Why is this not a problem?

In the October edition of Talent Management magazine, there is an article called “Getting Ahead of the Silver Tsunami” and it talks about the wave of baby boomer retirements that began in late 2010.  Statistics are showing that 10,000 people will reach the age of 65 every day for the next two decades!

In companies that are paying attention to this tsunami, they are “fending off the massive knowledge exodus by bolstering succession strategies.”  Which of course they should be doing, as should even the companies that are not paying attention.

But since many companies fail to train basic management development skills, let along “bolster succession strategies”, I have to ask why this is not a problem to so many organizations?  Why are they not concerned about losing their talent, their knowledge sources to retirement?

In the world of training, we lean on Subject Matter Experts to train new people.  Whether they facilitate a workshop, mentor, or do on-the-job training, people who know how are the ones that train those that need to learn.  What am I missing if we are willing to allow so many people to retire without transferring their knowledge and abilities to someone else?

The author’s use of the word Tsunami is a perfect visual of the results once the wave hits.  A total wipe out of what is left, and a total rebuild after the destruction.  While Japan is rebuilding the structures that were removed from the Tsunami that hit their coast a few years back, they are also building reinforcement walls to minimize any future waves.  Hum, sounds like succession planning.

As a consultant I read articles like this one, that describes the current reality, the cause and effect of doing something or not, and then I wonder what motivates so many to shake their heads and do nothing.  I guess if you have zero baby boomers working for you, there is no wave coming.  But what do you think is going on for the other companies that have baby boomer employees and still don’t see the need to act?


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