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Browse all of the posts in our archive.

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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.

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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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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?

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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Knowing Y in Holland

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

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Gen Z 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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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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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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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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Starting The New Year Off Right: Next Generation Association Ideas

It’s a new year, and that means your association needs to focus even more on next generation planning. The workforce is getting older and we’re running out of time to plan for the largest shift in human capital this country has ever seen. By next year, the majority of the workforce will be in their 20s, and that means 2014 is the time to come up with ideas for how your association will adjust and engage the next generation of members.

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Seeking A Corporate Job? Advice For Gen Y

The average tenure for a Gen Y at any given job is less than 3 years. If you do the math, this means they will have 15-20 jobs in their working lifetime! The competition in corporate America can be tough, especially if Gen Y seems to constantly be seeking out new opportunities.

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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 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.

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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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The Unsung Generation: How Xers Add Value To Your Association

The Baby Boomers are retiring and leaving your association and you haven’t quite attracted Generation Y yet; it’s time to think about Generation X. That’s right, Gen X is more than just a footnote in the conversation about Millennials; they likely represent your association’s largest audience at the moment.

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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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Delivering Effective Membership Tiers Without The Tears

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

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Mobilize And Engage The Next Generation Of Members Through Social Media

Social media is becoming an even more integral part of everyday life. For your association to remain relevant in this digital age, you need to reach, mobilize and engage your next generation of members on social media.

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What Minecraft Teaches Us About Gen Z

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

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The Boomers Are Leaving: Retain Their Knowledge

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

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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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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.

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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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Corporate Succession Planning: What You Need To Know

A recent study released by The Institute of Executive Development (IED) shows corporations are in trouble when it comes to succession planning and the C-suite. Only 25% of those surveyed had a pool of candidates that could succeed the current CEO. The study also found that succession plans in general are not transparent and less systematic than one might expect. The study found that only 46% of respondents have a formal process for developing successors for key positions. These survey results are alarming.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Are Millennial Women Going To Break Through The Glass Ceiling?

We still have a long way to go before women will enjoy equality in the workplace, but the women and men of Generation Y are pushing things forward. According to a recent infographic released by Human Resources MBA the glass ceiling is starting to show some cracks.

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Adjusting To The 21st Century Workforce

I was listening to a sports program on the radio the other day where the DJs were discussing a recent issue at Minnesota State Mankato University. The players refused to practice or play for their newly reinstated coach, saying it was time they were heard. One of the DJs kept insisting that the issue, in part, was that the players hadn’t been included in the decision. The DJ arguing with him kept wondering aloud why the players would have been included in that decision, since when does their buy-in matter and why should they have a voice in the decision making?

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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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Trends In Attracting And Engaging The Next Generation

Despite the fact that Baby Boomers are retiring at a fast clip and the workforce is undergoing a serious makeover, many companies and associations are failing to embrace the next generation.

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

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

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Why Young Talent Matters To Your Association

By the year 2020, 50 percent of the workforce will be made up of Generation Y (born between 1982 and 1995). That means, if you want your association to remain relevant in your industry, your association needs to attract this younger workforce. Take a look around. How are you doing?

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Knowing Y: Engage The Next Generation Now

Generation Y. Millennials. Trophy Generation. The Me First 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, consumer spending, and voting power.

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Communicating With The Next Generation

Your association leaders and long-term members may have completely different concerns and interests than the next generation who are just getting started with you. Understanding how to communicate with them effectively will help you know what they’re looking for. Addressing their expectations and needs will help you gain and retain your next generation of membership and sustain your organization into the future.

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Avoid Pitfalls With Gen Y In The Workplace

Chances are, you’re working with some Millennials (born 1982-1995). Maybe it’s not always easy, but what is? Understanding who they are and what they expect will help you communicate better and be more productive on the job. You won’t be doing yourself, or your company, any favors if you’re making some common mistakes when it comes to your Gen Y co-workers.

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Finding Your Niche

Your association isn’t for everyone. You serve a specific industry and a specific type of professional within your industry. The better you understand your audience and your own purpose, the better you will be able to serve your members.

