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The Changing Landscape in Corporate America

by Guest Writter
Ted Bagley, Author, “The Success Factor: Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Corporate America”

In the corporate community, the primary focus for the majority of companies is on identifying, recruiting, training and retaining top and “key-to-retain” talent. Many companies are excellent in the front-end activity, but are very short-sighted in the back-end foundational initiatives such as coaching, mentoring and engagement of that talent, which are the true retainer solutions.

The process of retention is rooted in a clear understanding of the culture and vision of the organization. Expectations of both the individual, as well as the corporation on success factors such as personal branding, mentoring, and how the generations are in conflict with such factors, will or should be the primary focus within a company’s strategy. Additionally, there is a lack of understanding about key drivers that motivate each of the generations to work together in a teaming environment. I am speaking of the four generations that are currently surviving under the corporate umbrella.

Let’s not let the comment about the generations pass without a bit more scrutiny. Businesses that understand generational conflict have chosen to address the issue brought on by the generation gap, through training and consulting with experts in the field. As the Baby Boomers, with their vast reservoir of knowledge, leave the work place over the next three to five years, it is paramount to harness their brain deposits to successfully navigate the treacherous waters of the corporate world.

The Traditionalists, born between the years (1922-1945), are still hanging on for dear life though their numbers are small. Then there are the Baby Boomers (1946-1964) who are keeping a strangle hold on key decision making positions in most corporations. Next would be the Generation Xers (1965-1981) that are waiting impatiently to replace the Boomers in leadership positions. Finally, you have the Millennials (1982-2000+) who are technically savvy and who want success now and that’s not soon enough.

The Millennials success equation is through technology and they are not at all enamored by the idea of sweat equity, as is the case with the Boomers. It’s a reminder of the quote by Fredrick Douglas that states, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who propose to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are men who want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without the thunder and lightning. They want the oceans majestic waves without the awful roar of its waters”.

These differences between the generations have developed an undercurrent that, if not addressed, could derail infrastructures within companies creating stagnation and talent flight. Boomers who have tied a knot in the rope and are holding on are obviously intimidated by these new tech tigers that are nipping at their heels. Many of these boomers are ill prepared for retirement because of 401k losses and are holding on because they have to and not because they want to.

In addition to the generation challenges, individuals seeking success should consider, as a part of their success equation, these six personal marketing tools.

  1. Persona – personal branding
  2. Packaging – your foundation and background
  3. Positioning – your network and connections
  4. Presentation – how you present yourself
  5. Promotion – the growth and development
  6. Passion – emotion and conviction

 My personal advice to new entrants to the corporate landscape is to have strong communication capabilities, project management skills, be mobile and learn more than one language because of the expanding global market place.

It is imperative that new entrants, as well as individuals changing jobs and locations, understand these success factors that will have a major impact on their careers aspirations. These success factors not only address the art of obtaining a position within a company but how these factors are capable of growing an individual’s tool kit both vertically and horizontally within an organization.


About the Author

Ted Bagley received his bachelor’s degree in business from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, and his master’s degree in psychological and educational counseling from North Carolina Central University. He is the vice president of global human resources operations for Amgen Biotechnical Corporation, the world’s largest biotechnical company. Bagley resides in Simi Valley, California, with his wife and four children. “The Success Factor: Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Corporate America” is his third book (Available on Amazon).

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