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Guest Posts

A Call to Action for Hospitals: “We’re going to have deaths”

Healthcare is now the fastest-growing industry in the nation, partly because people are living longer and partly because the Baby Boomer generation—the largest generation of the 20th century and the largest percentage of the healthcare workforce—is now entering their retirement years.

Read more

The Coffice: Season 1, Episode 1 (ROWE)

Work-from-home employees have grown by 103% since 2005 and 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time. Coffices (coffee shop offices) are on the rise as more workplaces embrace flexibility. Read the reflections from one of XYZ U's remote employees.

Read more

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

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

Gen Z Will Change Your World. Again.

This year, our team watched history unfold in the news, as well as the workplace. In 2016, 3.6 million Baby Boomers retired, and a new generation, Gen Z (1996-2012), started entering the workforce.

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
View older posts →

From One Gen Xer To Another

We often joke that Generation X is the forgotten middle child of today’s generational conflict. It’s like being the Jan Brady of the workforce, stuck between glamorous Marcia and cute-as-a-button-with-pigtails Cindy. In many ways, this is more than a joke. It’s the reality. Gen X makes up only 22% of the current workforce with Gen Y/Millennials and Baby Boomers making up the other 78%.

Read more

A Call to Action for Hospitals: “We’re going to have deaths”

Healthcare is now the fastest-growing industry in the nation, partly because people are living longer and partly because the Baby Boomer generation—the largest generation of the 20th century and the largest percentage of the healthcare workforce—is now entering their retirement years.

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

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

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

Back To School: Find Your Future Workforce Now

The job market was grim during the mid-1990s when I graduated from college. At my first job, I was barely making minimum wage working as a newspaper reporter. But after pounding the pavement for three months following graduation, I was extremely thankful just to have a job–especially a job in my field of interest.

Read more

Reaction To 'Boomer Parent's Lament'

I recently read a 2011 opinion piece from the New York Times entitled “Boomer Parent’s Lament”. The writer of the piece, Timothy Egan, despairs at the future for those who, like me, are members of Generation Y. In today’s harsh economic climate, many of my peers are burdened with heavy student loan debt and if they have a minimum-wage job that needs no degree are still considered lucky to at least have a paycheck.

Read more

Start Marketing Like It's 2008

We’re eight years in to the 21st century. Can association marketing pros finally get with the times? If you’re frustrated with traditional marketing tactics that just don’t seem to resonate any longer, then consider these new strategies that target the importance of relationships with generations X and Y.Think for a moment how much the world has changed since the 1950s.

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

Npr Feature: Looking Forward To Gen X Nostalgia

I was interviewed for a story on National Public Radio's Marketplace about nostalgia marketing and entertainment last week. Click on the link above to listen to the story, or read it below: KAI RYSSDAL: When we were younger, my brother was the first kid in our neighborhood who could solve a Rubik's Cube. That kind of dates me, I guess, because the thing first got really popular back in the late '70s, early '80s. But look around the next time you're in a toy store. Because Rubik's Cubes are back, as are a whole bunch of pop items from the past. Marketplace's Caitlan Carroll reports on the comeback economy.

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

Work Redefined: The 21st Century Workplace

Generation Y is bigger than the Baby Boomer generation. As Boomers retire and more Millennials move into ranks of authority, the 21st Century workplace is going to see some major shifts. These shifts are already happening, and they are redefining the workplace.

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

Forget Getting Away From It All: X And Y Introduce New Travel Trends

Ah, summer. Here in Minnesota, summer is a highly anticipated event for the fun in the sun, barbeques, and the vacation time it brings.While most Xers remember camping during their youth or cross-country road trips with their relatives a la The Griswold’s in the movie Vacation, they don’t necessarily pine for the past.We have established new trends in travel, such as these:

Read more

Recognizing Generation Stereotypes In The Workplace

Ever have one of those moments when you realize it’s a generational difference that’s causing you frustration? I had one recently with my mother-in-law.

Read more

Generations X And Y Rock The Vote

Throughout my generation-focused career, I have faced much critcism and cynicism regarding the power and influence of Generations X and Y. Most recently, I was questioned about the influence younger generations would have on the election.Some (who happened to be Baby Boomers) dismissed my statistics about rising registration rates and volunteer participation in the presidential campaign, saying that younger voters may be doing all the right things, but probably weren't going to actually show up at the polls and have their votes counted on Election Day.

