Much is being made about the need to attract and retain millennial talent in today’s economy. Companies that are focused on long-term sustainability are intently focused on those entering the workforce now, as they need to fill the void that will undoubtedly be left by the mass exodus that will take place in the coming years with the Baby Boomers retiring. But are companies becoming a little too obsessed with the Generation Y (millennial) workers and neglecting those who are set to lead their organizations in the nearer term?
Welcome to this new column. Every couple of months I’ll be getting on the proverbial soapbox and sharing my observations and opinions on all things ‘talent’ and how ‘work’ works. Please feel free to agree, disagree and add to the subjects via the comments sections below.
We’ve come a long way since the 1955 issue of Fortune which described the ‘successful American executive’ as someone who spent almost no time on politics, drank moderately, and only attended cultural events ‘because they must’. With a businessman in the White House and heads of Fortune 500 companies regularly appearing in the media as trendsetters, opinion formers and pundits, discretion is no longer the better part of valour.
In ‘The Fog’ ("Mad Men" Season 5, Episode 3), SCDP’s creative director, Don Draper, delivers a memorable line for today’s procurement managers and professionals. After being endlessly nagged over the waste of office supplies, alcohol and time by the company's CFO, Lane Price, Draper levels this profound declaration:
"You came here because we do this better than you. And part of that is letting our creatives be unproductive until they are."