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Guest Posts

Generation Z: 12 Important Things Companies Need To Understand

Did you happen to see what the Forbes Coaches Council has to say about Gen Z?

Read more

A Closer Look at Associations

At XYZ University, we’ve spent a lot of time with association professionals over the years and we know how important these organizations are. This week, we’re taking a closer look at scary stats about associations.

Read more

Move over Millennials

Millennials have been in the spotlight as of late, but Gen Z-ers (born 1996-2012) are quickly approaching a pivotal role in the workplace and marketplace. Who are they?

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

Read more

3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more

To Gen X, it was More than Purple Rain

The world is still reeling from the death of Prince Rogers Nelson, the multi-platinum-selling music legend who died on April 21. Prince was an influential artist in a recording career spanning 38 years, and his music became the soundtrack for Generation X (1965-1981) who grew up listening to his music.

Read more

Swift Lessons in Millennial Marketing

There’s no doubt 2015 was the year of Taylor Swift. Building off the success of her 1989 album, Swift’s world tour generated over $4 million per show.

Read more

Engaging the Modern Millennial Family at YMCA

For the past year, XYZ University has worked with the YMCA of the USA, surveying 5,250 Millennial members nationwide, presenting at YMCA conferences, and developing membership strategies and a Millennial membership-building toolkit to help Ys engage the membership of Millennial families.

Read more

Super Bowl Ads Try to Woo Millennials

The sports fans will talk about the game, the music fans will talk about the halftime show, and the foodies will talk about the food they ate during the game. But we at XYZ University look at an event like Super Bowl 50 from an entirely different point of view — the generational one.

Read more

The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

Read more

How Helicopter Parents Changed the Workforce

It’s back to school time, and as you prep your little darlings for another year of education, take some time to reflect on your own school experiences.

Read more

Gen Z and Your Business: BFFs or Snapchat?

Just as companies are coming to terms with the wave of Gen Ys, another generation is creeping up behind them. Generation Z — the oldest who are turning 19 — are moving en masse into entry-level jobs, colleges, and internships. Born in the late 1990s and early 2000s they make up a quarter of the population and have little in common with their Gen Y predecessors. Here’s what you need to know about Z.

Read more

Knowing Y in Holland

Generation Y. Millennials. Echo Boomers. Trophy Generation. Regardless of how you refer to them, organizations worldwide are really perplexed by the generation of young adults now moving into the majority of the workforce and consumer spending.

Read more

The World's Aging Workforce and What Your Business Should do About It

Despite projected growth in the global population from 6.9 billion to 7.6 billion in 2020, the working-age population is expected to decline. In fact, aging will likely add 360 million older people (Baby Boomers) to the world’s pool of those not participating in the labor force.

Read more

Rookie Talent: Avoiding a Kodak Moment

During most of the 20th century Kodak held a dominant position in photographic film, and in 1976, had an 89% market share of photographic film sales in the United States. Kodak began to struggle financially in the late 1990s as a result of the decline in sales of photographic film and its slowness in transitioning

Read more

What Would Scrooge Do?: Planning For Workforce Future

Tis the season for the celebration of one year’s end and another year’s beginning. Amidst all the champagne and time spent with family and friends, I encourage you to ponder the future–but perhaps a little differently than usual. Most of us are familiar with the famous story by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

Read more

Culture And The Bottom Line: Why Burritos Are Outperforming The S&P 500

You can’t put a price on culture. Or can you? Danny Meyer is a renowned New York City restauranteur and the CEO and founder of Union Square Hospitality Group. He believes success in any business is based on culture. In 2009 Meyer appeared on Jim Cramer’s show Mad Money.

Read more

Want To Ace The Interview? Strategies For Gen Y Job-Seekers

Did you know? One of the biggest complaints employers have about Generation Y (1982-1995) is that they’re not prepared for interviews, and many employers consider hiring Gen Ys a risk because they leave their jobs faster than other generations and they are difficult to manage.

Read more
View older posts →

Are you ready for the Snapchat generation?

Snapchat's parent company, Snap, has made headlines for the better part of the past two weeks since its IPO on March 2. Snap's market value increased by nearly $9 billion on its first day of trading; it's first day pop being bigger than even Facebook's or Google's. Perhaps you're still not sure what all the fuss is about. Here's the skinny:

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

To Gen X, it was More than Purple Rain

The world is still reeling from the death of Prince Rogers Nelson, the multi-platinum-selling music legend who died on April 21. Prince was an influential artist in a recording career spanning 38 years, and his music became the soundtrack for Generation X (1965-1981) who grew up listening to his music.

Read more

Super Bowl Ads Try to Woo Millennials

The sports fans will talk about the game, the music fans will talk about the halftime show, and the foodies will talk about the food they ate during the game. But we at XYZ University look at an event like Super Bowl 50 from an entirely different point of view — the generational one.

Read more

Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

Read more

Best Companies Bridge The Generation Gap

The Globe and Mail recently reported that more than ever before, many of the companies on this year’s list of Best Employers in the GTA (greater Toronto area) are spending time and money in an effort to close the generation gap among employees.

