The Next Wave of Presidents/Managers In Our Industry

Business Manger


Jan 05 2016


Paul Eitmant

After 40 plus years in our industry and having the time to look back on changes in management during this time period. I see some interesting points of interest in our future.

I came across an article while researching this topic by David Parkinson, Janet McFarland and Barrie McKenna that discusses issues our industry needs to address.*

Boom, Bust and Economic Headaches

The dramatic greying of Canada’s population will reshape the economy, stifle growth and force governments to provide for a growing number of seniors with a shrinking pool of taxpayers…

The reality of an aging work force means “succession planning is becoming more and more important for businesses,” he says. “It’s not just at the CEO level. We’ve become leaders in the field in our technology. It takes time — you’re not going to get someone out of school that possesses the knowledge that our people have. It takes some planning…”

Some of the impact of Canada’s aging work force will be mitigated by its relatively large immigration program: about 250,000 new immigrants arrive in Canada each year, roughly double our country’s natural growth through births and deaths. (On a per capita basis, Canada accepts about twice as many immigrants as the United States, and about four times as many as Japan.) But even with current levels of immigration, we’re having trouble keeping up with even the first wave of retiring baby boomers. The number of new retirees in Canada has jumped from about 170,000 annually five years ago to nearly 250,000 today. Within a few years, we face retirement rates closing in on 400,000 a year…

The result will be a dramatic greying of Canada’s demography — one that has serious implications for the national economy, government policy and the well-being of its citizens. Without significant adjustments, we could be headed for decades of anemic economic growth, shrinking per capita incomes and eroding wealth. Governments could face skyrocketing deficits and tough choices about what kinds of health care and social supports we can afford, as a smaller pool of taxpayers must fund the rising costs of the growing numbers of seniors. The gaps between the wealthy and poor may widen into gaping social wounds, as the adequacy of pensions and private savings are tested to their limits.

And the grey shift has already begun. As of this year, for the first time, Canada has more people over the age of 65 than under 15. The age group that now encompasses the boomer generation — 50 to 69 — makes up 27% of the population, compared with 18%  in that age group two decades ago. The number of people over 65, the traditional retirement age in this country, make up 16% of the population — double their proportion in 1971.

Considering these facts, I am concerned that the key decision makers should continue to hire within our industry, because those who have of hired outside our industry really do not have a great track record for success. I have seen these particular companies that want to bring about change seemed to drift from the core competencies of the company. In addition, the learning curve takes too long or they just refuse to accept of way of doing business.

Bottom line, the old saying “Let the buyer beware” comes to mind. Change is good for our industry, but the key decision-makers must consider the short- and long-term effect on the company.

Read more from Paul Eitmant in CEW:
– A New Player in the Canadian Gray Market
– The Cost of Bad Leaders
– NAFTA Still a Good Show
– On Being an Effective Coach
– The Biggest Risks to Canada’s Economy In 2015 and Beyond
– Networks and Lighting Standards – Follow Up – One Year later
– How Healthy is Your Business?
– Social Media: Is It the Future for the Electrical Industry?
– Customer Service: A Key to Success
– The Right Price to Get the Order — the Last Look
– The Good Old Boys Club “Changing of the Guard”
– Who’s Next Within North America’s Electrical Distributor Channel?
– Generation Y – Next Generation – Never to old to Learn!
– LEDs: the Fastest Growing Product/Market for 2015

Paul Eitmant is President and CEO of IP Group International, which serves the needs of business-to-business enterprises in over 30 countries worldwide by adding specialized expertise to the business planning and implementation process; Tel: 480.488.5646;

* This is part of a week-long series by The Globe and Mail series on baby boomers and how their spending, investing, health and lifestyle decisions could affect Canada’s economy in the next fifteen years. Is Canada ready for the boom? For more, visit



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