This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

February 29, 2012

Coming Shortage of Corporate Executives

When no one wants to be a corporate executive, then indeed, we will have a shortage of folks for our top leadership positions. A surprising new survey finds that while workers want overall success, not even one in an online survey of more than 1000 people, wants to be a corporate executive. More than half aspired to be entrepreneurs* (nearly 65 percent) or work as independents (61 percent). As independents, they expressed a desire for work hours more flexible than the traditional 9:00am to 5:00pm.

These results, found in Intelligent Office's first "Work IQ" survey, are fascinating. With high unemployment still plaguing the economies of many countries, Intelligent Office intended to discover if people are working in traditional ways or whether there has been a movement toward more flexible workstyles. They profiled both current and aspirational workstyles, determining an ongoing evolution of workstyles and the development of a different type of worker. They call this kind of worker the "New American Worker"---defined by "a desire for mobility and flexibility", typically found in the entrepreneur and/or independent business owner.

Intelligent Office believes there is a paradigm shift happening in our culture, as it relates to workstyles. The company has been watching this shift take place over the course of the last few years by talking with entrepreneurs, business owners, and mobile executives on a daily basis. Their survey reinforced their suspicions.

Here are some additional highlights:

Nearly half of the respondents want a work hard/play hard work life balance---a new balance; technology remains a very valuable resource for more than 45 percent of the respondents; overwhelmingly, people aspire to have more mobility in their work life; 66 percent responded that they aspire to have a laptop or tablet that affords them freedom and mobility.

Our forecast: expect a worldwide shortage of corporate executives. Employers will have the opportunity to embrace "intrapreneurship"—giving employees chances to feel like entrepreneurs, while still working for the organization---giving people "ownership" of a particular part of the business. Service providers will enjoy opportunities to market into these growing trends.

* Obviously, they do not realize that most successful entrepreneurs become corporate executives.


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