Read more

The World Is Our Home When We’re Mobile

Pete Townshend circa 1971 said then what is remarkably true today, in ways he never imagined. Technology is paving the way towards a faster and smarter workplace. With this reality comes the need for employees to streamline their workload and increase efficiencies.

Read more

Is Your Industry Aging Out?

FACT: In the wake of the Great Recession, some Baby Boomers are delaying retirement, hoping that a few extra years of work will help them replenish nest eggs devastated by the economic downturn.

Read more

Raising Ys: Boomers To Blame For Conflict Between Work And Home

Last month, I spent a great deal of time on the road speaking to audiences from the American Society of Association Executives in Miami to the International Ticketing Association in Salt Lake City, and I observed that people from coast to coast have become really forthcoming about the generational topic.

Read more

The Battle For Relevance: Stick To Your Mission And Engage The Next Generation Of Leaders

Your members are with you because you have fulfilled an expectation for them and can provide them with something valuable they feel paying membership is worth. It probably had something to do with your mission. At least it did. Are you happy with your new member recruitment? If not, you need to consider relevance.

Read more

The Boomers Are Leaving: Retain Their Knowledge

We need to be honest; we’re facing a workforce crisis. An average of 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every day, and they have knowledge you can’t afford to lose. With a good succession plan in place, you don’t have to. Instead, facilitate a transfer of knowledge–improve your organization support its future viability.

Read more

Generation X-Mas: Wonderful Life Falls From Favor

America has a new favorite Christmas movie. For the 11th year in a row, TBS aired its 24-hour Christmas Story movie marathon on December 24 and 25. TBS officials report most movie re-runs fade over time, but Christmas Story has continually risen in the ratings.

Read more

5 Ways To Engage And Disengage Generations X And Y

At XYZ University, our area of expertise is teaching organizations how to engage Generations X, Y, and Z; those skeptical, instant-gratification generations who were raised on technology and credit cards and are often labeled socially inept, entitled slackers.

Read more

Banks Vs. Credit Unions: X And Y Less Loyal To Banks

A recent poll reverals that banks' most loyal customers are their oldest customers. While Generations X and Y are the retail banking customers of the future, the poll indicates they are also the least loyal and hardest to please.Why is this happening?

Read more

Quick Glimpse At The Generation Gap In Your Office

Over the next five years, we will be a part of an unprecedented generation shift as Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce. Today’s post is a quick visual glimpse at the breakdown of what your office may look like generation-wise in the next five years. Are you prepared for this shift?

Read more

Trust Me, Generations X And Y Don't Trust You

When Justin Bieber accepted the Milestone Award at the 2013 Billboard Awards, the crowd booed. This caught the musician by surprise since it is a fan-driven honor. Music critics believe Bieber’s recent antics–showing up late to concerts, threatening paparazzi, and alleged drug and alcohol use–have disappointed fans.

Read more

The 43% Change

What does it take to change the world? Governments? Businesses? Communities? Humanity is complex. We live in a world with endless beauty, yet there is also undeniable evil. War. Poverty. Pollution. Violence.

Read more

Which Generation Works The Hardest?

Last week I spoke at a corporate event where younger generations were getting a tongue-lashing from their Baby Boomer counterparts. The Boomers were scolding Generation Y for needing constant feedback, being unable to prioritize, and wanting to have (gasp!) fun at work.

Read more

A New Generation Of Socialites

On New Year’s Eve, my husband surprised me with dinner at one of the classiest restaurants in downtown Minneapolis. Upon our arrival, we were surprised to discover that most of the people eating there weren’t established couples enjoying a romantic evening, but rather boisterous groups of Gen Ys

Read more
View older posts →

Millennial Nomads, and how it could affect retaining employees…

According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers look for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. So, how is the Millennial Nomad life style possibly affecting your work culture?

Read more

Are you ready for the Snapchat generation?

Snapchat's parent company, Snap, has made headlines for the better part of the past two weeks since its IPO on March 2. Snap's market value increased by nearly $9 billion on its first day of trading; it's first day pop being bigger than even Facebook's or Google's. Perhaps you're still not sure what all the fuss is about. Here's the skinny:

Read more

Move over Millennials

Millennials have been in the spotlight as of late, but Gen Z-ers (born 1996-2012) are quickly approaching a pivotal role in the workplace and marketplace. Who are they?

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

Read more

3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more

Swift Lessons in Millennial Marketing

There’s no doubt 2015 was the year of Taylor Swift. Building off the success of her 1989 album, Swift’s world tour generated over $4 million per show.

Read more

Engaging the Modern Millennial Family at YMCA

For the past year, XYZ University has worked with the YMCA of the USA, surveying 5,250 Millennial members nationwide, presenting at YMCA conferences, and developing membership strategies and a Millennial membership-building toolkit to help Ys engage the membership of Millennial families.

Read more

Super Bowl Ads Try to Woo Millennials

The sports fans will talk about the game, the music fans will talk about the halftime show, and the foodies will talk about the food they ate during the game. But we at XYZ University look at an event like Super Bowl 50 from an entirely different point of view — the generational one.