Read more
View older posts →

From One Gen Xer To Another

We often joke that Generation X is the forgotten middle child of today’s generational conflict. It’s like being the Jan Brady of the workforce, stuck between glamorous Marcia and cute-as-a-button-with-pigtails Cindy. In many ways, this is more than a joke. It’s the reality. Gen X makes up only 22% of the current workforce with Gen Y/Millennials and Baby Boomers making up the other 78%.

Read more

Keynote Urges Associations to Solve Global Workforce Crisis

Sarah Sladek issues up a call to action to the global association community to solve the workforce crisis at the Association World Congress.

Read more

A Call to Action for Hospitals: “We’re going to have deaths”

Healthcare is now the fastest-growing industry in the nation, partly because people are living longer and partly because the Baby Boomer generation—the largest generation of the 20th century and the largest percentage of the healthcare workforce—is now entering their retirement years.

Read more

The Coffice: Season 1, Episode 1 (ROWE)

Work-from-home employees have grown by 103% since 2005 and 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time. Coffices (coffee shop offices) are on the rise as more workplaces embrace flexibility. Read the reflections from one of XYZ U's remote employees.

Read more

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
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

Gen Z Will Change Your World. Again.

This year, our team watched history unfold in the news, as well as the workplace. In 2016, 3.6 million Baby Boomers retired, and a new generation, Gen Z (1996-2012), started entering the workforce.

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

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

Generation Z: Young, Wired, Smart, And Sassy Consumers

Much attention has been given to Generations X and Y, the current teen and young adult population ranging in ages from 13 to 43, who entered the world with substantially different wants, needs, values, and interests than their Baby Boomer and older predecessors.

Read more

Work Redefined: The 21st Century Workplace

Generation Y is bigger than the Baby Boomer generation. As Boomers retire and more Millennials move into ranks of authority, the 21st Century workplace is going to see some major shifts. These shifts are already happening, and they are redefining the workplace.

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

Recognizing Generation Stereotypes In The Workplace

Ever have one of those moments when you realize it’s a generational difference that’s causing you frustration? I had one recently with my mother-in-law.

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

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

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

Post 9-11 Generation Gets An Introduction To Osama Bin Laden

On September 11, 2001, shortly after I walked into work in downtown Minneapolis my boss made an annoucement: terrorists have attacked The World Trade Center in New York City. I clearly remember her telling us to leave work immediately.

Read more

Your Bridge To Access

Read more

Newspapers Suffering From Generational Divide

As a former newspaper reporter and editor, I am observing with great interest the closure of city newspapers. Last week, the 146-year-old Seattle Post Intelligencer published its last print issue to become an exclusive on-line publisher–a move that left the Seattle Times the only major daily in that city.

Read more

Age Doesn't Matter

It never fails. Wherever I go, whomever I’m speaking to, someone thinks Generations X and Y are a hopeless bunch of saps. Just recently I had a client tell me “those kids and their stupid iPods have no appreciation for anything great or meaningful in this world.” Ouch!

Read more

Prolonged Retirements Could Become America's Worst Nightmare

In November, Wells Fargo released the results of its seventh annual Retirement Survey which found for many middle class Americans, 80 is the new 65 when it comes to retirement. According to the survey, a quarter (25%) of middle class Americans say they will need to work until at least age 80 to live comfortably in retirement. Three-fourths (74%) expect to work in their retirement years.

Read more
View older posts →

Fear vs. Innovation: What’s Ultimately Driving Your Organization?

Last week I participated in ASAE’s inaugural XDP (experience design project) conference. At the conference, attendees were hopeful and inspired, but I couldn’t help but notice another emotion overshadowing much of the event: fear.

Read more

Keynote Urges Associations to Solve Global Workforce Crisis

Sarah Sladek issues up a call to action to the global association community to solve the workforce crisis at the Association World Congress.

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

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

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?

Read more

Change Or Die: Sarah Sladek's Interview With Vm Magazine In Holland

The following is an abridged version of an interview with XYZ University CEO Sarah Sladek that first appeared in VM magazine. Jeanne Hoogers, chief editor for VM magazine sat down with Sarah during her recent trip to the Netherlands where she “GenY-ed” the Dutch association professionals with an interactive presentation.

