I’ve had enough clients in the middle of farm country to be able to feel farmers feeling spring.
Topics: organizational development consulting, unknown unknowns, unknown knowns, church decision making, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, Whorled Viewz, organizational design, group process, Maestro-level Leaders, The Third Turn Podcast
Recent months have brought abundant conversation on how next-generation executive leaders might be developed within an organization — especially in a healthy company that is straining its capacity. Conventional wisdom says that developing from within best continues a strong company’s momentum, and that hiring externally best redirects a company that has lost its way. In either scenario, the ability to develop and position executive leaders becomes especially important!
We recently hosted a conversation on millennials in the manufacturing workplace and posted the notes from those proceedings here. It sparked some significant response and a wide amplification across a variety of market sectors. It also prompted the following response from Sterling Balstead, GM of the Minnesota facility for Engineered Pump Systems (full disclosure: I serve on the board of the company):
I hired three young engineers in the last two years and work with them daily. Previously, I worked with two other engineers who were 26 and 33 years old. I am [personally] right on the edge of this conversation at 36.
When I think about our younger employees I see we need to engage and work with them differently than older generations, or hold on and hope they change into their grandparents. Our company is used to employees who like or at least tolerate “8 hours per day + lots of overtime and few questions”---“nose to the grind stone”. It also seems important for these same people to “start on time every day”. Overtime seems to be proof of character[upon which] one can build identity. Another obstacle we face is the length of time it takes to train our engineering team. It takes 2+ years of employment to build the competency some of our current white collar job descriptions require, which I imagine is typical of small service based companies. This is a big deal given millennials seem willing to change jobs, locations, and maybe career paths more easily than previous generations. The younger generation seems to desire looser work schedules, working from home, and protecting personal time. I understand and admire some of these concepts.
Your conversation notes seem to highlights millennials liking well communicated goals and performance reviews. It also states they are jaded. I wonder if this is what non-millennials perceive when millennials are trying to make sense of “why” we are so rigid. To reframe the entire conversation positively, millennials may be asking: “who cares what road we take as long as we get to the final destination on time”.This GM, Sterling Balstead, is paying attention, thinking about the changes needed rather than resisting the tide, and moving forward--not just in technical innovation, but with personnel recruitment and workplace consideration.
Topics: process consulting, Process Consultation, organizational development consulting, Organizational Leadership, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, leadership development methods, millennials in the workforce, Millennials and manufacturing
Topics: process consulting, the art of agreement, organizational development consulting, leadership arts, organizational development muse, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, organizational decision making, group process, executive learning, polarity management
The shoreline of the Mediterranean sea can be seen from the right side of the jet I’m riding in as I write this. It is beautiful, even from this height.
How To Leverage The Power Of Seeing Things As They Are
Truth be told, even after several decades of Silicon Valley leading the way, and an incredible amount of research demonstrating the power of teams and an empowered work force, the majority of organizations are stuck in the authoritarian model of old (especially manufacturing), or even more stuck in the hyper-democratic models that tried to offer a correction in the last half of the 20th century (especially charities and denominational bodies).
Topics: process consulting, organizational development consulting, Organizational Governance, organizational development muse, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, organizational design, organizational systems, open vs. closed organizational systems
Topics: process consulting, organizational development consulting, leadership succession, executive leadership, organizational development muse, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, ethical leadership, executive case studies, business ethics
In the online classes I teach on executive leadership, we often discuss paradoxes leaders must embrace. One such paradox is that the decision-making speed demanded of executive leaders is both fast and slow.
Topics: process consulting, organizational development consulting, executive coaching, organizational development muse, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, organizational decision making, Executive Development
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