Read more

The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

Read more

How Helicopter Parents Changed the Workforce

It’s back to school time, and as you prep your little darlings for another year of education, take some time to reflect on your own school experiences.

Read more

Knowing Y in Holland

Generation Y. Millennials. Echo Boomers. Trophy Generation. Regardless of how you refer to them, organizations worldwide are really perplexed by the generation of young adults now moving into the majority of the workforce and consumer spending.

Read more

Culture And The Bottom Line: Why Burritos Are Outperforming The S&P 500

You can’t put a price on culture. Or can you? Danny Meyer is a renowned New York City restauranteur and the CEO and founder of Union Square Hospitality Group. He believes success in any business is based on culture. In 2009 Meyer appeared on Jim Cramer’s show Mad Money.

Read more

Want To Ace The Interview? Strategies For Gen Y Job-Seekers

Did you know? One of the biggest complaints employers have about Generation Y (1982-1995) is that they’re not prepared for interviews, and many employers consider hiring Gen Ys a risk because they leave their jobs faster than other generations and they are difficult to manage.

Read more

Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

Read more

Young And Rich: Successful Entrepreneurs In A Success-Driven Society

I presented at the American Bar Association Section of Litigation conference last week. The law field is one of those 'at risk' professions, as fewer young adults are pursuing law school today to become entrepreneurs or pursue careers in technology.Many of America's businesses aren't taking the generation gap in the workforce very seriously, expecting that young adults will eventually come to grips with reality and settle into jobs at reputable companies that offer stability and great benefits packages.

Read more

Best Companies Bridge The Generation Gap

The Globe and Mail recently reported that more than ever before, many of the companies on this year’s list of Best Employers in the GTA (greater Toronto area) are spending time and money in an effort to close the generation gap among employees.

Read more

The World Is Our Home When We’re Mobile

Pete Townshend circa 1971 said then what is remarkably true today, in ways he never imagined. Technology is paving the way towards a faster and smarter workplace. With this reality comes the need for employees to streamline their workload and increase efficiencies.

Read more

Is Your Industry Aging Out?

FACT: In the wake of the Great Recession, some Baby Boomers are delaying retirement, hoping that a few extra years of work will help them replenish nest eggs devastated by the economic downturn.

Read more
View older posts →

Generation Z: 12 Important Things Companies Need To Understand

Did you happen to see what the Forbes Coaches Council has to say about Gen Z?

Read more

Move over Millennials

Millennials have been in the spotlight as of late, but Gen Z-ers (born 1996-2012) are quickly approaching a pivotal role in the workplace and marketplace. Who are they?

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

Gen Z and Your Business: BFFs or Snapchat?

Just as companies are coming to terms with the wave of Gen Ys, another generation is creeping up behind them. Generation Z — the oldest who are turning 19 — are moving en masse into entry-level jobs, colleges, and internships. Born in the late 1990s and early 2000s they make up a quarter of the population and have little in common with their Gen Y predecessors. Here’s what you need to know about Z.

Read more

Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

Read more

Is Your Industry Aging Out?

FACT: In the wake of the Great Recession, some Baby Boomers are delaying retirement, hoping that a few extra years of work will help them replenish nest eggs devastated by the economic downturn.

Read more

The Battle For Relevance: Stick To Your Mission And Engage The Next Generation Of Leaders

Your members are with you because you have fulfilled an expectation for them and can provide them with something valuable they feel paying membership is worth. It probably had something to do with your mission. At least it did. Are you happy with your new member recruitment? If not, you need to consider relevance.

Read more

Quick Glimpse At The Generation Gap In Your Office

Over the next five years, we will be a part of an unprecedented generation shift as Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce. Today’s post is a quick visual glimpse at the breakdown of what your office may look like generation-wise in the next five years. Are you prepared for this shift?

Read more

The 43% Change

What does it take to change the world? Governments? Businesses? Communities? Humanity is complex. We live in a world with endless beauty, yet there is also undeniable evil. War. Poverty. Pollution. Violence.

Read more

Which Generation Works The Hardest?

Last week I spoke at a corporate event where younger generations were getting a tongue-lashing from their Baby Boomer counterparts. The Boomers were scolding Generation Y for needing constant feedback, being unable to prioritize, and wanting to have (gasp!) fun at work.

Read more

The Times, They Are A Changin: How Volunteerism Is Changing From Baby Boomers To Gen X And Y

Paul McCartney must have been thinking about dealing with Generation X and Y when he sang ‘Yesterday, all my problems seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.’

Read more

Your Bridge To Access

Read more

Inauguration Symbolizes The End Of The Boomer Era

Generational change. A passing of the torch. A recent Associated Press article points out these terms have been thrown around with frequency as the moment nears for Barack Obama to take the oath of presidential office.

Read more

What Minecraft Teaches Us About Gen Z

If you aren’t familiar with the online building game Minecraft, you probably don’t have kids. Having been around since 2009, it isn’t the newest game but it’s certainly among the most popular. More than 35 million copies have been purchased and that number grows by the hour.

Read more

Getting To Know Gen Z

Don’t look now, but while we’ve all been busy trying to figure out Generation Y, the oldest members of Generation Z will soon walk out of their high school classrooms and into the workforce. The members of Generation Z were born in 1996, which means none of them remember a time before iPods or the Internet. They’re also old enough to buy your products and many (even those who aren’t graduating this year) are old enough to work for you.

