If you haven't noticed, the next generation of supply chain talent is here and ready to go! This "next" generation is the "now" generation. It is exciting and somewhat daunting to see the passion and energy that this new wave of talent is bringing to our industry. As I strive to better understand and leverage generational differences within my group, I am exploring different methods to grow and learn.
Here are two tactics that I adopted and both are easy to replicate:
- Each year I hold a day-long, off-site meeting with all the millennials in my organization. It's just them and me (baby boomer). Meeting topics range from "what do we do as leaders that drive you crazy" to "please evaluate our business strategy and give me your thoughts." I've learned that this generation is looking for ways to plug in to the strategy conversation, but that millennials can struggle with finding that avenue. By creating a forum for this type of communication directly to me once a year, the communication dynamic changes in a positive way all year long.
- I have gone back to college. My alma mater has an emerging Supply Chain program that provides a great connection point for me and next generation talent that is about to enter the workforce. I volunteer my time as a guest lecturer at the university and by hosting students at our corporate office. This work allows me to influence real world preparation for promising students. Volunteering also gives me the opportunity to share the wonderful career paths that are available in our industry. The bonus for me is that these students help me stay relevant with as a leader, and they influence my strategic planning on how to optimize the "now" generation of Foodservice Supply Chain professionals.