Read more

New Ideas For Old Meetings

It’s a new day in the association meetings industry. For the most part, gone are the 5-day gatherings, full-day presentations and lecture-only sessions. Replacing them are shorter meetings, shorter sessions within a conference, and participatory lectures.

Read more

Is Your Website Bringing Your Members Closer Or Pushing Them Away?

Your website is more than just the voice of your membership association. If you’re not using your site to bring your members closer, you’re probably pushing them away from your organization and from each other. One of the reasons people join member-based organizations to be a part of a community, so it’s your job to make sure your community meets their needs.

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

Membership Strategy: Are You Doing All That You Can For Members?

Just about every association executive I have spoken with is always looking for a better way to sustain and increase their engagement with their members, potential members and the community at large. The bigger and newer the tool, the better in their opinion. But just because it is newer, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for your community specifically.

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

Recruiting New Members? How's Your Pitch?

When you’re interacting with prospective new members, you need to have a convincing pitch. I’m sure you’ve all heard some bad ones. I know I have. The last association I didn’t join didn’t have a pitch; I’m not even sure they had a purpose. If they did, they weren’t communicating it to me, and I certainly wasn’t buying.

Read more

Focus On The Future: Your Association Needs To Evolve In The Workplace

Your association has probably been a resource for professionals to share useful and specific inside industry knowledge for years. You may still be that, but today, that isn’t enough to attract new members.

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

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.

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What The 2012 Pulse Report Means For Your Association

The 2012 Pulse report by Greenfield Services Inc. is out, a sort of crystal ball for associations. What does the report show and what does it mean for your association? Well, things are changing: the economy, technology, social media tools and paradigms for using them, generation shifts. Your members and stakeholders have new expectations, but your associations aren’t changing fast enough to keep up. We captured a snapshot of the report in the following infographic:

Read more
View older posts →

Keynote Urges Associations to Solve Global Workforce Crisis

Sarah Sladek issues up a call to action to the global association community to solve the workforce crisis at the Association World Congress.

Read more

A Call to Action for Hospitals: “We’re going to have deaths”

Healthcare is now the fastest-growing industry in the nation, partly because people are living longer and partly because the Baby Boomer generation—the largest generation of the 20th century and the largest percentage of the healthcare workforce—is now entering their retirement years.

Read more

The Coffice: Season 1, Episode 1 (ROWE)

Work-from-home employees have grown by 103% since 2005 and 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time. Coffices (coffee shop offices) are on the rise as more workplaces embrace flexibility. Read the reflections from one of XYZ U's remote employees.

Read more

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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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Marching into a New Generation

2017 has been marked by an influx of poltical demonstrations. In 2016, 3.6 million Baby Boomers retired, Millennials became the largest generation in the workforce and Gen Z started entering the professional scene. How are the current generational shifts affecting our poltical landscape?

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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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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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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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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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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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Fear vs. Innovation: What’s Ultimately Driving Your Organization?

Last week I participated in ASAE’s inaugural XDP (experience design project) conference. At the conference, attendees were hopeful and inspired, but I couldn’t help but notice another emotion overshadowing much of the event: fear.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Fear vs. Innovation: What’s Ultimately Driving Your Organization?

Last week I participated in ASAE’s inaugural XDP (experience design project) conference. At the conference, attendees were hopeful and inspired, but I couldn’t help but notice another emotion overshadowing much of the event: fear.

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Keynote Urges Associations to Solve Global Workforce Crisis

Sarah Sladek issues up a call to action to the global association community to solve the workforce crisis at the Association World Congress.

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A Call to Action for Hospitals: “We’re going to have deaths”

Healthcare is now the fastest-growing industry in the nation, partly because people are living longer and partly because the Baby Boomer generation—the largest generation of the 20th century and the largest percentage of the healthcare workforce—is now entering their retirement years.

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The Coffice: Season 1, Episode 1 (ROWE)

Work-from-home employees have grown by 103% since 2005 and 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time. Coffices (coffee shop offices) are on the rise as more workplaces embrace flexibility. Read the reflections from one of XYZ U's remote employees.

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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.

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

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.