Read more

Could You Work For Your Kid?

In 2011, this blog featured an article that posed the question: Would you hire your own kid? And now, just three years later, the question has become: Could you work for your kid or someone your kid’s age? What on earth happened between 2011 and 2014? And how on earth is it possible for someone who is 50-something to be managed by someone who is 20-something?

Read more

Workplace Evolution: Flexibility For All Generations

Remember when doctors smoked at the office? You don’t have to watch Mad Men to appreciate how much the workplace has evolved in the last 50 years. Right now we have three generations–Boomers, Gen X and Millenials–in the workforce with varying needs and expectations, and things are changing.

Read more

Boomers: Peace Or Pandemonium At Work?

Watch out below! Just when we thought the workplace was free from intolerance, today’s young professionals are bumping into age discrimination on their way to the top. For years we heard about women hitting their head on the metaphoric glass ceiling, never able to move higher on the ladder to success and get ahead of their male counterparts in the business world.

Read more

Examples Of Successful Twitter Engagement With Generations X, Y And Z

As social media continues to evolve companies, associations and brands are searching for ways to connect with their employees, members and target markets–and vice versa–employees, members and consumers are using social media to connect, communicate and correspond with their employers, associations, brands and celebrities.

Read more
View older posts →

A Closer Look at Associations

At XYZ University, we’ve spent a lot of time with association professionals over the years and we know how important these organizations are. This week, we’re taking a closer look at scary stats about associations.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more

Engaging the Modern Millennial Family at YMCA

For the past year, XYZ University has worked with the YMCA of the USA, surveying 5,250 Millennial members nationwide, presenting at YMCA conferences, and developing membership strategies and a Millennial membership-building toolkit to help Ys engage the membership of Millennial families.

Read more

Online Communities And Member Retention

The only way way your association is going to be able to retain members is by making them feel connected to you and by providing them value. Why else would they pay membership dues? If they can have the same experience elsewhere, there’s nothing to keep them from going elsewhere.

Read more

The Battle For Relevance: Stick To Your Mission And Engage The Next Generation Of Leaders

Your members are with you because you have fulfilled an expectation for them and can provide them with something valuable they feel paying membership is worth. It probably had something to do with your mission. At least it did. Are you happy with your new member recruitment? If not, you need to consider relevance.

Read more

Effective Associations: Make Yours Hit The Mark

I’ve spent a lot of time working with association leaders and I’ve come to know what works and what doesn’t in order to grow membership and sustain organizations. The effective associations of 10 years ago are not the same today. Today, members are fast-paced, driven and they want information and access to exclusive information now.

Read more

Why Your Association Needs A Mobile Marketing Strategy

If your association is looking for innovative ways to connect with members and engage new audiences, mobile marketing–or mobile in general–needs to be seriously considered. Not only is mobile marketing one of the hottest topics amongst marketing strategists, (some say mobile is going to be bigger than the TV, radio and computer–combined), it is a great way to facilitate engagement and convert more users to membership within your organization.

Read more

Keeping Non-Members Engaged, Email-Style

How many readers of this blog get emails from various organizations inviting you to an upcoming conference or event? Or, as an association executive, how many times have you used your non-member list to promote attendance registration for one of your educational opportunities? When was the last time your list was tidied up?

Read more

Will Social Media Kill Membership Associations?

According to CNN, approximately 75% of people get their news from social media sites. This includes information about upcoming events, the pulse of business and yes, even your association.

Read more

Using Word Of Mouth To Increase Membership

What do you suppose was the first thing I did when considering whether or not to join a professional organization? I asked current members for their thoughts on the value of membership. That’s what.

Read more

Members Won't Tell You, But Your Data Will

I work at an association and understand the value they offer. So when I get into a hobby I look for associations that may be helpful. My current obsession is family history research so I joined a local family history society. I’m in my 30s and work full-time during the day. That means exactly this: I’m not their typical member.

Read more

4 Membership Marketing Trends Your Association Can't Afford To Miss

In a time where a new social media platform seems to explode every month, and business professionals spend more time on their smartphones than on their desktop computers, associations need to step up their game if they plan on being top contenders for membership.

Read more

Happy Together: The Value Gen X And Y Bring To Your Association

Last time we were together, we discussed the disconnect between Baby Boomer centric Associations and Gen X and Gen Y membership recruits. Mainly, X and Y are not joining Baby Boomer centric associations.

Read more

Tools For Member Recruitment And Retention

In 1965, 75 percent of all physicians belonged to the American Medical Association. Today less than 25 percent do. This decline can be attributed to six major issues: technology, generational differences, value expectations, market structure, competition, and time constraints. In these challenging times, how can trade associations recruit and retain members?

Read more

How To Get Your Association Members Excited About Advocacy

Often, advocacy is touted as a benefit of joining an association. Yet, many association members find every reason in the world not to get involved.

Read more

Creating Positive Culture For Your Association

Culture is not some inanimate object to scoff at or neglect. Fueled by economic decline, rapidly changing technology, and demographic shifts, culture is more powerful than ever.

