#Talent, Economic Growth, #Millennials and your Company-What I learned from @lancejrichards at…

If you think my title is bizarre, there is always a method to my madness.  By the time you read this post on Friday October 4 I will be driving up Interstate 65 through Mobile, Alabama, headed home to Franklin, TN.  It seems like a long time since I slept in my own bed back home, but it has been quite a journey over the last 10 days.  Let me give you a quick snippet on the trip and then get to the heart of the matter.

My wife and I just celebrated the 31st anniversary of our nuptials in September (9/11 to be exact) and we chose to make it an anniversary month this year instead of just a day.  We capped off the anniversary month with a wonderful trip to Destin, FL where we stayed at our favorite place, Destin Pointe.  I hope you enjoy the photos I have attached.

I put Gena on a plane back home on Wednesday and proceeded to drive to Biloxi with a great lunch stop in Barksdale, AL where I had lunch with my economic development confidant, Robert Ingram.  I first was introduced to Robert a few months ago and we then met in person last August at the SEDC conference in Tulsa, OK.  Robert has forgotten more about Economic Development than most of us will ever know and he has been a good teacher to me for the past several months.

After waddling away from lunch I proceeded to drive to Biloxi where we stayed at the Beau Rivage for the Southern Automotive Conference.  This annual event brings together leaders from the automotive industry across the south and it also has a strong sprinkling of other auto leaders from across the country and many other parts of the world.

Our opening speaker was Peter Ricchiuti of Tulane University and I am still struggling to learn if he is  a funny professor or simply one of the brightest, most entertaining people I have ever heard speak.  I have enclosed a video of one of his other presentations, you decide.

Lunch brought the Governor of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, and the afternoon was capped off by Lance Richards of Kelly Services.  Lance has a great experience base to draw upon and he did a fantastic job of presenting about the challenges we face with multiples generations in the workplace.  Many of his statistics can be found in his book “The Leadership Deficit-Recruiting and Retaining the Multi-Generational Workforce”.

Here are some of the more interesting statistics that Lance brought to our attention:

  • Many of the best-educated countries have the lowest fertility rates; their workforce will continue to shrink
  • Many of the least-educated countries have the highest fertility rates; their challenges will only increase
  • Too many leaders from the Silent Generation and the Boomers judge Gen X and Gen Y with their own views; wrongly so
  • Gen Y (millennials) are very collaborative in their work habits and prefer to work together in more casual situations, not necessarily in a cubicle
  • Gen Y has the capability (typically) to handle multiple communication streams and still hold a conversation-this type of thing drives most Boomers crazy

Lance did a wonderful job of holding the groups’ attention and he also fielded some challenging questions at the end.

My stay in Biloxi at the Beau Rivage has come to an end way too soon, but I look forward to seeing all of my automotive friends next year with SAC 14 meets in Birmingham, AL.  I can hardly wait to get back together with all of them.