Orman Guidance: Boomer-millennial alliance spells business success

Aug 11, 2015, 13:00 ET from Orman Guidance

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- For today's business leaders, reconciling the myriad work styles of Baby Boomers, Gen X-Y and Millennials is a major cultural hurdle. But for one company, that's not a problem to solve – it's a welcome opportunity.

Orman Guidance, a consumer insights firm whose clients include Target, Optum and US Bank, has chosen to shift to co-leadership with a boomer President and a millennial CEO. The alliance brings the generations together with shared ideas of success that defy generational differences.

52-year-old baby boomer Rosemary Sundin and 32-year-old millennial Rico Mace aligned their vision in late 2014, when Mace was hired as the directory of strategic planning at Orman Guidance. "Exciting changes are taking place in the industry," Mace says. "Rosemary got me hooked on market research."  

The irresistible draw to consumer insights is key, but the two also learned they share an appreciation for opportunities that begin with self-engagement and self-empowerment. Both experienced life-changing events that kindled their entrepreneurial spirits.  

For Sundin, the pivotal moment occurred at the age of 22, when as a young divorced mother with two children, she applied for and was denied food stamps because her income was just above the threshold. "Go quit your job," advised the social worker, "and then come back. You'll qualify if you quit your job." Sundin says she literally felt taller as she left the welfare office that day. "From that moment forward, I realized, if I was going to achieve success, the person to rely on was me."

For Mace, serving overseas in the U.S. Navy, a near death experience did more than awaken him to life's possibilities. During the deployment, Mace became critically wounded. "They brought in my parents," he recalls, "because I was pretty much declared dead. But I was revived, and I recovered. From that moment forward, I had a completely different mindset: the perseverance and the strength to do anything – while remembering that everything I've done since that day has never been as hard as surviving that ordeal."

Combining their strengths, Sundin and Mace are determined to make Orman Guidance thrive through changes in the market research industry and workforce. They realize their company's culture offers tailored opportunities for the millennial generation.

"Orman Guidance has a long history of providing the variety and flexibility that many millennials seek," Sundin says. "The appeal of market research in 1988 was the same as the appeal in 2015 – an opportunity to do something different, and learn something different, every single day. It really fits with my outlook and life in general," she says.

Today, the leadership at Orman Guidance continues to nurture its staff with co-created jobs and opportunities. Just as Sundin rose from an entry-level position to 100% ownership of the company within 13 years, current employees are moved purposefully into positions that align their talents, strengths and career goals with the core competencies of the company.

Mace and Sundin believe that loyal, empowered employees help the company retain their competitive edge that drives positive changes in the consumer insights industry.

"What Rosemary brings to the table and what I bring to the table pair to make our teams even better," Mace says. "My goal here isn't to make this company great for the owners, it's to make the company great for the world."

To learn more about the lessons of cross-generational collaborations in the 40 year history of Orman Guidance, please contact William Bornhoft at wbornhoft@ormanguidance.com or 952-857-0124.

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SOURCE Orman Guidance