Read more

Are You Walking The Tightrope When It Comes To Your Association's Membership Marketing?

We know that there are key points when recruiting new members to any organization that are crucial to survival. But focusing only on recruitment can be a big mistake if you are ignoring the qualities, characteristics and attributes that attracted members in the first place. And, if as a result, you’re unintentionally “ignoring” your current members, they won’t come back.

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The End Of Membership As We Know It

What goes up must come down. For years our society has supported membership associations and nonprofits and civic leadership. These organizations and concepts were especially prosperous in the mid-1900s.

Read more

Getting Personal: Why Your Association Needs To Do It For Members

Membership sector online personalization is a huge topic. In 2014, it was the key online challenge facing the membership organizations and associations. I’m defining online (member) personalization as the delivery of targeted and personalized online content based on what we know about a website visitor or member. We need to talk more about what online personalization is and why your membership organizations should be doing it.

Read more
View older posts →

Millennial Nomads, and how it could affect retaining employees…

According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers look for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. So, how is the Millennial Nomad life style possibly affecting your work culture?

Read more

Are you ready for the Snapchat generation?

Snapchat's parent company, Snap, has made headlines for the better part of the past two weeks since its IPO on March 2. Snap's market value increased by nearly $9 billion on its first day of trading; it's first day pop being bigger than even Facebook's or Google's. Perhaps you're still not sure what all the fuss is about. Here's the skinny:

Read more

A Closer Look at Associations

At XYZ University, we’ve spent a lot of time with association professionals over the years and we know how important these organizations are. This week, we’re taking a closer look at scary stats about associations.

Read more

Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

Read more

Swift Lessons in Millennial Marketing

There’s no doubt 2015 was the year of Taylor Swift. Building off the success of her 1989 album, Swift’s world tour generated over $4 million per show.

Read more

Engaging the Modern Millennial Family at YMCA

For the past year, XYZ University has worked with the YMCA of the USA, surveying 5,250 Millennial members nationwide, presenting at YMCA conferences, and developing membership strategies and a Millennial membership-building toolkit to help Ys engage the membership of Millennial families.

Read more

Super Bowl Ads Try to Woo Millennials

The sports fans will talk about the game, the music fans will talk about the halftime show, and the foodies will talk about the food they ate during the game. But we at XYZ University look at an event like Super Bowl 50 from an entirely different point of view — the generational one.

Read more

The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

Read more

Rookie Talent: Avoiding a Kodak Moment

During most of the 20th century Kodak held a dominant position in photographic film, and in 1976, had an 89% market share of photographic film sales in the United States. Kodak began to struggle financially in the late 1990s as a result of the decline in sales of photographic film and its slowness in transitioning

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Will A Shift In The Economy Trigger A Shift In Millennial Values?

Events a generation lives through certainly affect that generation’s values. Events like wars, high-profile criminal cases, hostage crisis, environmental disasters, recessions. Oh, and good things too, I suppose, but my Gen X is showing (I’m on the cusp) and I can only think of disastrous stuff.

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We Can’t All Blame Ourselves: Why Millennials Need To Pull Their Own Weight

I was part of a recent conversation at a book club where we debated whether or not society gives too many “passes” to Millennials (those born between 1982 and 1995). You know, customizing everything for their needs rather than having them work for it “like we had to do” and changing the whole structure of workplaces based on their needs (yes, very “back-in-my-day” type of a conversation, I know)

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Millennials And Brand Loyalty

Adroit Digital recently published a report detailing how Millennials view and adopt brand loyalty. They surveyed 2,000 U.S. Millennials (in this particular survey classified as between the ages of 18 and 33 years old) who own both a smartphone and a personal computer. What they found can help you better your strategy for connecting with Millennials. To help you out, we’ve created the following infographic from some of the survey results:

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Attract Millennials With Your Good Cause

Millennials want to make the world a better place. They even eat with a social conscience. A recent poll shows that a majority of people under the age of 30 want to do that by volunteering for charities or organizations.

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Work Ethic: Lost Cause For Millenials?

You aren’t even sure you want to hire those lazy Millennials, so why should you worry about keeping them productive? Well, Millenials are going to be 75% of the workforce by 2025. So, the truth is, if you aren’t recruiting and engaging with Gen Y, you won’t have to worry about keeping them at all. And that will be an even bigger problem for you.

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Recognition 3.0: New Rules For Making Millennials Feel Like They Matter

The Millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y, Digital Natives and Echo Boomers) have arrived with a very different work agenda than preceding generations. Prepared to stay with their employer for 2-5 years, their average tenure is only 1.5 years according to the Department of Labor. With 75 million Millenials entering the workforce, employers must understand this disconnect and close the gap if they want to attract, retain and encourage better performance from Gen Y employees.

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Generation Screwed: Will You Help The Millennials?

As part of the Millennial generation, we make up a quarter of America’s population. Many of us are pursuing higher education in fields that our parents never knew existed. Being that we are the most educated generation in history, it’s safe to say we should be creating our own milestones.

