With boomers retiring and leadership requirements changing, the industry could face a leadership gap if it fails to develop its internal talent, especially Gen X.
The AM Best (Best's Review) article, “Generation NeXt,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Limore Zilberman on why it’s crucial that organizations shift their formational focus to Generation X. The article is excerpted below.
Of the 50 chief executive officer searches The Jacobson Group has done in the past four years, each was to replace a baby boomer.
“Organizations have missed the boat on talent development across the board,” said Limore Zilberman, a consultant at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. “They more recently have done better in focusing on the talent development of their senior leaders. But by the time you're a senior leader, if you haven't collected all the arrows for your quiver along your whole career path, you're at a real disadvantage when it comes to being considered for CEO succession.”
Insurance has been an industry of silos. Employees traditionally have lived in the underwriting world. They've lived in the claims world. They've lived in the finance world.
“This was an industry that was built on specialization,” Zilberman said. “People were hired because of their technical prowess and because of their technical acumen and their technical contribution.
“Organizations have kept people in very narrow swim lanes and have been very focused on their technical contributions.”
“Albeit [technical acumen] is still important in the success of an insurance company and the insurance industry as a whole, the landscape of leadership is going to change,” Zilberman added. “The expectations of leadership are going to change. Our technical talent is not necessarily well-poised to take on broader leadership capabilities.”
“We're so focused on how to attract and retain and challenge millennials. And we're so focused on baby boomers. But it's the Gen X generation that needs the investment, because they're the leaders of the future for the industry as a whole,” Zilberman said. “We need to equip them with the right skill set to be able to succeed in a landscape that is going to look very, very different.”
To read the full article, click here.