Book a Speaker
Grow Membership
Reduce Turnover

Subscribe to our blog!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
View All
Generation X
Generation Y
Generation Z
Membership
Millennials
Succession Planning
Talent Development
News
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

A Gen Yer Joins The Conversation.

My name is Katie Konrath and I'm a member of Generation Y. Since Sarah is going to be launching some very interesting new initiatives in the next couple months, I'm here to lend her a hand.

Read more

Recruitng The Nxt Gen In2 Ur Assn

Recrutng the nxt gen in2 ur assn doesn’t have to look like this. The key to boosting membership is to know what your members want from your association. If you want your members to find real value in being part of your association, it is your responsibility to make sure it addresses their needs, not what you think are their needs. This holds equally true for younger members. If you want to boost Generation X and Y membership in your association, you must cater to the value those members are looking for.

Read more

Getting To Gen X: Associations Misled By Participation Research

Back in 2006, the William E. Smith Institute for Association Research released a report titled Generations and the Future of Association Participation. The report projected that the number of association members in the United States was expected to rise from 51 million in 2005 to about 55 million in 2015, with the percentage of all workers belonging to associations expected to climb from 28.3 percent to 28.9 percent in that interval.

Read more

Your Bridge To Access

Read more

New Generations, New Opportunities

In the 1990s, REM wrote a popular song that exclaimed, “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!”I can’t think of a better explanation to describe what is happening in our world today.

Read more

Xers, Ys Spur A Political Power Shift

I watched the televised coverage of the Iowa caucus with great interest, not only because I grew up in the state, but also from a generational perspective.

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

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

Just How Old Are You?: Boomers And Younger Bosses

Remember the movie In Good Company? Here’s a refresher: Dennis Quaid plays a middle-aged advertising sales executive faced with a new boss (Topher Grace) nearly half his age. Matters are made worse when Topher Grace begins a relationship with Dennis Quaid’s daughter.

Read more

Their Decision To Volunteer: How To Influence X And Y

Last week I spoke for two associations in Washington, D.C. – the National Fraternal Congress of America and General Federation of Women's Clubs. Both of these associations are concerned about their aging memberships.

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

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
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

A Gen Yer Joins The Conversation.

My name is Katie Konrath and I'm a member of Generation Y. Since Sarah is going to be launching some very interesting new initiatives in the next couple months, I'm here to lend her a hand.

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

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

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

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 Entrepreneur In Your (Parents') Basement

We all know one. You know, the recent (or not so recent) college grad living in his or her parents’ basement. Maybe it’s your cousin with the philosophy degree and $50,000 dollars of debt. Maybe it’s your next-door neighbor’s kid with the MBA who works at the mall. They may be victims of the economy waiting for their big break. Or they may be entrepreneurs in the basement taking charge of their own fate.

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

2012: An Election Of Generations

Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, you really can’t overlook the fact that the topic of generations has dominated much of the political campaign dialogue.

Read more

Feeling Alienated? How Big Companies Are Leaving Out Younger Generations

Is your corporation creating a revolving door for young talent? Are you using resources to recruit Gen Y just to watch them walk out the door in a few short months? Maybe Gen Y employees are lazy and lack loyalty, but more likely, you’re corporate policies are alienating young talent.

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

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
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

5 Steps For Continued Association Growth In A Changing Market

For most associations, 1946 to 2000 were standout years. With the active support of the baby boomers–the largest generation in American history–membership associations thrived. Yet, as the saying goes, what goes up must come down.

Read more

Advocacy And Your Association: A Lost Cause?

With all the recent posts about associations and the struggle with advocacy, you might be wondering if it’s a lost cause for your association. Associations expend a lot of time, energy and resources on advocacy efforts. There’s no reason to keep taking punches if the fight is over–don’t make the ref call it. Maybe it isn’t over, but if you want to stay in the fight, you’ll need a new strategy.

