Next week’s luncheon speaker will address one of the great challenges confronting today’s executives and managers; how to manage four, and soon five, generations in the workplace. To succeed and have a competitive advantage in this environment, leaders must find ways to incorporate the differing expertise of these disparate generations.
Our speaker, Tom Klobucher, has great ideas to share and a fair amount of street credibility. His firm has won the Best Places to Work In Illinois Award three times! We’re excited about this luncheon because it symbolizes the work and transformation of the Chamber, and the community we care so deeply about.
Each business has its own culture and value system. The Chamber needs to be inclusive and welcoming of all of our Members, their employees and customers. We’ve made good strides over the past several years, but our work is far from complete.
The needs of our longest-serving Members are very different from the desires and expectations of our newest and younger members. The Chamber has been rethinking, retooling and recreating new programs, services and communications to better engage and attract the involvement of the evolving workplace.
To this end, the Chamber’s board wisely founded the Young Professionals of the Naperville Chamber. This dynamic group has been a rapidly expanding and is a great resource for the next generation of business leaders.
They deserve recognition for all they’ve accomplished, as several long-time Members of YPN are already successful entrepreneurs and community leaders. We may need to stop saying they are the “next” generation and give credit where credit is due to the YPN’ers business acumen and contributions to our community.
We recognize that the Chamber needs to more accurately reflect our business and consumer community. It’s not good enough to have generational balance in our ranks; we must do a better job of bringing the shared cultures, backgrounds and experiences that make up our regional society.
It’s the Chamber’s responsibility to bring about this change, to forge relationships between different groups and serve as a catalyst for inclusion and mutual benefit. It’s our responsibility because diversity and acceptance is the path to prosperity in this century.
Chicago is one of the greatest economic cities in the world and we compete across the globe for talent, capital, investment and consumers. Ideas, innovation, people and prosperity will flow back and forth, and we sit just a few miles away from one of the true economic titans.
We’ll go about this, one step at a time and hope you join us along the way.