Summit is to provide Talent Management information and education for executives challenged by such situations. It’s one thing to acquire talent. But talent management organizations must build cultures that are not only conducive to retention, but also realizes their best leaders. This is particularly true in a recession environment where choices must be brilliant.


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2 Responses to “Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out”

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I don’t think it’s just non-profits that don’t think about the future. Other surveys have found this is also the case in the corporate sector too. For example, see my blog posts on DDI’a and McKinsey’s recent reviews of talent management (via Jon Ingham’s blog on your blogroll).

And I’m not sure that the inability of non profits to compete against the corporate sector is likely to be sustained either.

If various commentators are rght about the increasing desire of employees to self-actualise, and that this is leading to more variety in the ways in which they seek meaning and can be engaged, then the non-profit sector will end up holding most of the cards.

Thanks, Jon. A very thoughtful comment.

I think companies can compete, but the, tooy, need to open up and engage their internal stakeholders. They need to do this by letting their stakeholders participate in the companies evolution, from product development to business growth. That requires a much more relaxed environment compared to the current command and control approach.

Also companies can have social objectives, too, and it will become important for companies to publicly do good, not just profit.

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