The very challenging relationship between Baby Boomers, Millennials and Gen Z which could determine the future of boards

It has been said that CEOs today have a lifespan of less than 5 years before the need for a new knowledge set overtakes them, given just how fast the world is changing. It is a challenging perspective and there is an argument that not enough young talent has been promoted to board levels which has hindered the critical thinking of many companies.

It has long been argued that there should be a better marriage between generations and that many younger talents should have been better enabled. This is nothing new. What is new is the argument that many senior directors need to improve their learning by about 25% to be effective and do they have the hunger and desire to learn new knowledge?

At the same time, it is argued that millennials could be a lost generation and be overtaken by a very able, educated generation in the Gen Z’s who have a stronger work ethic.

Of course, in truth, this all has its pros and cons, but there is great talent in every generation and the best will rise to the top – but these will be those who are prepared to continuously learn and enjoy learning; and those who are prepared to learn how to bring people together and not place themselves first.

Leadership is changing faster than many realise. Business is changing less fast. Most accept their models are under the greatest pressure whereby new skills and thinking will be needed in recovery. Most also accept that they are going to have to work very hard to ensure that people get back to the office and maybe here lies the hub of it?

Many companies are concerned by employees who view working from home as their right and have seen productivity and behavioural standards fall. Companies are keen to see which employees will be the ones who want to return to the offices to make a difference and who are those prepared to change with new challenges in a new landscape. There are many who believe that it will the Gen Zs who come through as they are hungry to do well, just as the Baby Boomers did back in the 1980s and 90s. These generations are reflections of one another, but with different knowledge bases. Many Baby Boomers are more impressed by the Gen Zs than the Millennials – so will they promote them up faster, or will the Millennials emerge with a new hunger to succeed?