Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders

December 05, 2013 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

In an interview with Forbes, Haydn Shaw, a researcher of generational differences for over twenty years, talks about why millennials leave companies after a brief period of time and what organizations should do to retain them. His advice?

“Quit thinking something is wrong with younger employees when they leave. Actually, some Millennials need to leave your organization so they can try other jobs to find their life’s work.”

Citing a laundry list of reasons for leaving (everything from boredom to financial need), Shaw advises that, instead of asking how to retain millennials, managers focus on how to keep them engaged and productive during their tenure. Then, create a succession plan to bridge the gaps as more Boomers retire over the next five years. “An organization must figure out generational sticking points because those differences will break a succession plan,” says Haydn.

At Disney, we know that leaders must be proactive in order to sustain the values and vision in the next generation of leaders. To successfully develop these leaders you must believe that leadership is not just a training initiative. While the typical organization believes that few people are leaders, the values-driven organization believes that most people are leaders. You must recognize this potential and overmanage the development of your team members’ leadership skills.

One example of developing new skills within potential leaders is the job rotation program available to Disney Cast Members, especially those in front-line operations. Every few years, these leaders-in-training are rotated to new lines of business, new theme parks, new resorts, and sometimes to new cities. The broad scope of experience is just one way Disney cultivates its next generation of leaders. 

Tell us — How do you identify and grow the next generation of leaders within your organization?




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Posted in Employee Engagement | Tagged Employee Retention, Employee Engagement, Employee Engagement Ideas, Employee Turnover, Leadership Training, Leadership Development, Bruce Jones | 1 Comments

1 Responses to Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders

  • Jim says:

    on December 06, 2013

    I also have noticed Disney's willingness to allow cast members opportunities to try different roles. I think that is brilliant and must be one of the keys to longevity and productivity of cast members.

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