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Why Your Company Needs Millennials And How To Keep Them

In fewer than 10 years, nearly half the working population will be Millennials (born between 1982 and 1995). If you think your organization will be able to get along without them, you aren’t being realistic. Even if you know you need Generation Y, do you know who they are?

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Creating Loyalty: What Works With Millennials

Being a Gen Y, I can personally attest to my generation’s dislike of being sold to. I dislike sales so much I chose a career path to avoid it! If the only way I can purchase something is by forcefully spending my precious time with a gym membership or car salesmen, I am immediately turned off from the company.

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Association Email Marketing: Millennials And Member Engagement

In the world of online marketing, two statistics tell you a lot about the effectiveness of an email: the percentage of recipients who open it, and the percentage of those who click through to explore at least one of the links.

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3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

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The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

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The World's Aging Workforce and What Your Business Should do About It

Despite projected growth in the global population from 6.9 billion to 7.6 billion in 2020, the working-age population is expected to decline. In fact, aging will likely add 360 million older people (Baby Boomers) to the world’s pool of those not participating in the labor force.

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What Would Scrooge Do?: Planning For Workforce Future

Tis the season for the celebration of one year’s end and another year’s beginning. Amidst all the champagne and time spent with family and friends, I encourage you to ponder the future–but perhaps a little differently than usual. Most of us are familiar with the famous story by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

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Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

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Trends In Succession Planning

Your employees are an extremely valuable asset to your organization. Investing time into mentoring, training and giving them stretch assignments to build their leadership skills will pay off for your organization when it comes time to filling upper-level positions down the road.

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Are You Ready For The Talent Shift? 3 Ways To Develop Leaders For 2014

Companies invest millions of dollars in developing employees at all levels of the organization from the senior executives to the entry level employees straight out of school. The real challenge that all companies are facing is building ‘the bench’ and preparing for the greatest shift in human capital of our time.

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Could You Work For Your Kid?

In 2011, this blog featured an article that posed the question: Would you hire your own kid? And now, just three years later, the question has become: Could you work for your kid or someone your kid’s age? What on earth happened between 2011 and 2014? And how on earth is it possible for someone who is 50-something to be managed by someone who is 20-something?

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Succession Planning Tips From The Family Business

Family owned and operated for (insert impressive number of) years certainly has an appealing ring to it. Business owners who’ve worked hard to develop and maintain a healthy organization want to see that business continue to strive when turned over to the relative successor.

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Corporate Leadership Development Must Include Generation Y

We already know Gen Y (born between 1982 and 1995) is technologically savvy, uses social media to stay connected, and are the most well informed generation of all time; however, is it possible for them to become great leaders? Yes, it is!

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Get Your Succession Plan Up To Speed

Succession planning is a lot like getting exercise. You don’t just do it once and call it done. It’s something that needs to be revisited regularly to keep you healthy. Succession planning, like exercise, also seems to fall into the category of something everyone knows they should do but no one actually does. But you want your organization to be healthy, so let’s get your succession plans up to speed. We say “speed” because it needs to move.

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5 Keys For Building A Solid Succession Plan

Succession planning is good for the health of your organization. It ensures you are prepared to fill vital roles in your organization should people leave unexpectedly or otherwise, and it engages and helps retain your best employees.

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Our Workforce: The Scary Truth And A Treat For You

It’s coming, and it’s bigger than Y2K and that asteroid NASA says “could” hit the earth in 2032. This is real, and you need to prepare; it’s going to change the way you, and everyone else, works. There will be no near-misses or “oops we were wrong”, and you’ll need to do more than buy a backup generator and bury your gold to get ready for the changes coming, so listen up; we’re talking about your workforce. We’re talking about the workforce crisis.

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How To Develop A Succession Plan In 6 Steps

If you want to protect your organization’s future, you need to develop a succession plan. With the flood of Baby Boomers retiring, succession planning now is critical to future success.

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Forget About Top-Down: Your Succession Plan Includes Everyone

Are your leaders about to retire? Are you prepared to deal with it? For a smooth transition, you need to know where your company’s next generation of leaders will come from before you need them.

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Millennial Nomads, and how it could affect retaining employees…

According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers look for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. So, how is the Millennial Nomad life style possibly affecting your work culture?

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Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

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3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more

The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

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How Helicopter Parents Changed the Workforce

It’s back to school time, and as you prep your little darlings for another year of education, take some time to reflect on your own school experiences.

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Gen Z and Your Business: BFFs or Snapchat?

Just as companies are coming to terms with the wave of Gen Ys, another generation is creeping up behind them. Generation Z — the oldest who are turning 19 — are moving en masse into entry-level jobs, colleges, and internships. Born in the late 1990s and early 2000s they make up a quarter of the population and have little in common with their Gen Y predecessors. Here’s what you need to know about Z.

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The Tech Your Association Needs

The world is changing, your membership is changing and your association needs to make some changes too. Technology is not something limited to a single department anymore, it’s playing an important role in every member’s life. Tapping into the technology that members use will help you better connect, recruit and retain members.

