There's always more to say about Baby Boomers. Recently we've talked about where how retiring Jewish Baby Boomers can be kept engaged with Jewish institutions. How does it look from the other side?
What happens to the Jewish organizations left behind by their Baby Boomer executives?
Will there be a next generation behind them, ready to step up for leadership? The report, Executive Development & Succession Planning: A Growing Challenge for the American Jewish Community (2009), addresses this question.
While there are still idealistic college graduates entering the field, the vast majority tend to stay for 18 months to two years and then move on to gain more experience elsewhere. The desire of previous generations to devote a lifetime to Jewish communal service is rapidly disappearing
One problem is that many Jewish organizations don't have many positions in between the entry level and the executive level, and no clear, let alone satisfying path from one to the other. Agency heads say they would prefer to hire from the inside, but they just don't see the talent there. By the time it's time for consideration for top positions, they're long gone. Young people leave for the outside in search of better pay and opportunities, and then agencies must reach outside for their hiring of new executives.
Only a tiny minority of Jewish organizations actually have plans in place for the mentoring and grooming of a new generation of leaders, The report presents suggestions for Jewish organizations concerned with executive planning, Increasingly rigorous and specialized programs (like Wagner's own Dual-Degree Nonprofit Adminstration and Judaic Studies Program) are preparing individuals to to lead and manage Jewish organizations - will those organizations be in a position to attract, retain, and benefit from their skills?