RT Vol X: Ch. 3: Transformational Strategic Choice: The Generational Succession Effect on Small Veteran-Owned Businesses (VOB) and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOB)
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker® Vol X: Effective Business Strategies For the Defense Industry Sector


Generational succession is the systemic transition or continual emergence from previous cultural-bearers to new cultural-bearers (King, 2010). The ability of U.S. small business leaders to manage generational succession while managing knowledge became a strategic imperative regardless of the industry, and goods or services sold (Bracci & Vagnoni, 2011). This strategic imperative offered the leaders of small veteran-owned businesses (VOB) or service disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOB) opportunities to implement realistic and pragmatic solutions for instituting generational transfer methods regarding succession planning, mentorship, education, and training in developing the next generation to become leaders or managers. VOB and SDVOB leaders use different strategies to address generational succession and the effect of Baby Boomers continuing to work beyond traditional retirement eligibility age of 67 years. Changing workforce demographics, combined with a gap in knowledge and skills between older and younger generations, may threaten VOB and SDVOB viability. The presence of different generations in the workforce, where 1 in 5 employees are 55 years and older, presents an unprecedented challenge for small business leaders abilities to plan succession. Disastrous consequences await companies that cannot transfer knowledge from older to younger generations (Stam, 2010). Between 2008 and 2018, 30 million or 20% of the 150.9 million U.S. jobs involve or will involve companies needing skilled, educated, and trained workers to replace aging and retiring Baby Boomers (Rothwell, 2011). The implications for refractive thinkers involves presenting guidance by exploring and postulating the effects of changing workforce demographics on VOBs and SDVOBs.