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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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Are You Losing Your Top Talent? How To Hold On.

There’s nothing more time-consuming or costly than losing talent. Extra work is pushed off to the remaining employees, and anxiety sets in of whether or not you’ll find a solid candidate to fill the position. What’s even more frustrating is when recent hires switch positions or leave the company altogether, within two years. And given that by 2015, the majority of the workforce will be in their 20s, it’s time you took a look at how to retain your top talent.

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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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Who's Responsible For Career Development?

Millennials aren’t just looking for jobs; they’re looking for careers that are always evolving. Employers are looking for talented young employees who are willing to stick around more than a couple years. These two things are not mutually exclusive. If Gen Y wants to make a career and employers are looking for commitment, why are they having such a hard time syncing up?

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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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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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Crowdsource Your Mentors: Harness Networks For Career Support And Leadership

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But We've Always Done It This Way!

How many times have you heard committee members try to maintain the status quo with this statement? The problem with struggling associations these days, though, is that the status quo is stagnant – what used to work simply doesn’t work as well anymore. Members of associations everywhere are rethinking their return on investment, questioning everything from dues to monthly meetings. What used to work even five years ago no longer works today to bring in new members or please anyone except the most loyal members (probably the same traditionalists I’m referring to).

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Associations And Social Media: Join In, Let Go Of Control

If your association isn’t communicating via social media, you’re missing out. Social media is a trend of the past; by now, your competition is already using it. You need to catch up.

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Developing A Successful Mentorship Program

Keeping up in the modern-day workforce and remaining competitive means hiring young employees and developing leaders among them. You need to be thinking about your future leaders now. Attracting talented young employees and developing their leadership skills is an essential part of succession planning and talent development.

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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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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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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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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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New Ideas For Old Meetings

It’s a new day in the association meetings industry. For the most part, gone are the 5-day gatherings, full-day presentations and lecture-only sessions. Replacing them are shorter meetings, shorter sessions within a conference, and participatory lectures.

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Diversifying Your Association's Membership: Know The Answers Before You Begin

These days, many associations are looking to diversify their membership in order to survive. Diversification into additional markets outside your association’s original industry may provide some advantages—increased revenue from membership dues, additional outreach into other communities, increased sponsorship or exhibitor revenue opportunities—but also bring about the “cons.”

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Is Your Website Bringing Your Members Closer Or Pushing Them Away?

Your website is more than just the voice of your membership association. If you’re not using your site to bring your members closer, you’re probably pushing them away from your organization and from each other. One of the reasons people join member-based organizations to be a part of a community, so it’s your job to make sure your community meets their needs.

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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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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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The State Of Social Media In Associations And What To Do About It

We hear over and over again that associations are struggling to recruit, retain and engage young members in their organizations. And, according to Marketing General’s 2013 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, 74% of responding associations indicated that increasing member engagement is a top membership goal. Yet, according to the report, among the top three reasons cited for members not renewing is lack of engagement with the organization.

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Leverage Your Assets: Stem The Tide Of Declining Membership

The staff and volunteer leadership of today’s professional associations are faced with two related realities. One, Generation Y is on the cusp of taking over from the Boomers as the most significant cohort in the economy, making them the future of membership. And, two, there has been a slow and steady decline in the membership of many professional associations, with this decline disproportionately concentrated in professionals in the first 10 years of their career.

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9 Ways Your Association Can Make The Most Of An Election-Year Congress

Around this time of year, government relations professionals are meeting in their respective associations and coming to the same conclusion: because it’s an election year, congressional productivity will grind to a halt sooner rather than later. However, this doesn’t mean that your work has to suffer.

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What’s Your Point?

Whether you are trying to recruit an employee, or a member to your association, you likely have a lot to say in a short amount of time. You need to have a relevant “elevator pitch” that does not sound canned, or like you are reading a brochure. And, it needs to be consistent across various methods; whether it is online, or whether you are speaking to someone by phone, face-to-face, etc.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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5 Ways To Engage Your Association’s Members

XYZ University has defined member engagement as the emotional commitment the member has to the association and its mission. As such, many association executives pose the question: “How do I engage my members in a meaningful way?” The following are five ways (that are relatively inexpensive and not overly time-consuming) to engage your association’s members:

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