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The Boomers Are Leaving: Retain Their Knowledge

We need to be honest; we’re facing a workforce crisis. An average of 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every day, and they have knowledge you can’t afford to lose. With a good succession plan in place, you don’t have to. Instead, facilitate a transfer of knowledge–improve your organization support its future viability.

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5 Key Elements Of A Successful Talent Development Program

Developing talent is one of the best ways to assure your organization has the leaders it will need for a strong future and pain-free transitions of power. Naturally, to develop talent, first you have to have talent. The good news is that once you have it, developing it is a great way to keep it. Talent development will help your organization stay a step ahead in the talent war.

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Recruiting Young Talent: Examples Of Successful Student Association Chapters

You can’t expect Gen Y to graduate college and magically realize the benefits of professional organizations. I’ve been out of college for nearly 10 years and have only just joined my first professional organization, and only after being told repeatedly that I should.

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Volunteer Your Way To The Top!

This may sound a bit crazy; however, as a Gen Y there are many ways you can gain valuable experience by volunteering. Everywhere you look organizations are seeking volunteers to help their growth. These volunteer opportunities give Millennials the ability to create programs that make a difference and create a competitive advantage to move forward in the workplace.

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Conquering The Digital Divide

According to research by Pew Internet, 55% of U.S. adult cell phone owners use their mobile phones to access the internet, nearly double the rate from three years ago. And 31% of American adults own a tablet computer. This means that more than half of your members may interact with your association while they’re on the go. Yet the average association is still behind the digital curve when it comes to being mobile friendly.

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Talent Troubles Back-Burnered In Recession Are Heating Up

Does your company have the right talent? The blunt answer is — not likely. I read with great interest an article in Harvard Business Review summarizing the Talent Management Strategies Conference which took place in March. According to the author, experts from companies such as Cisco, Gap, Toyota, Wal-Mart and Oracle gathered to share perspectives at the conference.

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A Talent Management Nightmare: 42 Percent Of Employees Don't Trust The Boss

I read with great interest a recent blog posted by Talent Management magazine. While the blog's headline mentions 42 percent of employees don't feel their employers are looking out for their best interests (as evidenced by a fall 2009 TalentScope study of some 50,000), the article goes on to quickly dismiss this data (in the first paragraph!) suggesting it is likely 50 to 60 percent or more.

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Do You Know Where Your Leaders Are?

We’re about to experience the largest shift in human capital this country has ever seen. It’s happening within the next year. Do you know where your leaders are?

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A Mix Of Generations: Why Your Organization Needs Them To Move Forward

In order for a company to be successful they need to have strong leadership that can set clear direction and communicate across all levels of the organization. As we move into the future, the top down ‘style’ of management must embrace the inquisitive nature of the Gen Ys.

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It's 2013: Change Or Die

It’s the third week of January. How are those resolutions working for you? If your New Year’s Resolutions fell by the wayside a few minutes after midnight on January 1, you are not alone.

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Changes In Technology Mean Changes In Policy

While in a meeting with my boss I noticed she seemed a bit stressed. I asked if she had a lot on her plate this week. She said that she did and maybe there was a way I could help.

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Online Events And Video: No Longer A Question For Associations

We’ve all been there… miles away from our loved ones feeling tired, stressed, and desperately wishing they were by our side. Not that long ago, voices of a parent, friend or child through the phone were as close as we could get to their touch.

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Losing The Employment Game

Pretend for a moment you’ve been awarded a spot on a reality television show titled, Let’s Make a Hire. In a race against the clock, you are tasked with hiring skilled workers to complete a project on budget and on time.

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Knowing Y in Holland

Generation Y. Millennials. Echo Boomers. Trophy Generation. Regardless of how you refer to them, organizations worldwide are really perplexed by the generation of young adults now moving into the majority of the workforce and consumer spending.

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Gen Z Has Arrived: Get To Know Them

They are competitive, passionate, connected and they are here. Although the largest percentage of Generation Z (1996-2009) isn’t old enough to drive yet, they do have a growing influence over businesses. Gen Z is influencing their parents’ purchases, making their own purchases, and entering the workforce. It is time for businesses to start paying attention to them.

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Come See Us At #Asae14!

We are gearing up for a fun-filled weekend of networking with association professionals as part of the ASAE Annual Meeting and Expo in Nashville, August 9-12. We’re so excited that we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at some of the great reasons to come visit XYZ University at this year’s event (Booth #1713). Don’t miss it!

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Volunteer Your Way To The Top!

This may sound a bit crazy; however, as a Gen Y there are many ways you can gain valuable experience by volunteering. Everywhere you look organizations are seeking volunteers to help their growth. These volunteer opportunities give Millennials the ability to create programs that make a difference and create a competitive advantage to move forward in the workplace.

Read more

Getting Rid Of The Freeloaders In Your Association: Is It Realistic?

I was recently asked the question “How do associations turn freeloaders into paying members?” I personally think this is a loaded question. While you may be able to convert some of your members through the right marketing and recruitment plans, the idea of converting everyone is unrealistic. “Freeloaders” who show up to events, participate in webinars, and benefit from the great work your association does is just something you have to deal with. But this can work to your advantage.