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

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

Training For Association Professionals: New Asae Certificate Program In Association Management

In 1998 I started my first job in association management as a meeting planner for a start-up association management company. At the time there were only four employees, so I had to quickly learn not only what a meeting planner’s role was in the association management industry, but I had to learn the ins and outs of everything a good association manager would need to know because with a small staff you inevitably ended up filling all roles at some point in time.

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

Is Your Association’s Culture Helping Or Hurting Member Recruitment And Retention?

As an association executive, you may have the power to change your association’s mission with the stroke of a pen. And you may have the ability to hire, fire, promote and demote people with relatively little effort.

Read more

Agc Uses Viral Video To Reach Audience

I didn't get this posted in time for Halloween, but I wanted to share this very creative video created by Associated General Contractors to promote the association's upcoming conference. I have been working with this organization for the past few months, as AGC has observed an aging membership–and industry–and panic about the future has inevitably set in.

Read more

Your Mission Statement Stinks

Quick! What’s your organization’s mission statement? Don’t have the mission memorized? Do your eyes glaze over at the mere mention of it? Then perhaps your organization isn’t on a worthwhile mission

Read more

Next Generation Association Highlight: Choose Chicago

This post is part of XYZ University’s “Next Generation Association” blog series, highlighting associations around the country who are making strides in engaging the next generation of members and leaders. If you would like to nominate an association for our “Next Generation Association” series, please contact Melissa Harrison.

Read more

The New Era Of Member Recruitment: Listening And Adaptation

Fighting for members. It is a common theme that every association is facing in this day and age. Having had a 26 year career in the association industry, I can tell you that finding members is really not a new a subject to the industry.

Read more

5 Simple Steps To Engage Members With Video

In January 2011, Newsweek came up with a list American Dying Cities , subtitled “Cities with bleak futures ahead.” Leading off that list at number 10 was Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids native and indie film producer Rob Bliss and his friend raised $40,000 to make a video saying otherwise. The video, seen below, racked up over 1.3 million hits within its first week of being posted.

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
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.

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

Read more

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:

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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?

Read more

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?

Read more

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)

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Read more

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.

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

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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!

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 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

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.

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

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.

Read more

5 Steps For Continued Association Growth In A Changing Market

For most associations, 1946 to 2000 were standout years. With the active support of the baby boomers–the largest generation in American history–membership associations thrived. Yet, as the saying goes, what goes up must come down.

Read more

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.

Read more

Preventing The Brain Drain

The other day in a conversation with a recent college graduate, I realized that she was probably going to take her degree and move halfway across the country. In fact, the only reason she’s still in town at all is an unpaid internship she found. She’s hoping she can take the experience she gains from interning and turn it into a local job, hoping she doesn’t have to move back home with her parents while she looks for paid work. But she’s prepared to leave.

Read more

It's 2010: Do You Know Where Your Employees/Clients/Members/Volunteers Are?

I continue to be amazed by how many organizations I work with who either do not use or do not value social media. They refer to social media as a tiresome chore (Do we really have to be on Facebook?) and consider it a silly pastime (I don't want my employees chatting with their friends all day!).

Read more

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?

Read more

Crowdsource Your Mentors: Harness Networks For Career Support And Leadership

Read more

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.

Read more

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

Your Mission Statement Stinks

Quick! What’s your organization’s mission statement? Don’t have the mission memorized? Do your eyes glaze over at the mere mention of it? Then perhaps your organization isn’t on a worthwhile mission

Read more
View older posts →

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

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!

Read more

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.

Read more
View older posts →

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.

Read more

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.”

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

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

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

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

How To Attract Younger Members To Your Association

any associations are aging and that trend will negatively impact quite a few organizations in the future. A recent post from XYZ University said, “Baby Boomers are retiring, and as they do, you can expect the number of cancellations due to retirement to increase. This means, engaging the next generation to fill the membership ranks gets more important every year.” But the practice of attracting the next generation becomes difficult when there are no or few younger people in the membership. No matter the demographics of your association’s membership, board or staff, there are ways to overcome this barrier and reinvigorate your association.

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

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:

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

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

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

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more
View older posts →

Take the first step towards your future.

Looking for a game changer at your next event or a strategy unique to your organization?