With the Holiday Season behind us and our focus shifting to business for 2017, we at Miles LeHane are looking forward to and finalizing our operating plans for the year. We are now in our 25th year of service and looking forward to and are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. Milestones are great to accomplish, but they set a higher standard of excellence for the future.  The three of us are ready for the challenges of 2017.

Our goals fall into 3 primary categories. 1= Grow the Business selectively; 2= Add selected consultancy expertise, especially in the arenas of Millennial Leadership and Coaching, as well as e-based business effectiveness and entrepreneurial coaching. 3= In addition, we continue to evolve our various approaches to career transition support and future employment options.  Overall, we do see a lot of evolution to our services and are working diligently to stay ahead of what is occurring in the global world of work.  While we are not able to predict the future, we can respond to our clients and our participants.  So please, as you see new areas and subtle changes, please share them with us.  We are always interested in learning your perspectives on the future of work and the business climate.

First let me reiterate that Melanie and I are not working toward retirement.  We, along with Scott, are committed to working full time and growing the Consultancy Practices.  What we are attempting to do, like many of our clients, is to align our business models to the demands of the market place.  This will allow us to operate more cost effectively and focus resources on moderate pricing and maximum value of service provided. With that as the framework, it was after much deliberation that we decided to put the real estate up for sale. Knowing it would take a special buyer for the Historical Property, we started the process in 2016.  Hopefully with the boost in real estate high end transactions, driven by the Federal elections, we may find a buyer this Spring/Summer.  When the White House changes political parties virtually all 3,800 high level appointees change.  This and all others will have a stimulating impact on the real estate market, after the new Congress is seated and the process moves forward.  Timing is everything.

Our plans, once all or part of the properties sell, is to build our new home in the Leesburg area.  By moving one or two blocks, outside of, but next to the Historic District, we can have the best of both worlds.  Low maintenance in design and construction, and yet be in walking distance of downtown Leesburg.  A smaller, more maintenance free construction, plus a new and larger collector car garage dominates our thinking.  We will keep you posted.  In the meantime, we have already arranged for traditional office space allowing full continuity of our business.

Employment Outlook 2017

We are hearing and seeing some conflicting data and information.  Much will even out over the first quarter of the year, as business priorities are established, both by companies and the Federal Government.  The road will be bumpy, but we believe in an uphill overall direction.  First let me put a few facts forward that are impacting the market place:

1= Every day of the week, 10,000 Baby Boomers and Seniors are finally retiring.  The good news is that this opens up opportunities for Gen X and the Millennials.  The bad news is that most organizations have not been active in Succession Planning for this level of retirement activity. A big concern of course is the loss of organizational information that does not get transferred to the next generation of leaders.

2= There simply are not enough talented Generation X ready to move into a leadership position.  As you may recall, this Generation was one of the smallest by birth population in the last 50 plus years.  With that said, this means we need to look to the early Millennial generation to fill the demand.  Unfortunately this pre-recession group today experiences the highest unemployment/underemployment rate of any group in the work force.  The result is a smaller than expected “back up” group to move forward.  It is estimated that approximately 25% of this group is not fully engaged in the workforce.  While the second half of the Millennials (post the great recession) are actively employed they are in their growth and development years gaining experience and expertise.  While the future looks good for the early 2020’s, we have a shortage for the next 3 to 5 years.

3= As new business models adapt and adjust we can see a new major trend developing.  Back in 2000 less than 2% of the workforce was classified as nontraditional employment.  Nontraditional employment encompasses part time-contract-consultancy-project based and a variety of other non 40 hour full time arrangements.  Currently we are exceeding 20% and an expected potential of 50% of the workforce employed by alternative arrangements by 2025.  While some find this as undesirable, many of the Millennials find this attractive.  While not being judgmental, it does cause concern for a number of issues such as home ownership, Social Security and Health benefits and just general structure to day to day life.

4= Future Leadership is an issue.  All of the above creates a framework for companies and organizations to establish definitive plans for leadership development and succession planning.  While the negatives are inherently obvious, there is always the silver lining.  As tomorrow leaders grow they will have a variety of experiences.  Their breadth of development may exceed their depth.  While we would like both, it is imperative to design development opportunities and approaches that are reflective of their reality.  We see major opportunities in this arena.

Summary= Business both domestically and internationally will continue to grow.  My personal observation is we will flourish and remain a Global Leader in many industries.  We will continue to see new and ongoing interest in startups as well as fine tuning ongoing basic businesses in manufacturing and soft goods.  We will continue to lead the world in food production and grow self-sufficient in energy and consumables.  Together, with much change, we will remain a strong business climate with global reach.  At Miles LeHane we want to help you and your business flourish in a leadership role. Our vision, to help individuals and organizations have inspirational transformation, is at the heart of what we stand for.  Here is to a great 2017 for everyone.

Please think of us for any client referrals. Thank you!