Why Wait For The Opportunity? Create Your Own!

General Press Releases Wednesday July 16, 2014 17:46
Bangkok--16 Jul--Aon Hewitt

In the past few years, we can’t deny that one of the hot topics in business is “Generation gap”. We can define generation gap as the differences of attitudes, beliefs and the way of life in each age group. But what makes them different? The answer can be observed in how each age group grew up with different cultural and economic environment. Certainly, these things are affecting our life tremendously in some ways, but in what ways? What are the impacts? Today, we will learn and try to understand the different characteristics of each generation.

Generation Baby Boom Generation X Generation Y
Born between 1956 – 1964 1965– 1980 1981 – 2000
Influenced by... War and the era of industrial revolution Economic development and the start of information age Drastic changes in technological advancement
Characteristics Avoid confrontation and sensitive to direct feedback
See the importance of family and relationship among colleagues Possess confidence and live with technology as a basic need
Personal Value Committed to work to ensure their success.
Tend to follow procedure and process Focus on outcome and value work/life balance Choose flexible challenging work that meet their learning needs

The impact of generation gap could occur at both the corporate and the individual level, especially at the corporate level. It can be a major headache for most executives and managers to manage Generation Y. This Generation Y will eventually become the majority of people in the organization within the next 10 years, and not to mention the retirement of Baby boomers at the same time. The future of any organizations will depend on two groups of generation namely, Generation X and Generation Y. In a sense, this is a good opportunity for young people to grow up into the top management role. On the other hand its will be a great challenge for the organization that cannot adapt to the rapid changes in time. According to Aon Hewitt research on “Top Companies for Leaders” ,there are 5 aspects that organizations must be prepared in order to build and maintain a strong leadership practices to ensure its readiness to upcoming challenges;

1. Systematic succession management along with the ability to attract and retain talents in the organization.

According to a study from World Bank, the unemployment rate in Thailand (2013) averaged at 0.8%, which is considered very low when compared to other labour markets such as Malaysia 3.1%, Singapore 2.8% and even the fastest growing economy China at 4.5%. As a result, Thailand is facing with talent war. Furthermore, once talents are obtained, organizations have to be able to retain and develop them through efficient succession management to ensure continuity and success.

2. Managing Performance system that is strategically link to clear career path and effective learning and development program.

An engagement study by Aon Hewitt reveals that Career opportunity is one of the top three factors that affect engagement in every generation raging from Baby boomer, Gen X and even Gen Y. Work Task, referring to the joy in day-to-day work and the opportunity to fully utilize skills comes up as number one factor that engages Gen X and Y.

3. Giving importance on risk management and change management skills.

If we look at the recent Global Risk index 2013 by Aon, Recession (Economic slowdown) come as the top risk that every organization faces, followed by risk from changing rules and regulations (Regulatory change) and fierce competition (increase competition). Looking introspectively in Thailand, we cannot escape the ongoing political instability in our own country. Meanwhile, it is not surprising that we are lagging behind on “Global political Risk Index”, which rates the strength of the government, economic, social and political stability in the time of crisis. This led to a conclusive evident that risk management and change management has become essential skills for leaders of the new generations to lead the organization to its success.

4. The preparation for dynamic changes in economic conditions of each country.

It has become more and more apparent that many organizations began to shift its playground into the ASEAN countries, whether its PTT group who invested in Indonesia coal mines or CP Group who invested in agricultural crops in Cambodia and Laos. Understanding the diverse context of each country or “knowing the enemy and know yourself”, therefore, has become a critical skill with which new generation leaders must be equipped.

5. Leader who is equipped with learning agility.

Modern leaders must be well-versed on the situation around them. Leaders must be able to take advantage of the information around them and leverage knowledge integration in different contexts. Nowadays, class room knowledge alone does not suffice in the dynamic environment. To be ahead of competitors, new generation leaders must innovate and use any information to its competitive advantage. Aitthipat Kulapongvanich, who is now a billionaire businessman, is a good example that built “Tao Kae Noi” brand value to have a net worth of billions just from his passion and information search of algae.

In conclusion, if you are a baby boomer, this is your chance to build a system that promotes new generation leaders, and using the system to bridge the gap between each generation. But If you're a Gen X or Gen Y, This will be the time you create your own opportunity to enhance your skill set and compete with others –keeping in mind that “Where there is change, there is opportunity.”

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