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Onboarding Gen Y College Grads: Channeling New Values, Energy, Enthusiasm

Today’s typical Gen Y college grad yearns to make a difference in your business and beyond. How will you embrace, nurture and channel their confidence, energy, enthusiasm and academic achievement into helping them achieve your goals and theirs? Commencement speeches reflect a generational evolution in values over the past 40 years.

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Segmentation Recommendations For Membership Associations

I belong to a few membership-based organizations and nothing frustrates me more than getting too many emails from them. Often, they are about information, products or services that I am not interested in, or their timing between departments is way off, and I end up getting multiple emails in one day.

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Happy Together: The Value Gen X And Y Bring To Your Association

Last time we were together, we discussed the disconnect between Baby Boomer centric Associations and Gen X and Gen Y membership recruits. Mainly, X and Y are not joining Baby Boomer centric associations.

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How To Get Your Association Members Excited About Advocacy

Often, advocacy is touted as a benefit of joining an association. Yet, many association members find every reason in the world not to get involved.

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To Engage The Next Generation, You Have To Beat Netflix

The owner of a booming Crossfit gym in Minneapolis pinpointed the key to success in the modern world as he was signing me up for membership. He said, “We’re not teaching a workout class so you can be healthier, that’s just the outcome. We create dynamic experiences that stack up against anything.”

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Delivering Effective Membership Tiers Without The Tears

Over the past year I have seen a wide range of membership associations move away from the traditional one-size-fits-all membership offering to a more tiered and personalized membership offering.

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How To Network With Generation Y

Networking with Generation Y is a whole new ball game. Unlike Baby Boomers or even Generation X, Gen Y has grown up in a technological, competitive and egocentric world. Whether you are reaching out to Gen Y as a way to recruit new leaders or to build young members into your organization, be aware of the differences in communication.

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Is Email Still A Valid Way To Engage Members?

Member engagement is such a buzz word these days. Associations are struggling to engage members, in an effort to retain current members, and be set up for success in the future. Email has become one of (if not “the”) simplest way to reach out to your community. You create a message and send it to hundreds (or thousands) of people in your network at a click of a button.

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Gen Y Is Simple

Engaging Gen Y (i.e. Millennials) is one of the hottest topics in Corporate America. From Google to Amazon, engaging Gen Y seems to be the permanent wallpaper of choice. And if you’re like most, the amount of information to sift through can be overwhelming and often times frustrating for Xers and Boomers alike. So listen up, I’ve got great news, Gen Y is not as complicated as everyone thinks. They’re an amazingly brilliant generation, and their basic needs within organizations are pretty simple and straightforward: Talk with me, respect me, and help me grow.

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The World Will Be Saved By The Western Woman

When the Dalai Lama famously spoke those words, he prefaced them with a warning that “some people may call me a feminist.” (As if that were a bad thing.) Still, what the D.L. meant is that women inherently bring a greater focus on nurturing and connection – i.e. love – which is the cure for the wounds of our time.

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Associations Are Going Mobile. Really?

For the purposes of this post, I’m defining “the mobile web” with a focus specifically on an association’s provision of and members’ use of web content made available via a mobile smartphone and/or tablet devices.

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Corporate Leadership Development Must Include Generation Y

We already know Gen Y (born between 1982 and 1995) is technologically savvy, uses social media to stay connected, and are the most well informed generation of all time; however, is it possible for them to become great leaders? Yes, it is!

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Gen Y: Are You Misjudging Them?

When you hear the stats about Generation Y, it can be easy to misjudge the current population of 18 to 31 year olds as a group of self-entitled slackers, a stereotype that has become baggage to this group of young people. The fact that only 60% of Millennials have a job, with only half of those jobs being full time, is quite unimpressive and makes negative conclusions about Millennials and their work ethic come naturally. It doesn’t help that a higher share of this group is still living at home than those their age since four decades ago, either.

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7 Ways To Engage Gen Y With Your Association

As XYZ University CEO Sarah Sladek said in her recent whitepaper “Engaging Young Generations,“: If we fail to engage Generation Y, we prepare to fail.

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Recruiting Members: Reach Them Where They Are

I recently learned that a Baby Boomer turns 65 years of age every 7 seconds in the United States. Up until now, Baby Boomers have been the majority and been able to successfully provide associations with a continuous pipeline of members.

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Young Staff, Big Results

I recently transitioned from the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association to the young and energetic team at the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. After 20+ years of Baby Boomer generation leadership, a 30-something Matt Gruhn took the reins at MRAA in 2011. Since then, membership has grown 188%! Prior to his leadership at MRAA, Matt played a crucial role in reviving the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo (MDCE). Under his direction, participation grew from 97 in 2007 to more than 1,000 in 2012 and we expect continued growth this year.

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Women Were Raised To Be Nice. So What?

It’s been said that men view business as a sport and women view business as a picnic. In other words, men want to win while women want to make sure everyone has a sandwich and a good time. As you may have noticed, women have been repeatedly bashed for this, as if “playing nice” were a pathetic and career-limiting move.

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Why You Don’t Understand Those Young’uns

“When I was your age I used to walk to school five miles through three feet of snow uphill both ways.” How many of you have a statement similar to this from someone of an older generation?

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