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What Members Want: The New Meaning Of Value

The problem with your young association members is that they’re always changing. Each generation is a little bit different; they value experiences differently. How you attracted young members a decade ago probably isn’t working for you today; Gen X is not Gen Y is not Gen Z. And even if your association gets these generations in the door, keeping them there is just as challenging.

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What’s Trending In Talent Development?

We need talent to survive. We all know that. What you might not know is how to attract, develop and retain the top talent. That’s where XYZ University comes in.

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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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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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It's 2013: Change Or Die

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

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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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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.

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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:

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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10 Principles For Managing Change In An Organization: Stay Relevant To Your Association Members

Do you feel like your association welcomes change? Most associations are dangerously slow to adapt to change due to outdated traditions and poor volunteer management. The truth is, today’s association members aren’t looking for the same things that they were looking for 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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.

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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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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.’

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Getting Gen Y To Buy

Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to introduce you to Generation Y–80 million Americans, ages 18 to 31, who represent billions in buying power. Dreaming of dollar signs? Not so fast. This isn’t an easy sell.

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Live From Holland: Engaging The Next Generation

XYZ University has gone international! Sarah Sladek’s book, “The End of Membership As We Know It,” has been translated to Dutch and to celebrate, Sarah was in Holland this week. Sarah worked with Arko Sports Media as a keynote to the SportNext Event and presented workshops at VM Online. Sarah was also fortunate to meet with Berend Rubingh, chair of the Dutch Olympic Committee, as part of her travels.

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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?

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Manage Work From Home: Make It Work For Everyone

Did you hear about the guy who outsourced his job to China so he could spend time at his desk watching cat videos and keeping up with Facebook? There are a lot of things to say about this, but my first thought is, “Now there’s a guy who could be working from home.” If the work could be done, and done well, from China, the only reason to be at an office is because he liked the social interaction. But that office could save money by not buying him a chair.

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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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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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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?

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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.

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

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

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Forget The Sale: Create An Experience With Gen Y

Gen Y does not want to be sold to. But, that does not mean they don’t want to buy things. Quite the opposite, in fact. This generation spends $200 billion annually.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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Creating Loyalty: What Works With Millennials

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

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Marketing To Gen Y

Marketing to Gen Y might sound scary, but understanding what kind of consumers they are and what motivates them will help you build a marketing plan that will have the younger generation pulling out their wallets to support your brand. You can do this.

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Base Membership On Value, Not Cost

Membership is about the value, what the experience of belonging, offers. To recruit members, associations need to focus on the value when pricing and marketing their membership.

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No Guts No Glory: What Apple Can Teach Us About Appealing To Gen Y

Gen Y is a new type of consumer. Old marketing strategies won’t work on them. Your marketing plan needs to grab their attention. In this information age, these socially connected times, anyone can reach Millennials; and they know how to filter out the noise. To get Gen Y’s attention, you need to be bold.

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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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Is Education Gen Y's Downfall?

Whatever else you want to say about Gen Y, you gotta give them credit for being educated. But, is that such a good thing? What do they have to show for their education? High Millennial unemployment rates and student loan debt ? This isn’t looking good.

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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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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.

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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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Social Proof! Testimonials Work For Associations

It’s happened to all of us. You are wrapping up for the day, but you just get approached by your boss with an urgent request to search for a product or service. And, of course, they need an answer NOW. You conduct your search online for answers and options, but all you can find is brochures on how the product or service works. What else can you do but cancel your plans and conduct a serious analysis of all the options out there?

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Internships: The New Rules

Interns can be a great resource for your company because they bring you fresh perspectives, are eager to learn and take on projects, and typically work for cheap, or free. Interns like internships because it’s a great way to make connections and gain some real-world job skills to put on a résumé. Internships are great for the community because they provide students with jobs and opportunities that keep them from moving out of town with their talent.

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Forget Digital Overload: Get Your Association To Stand Out With Content Curation

We are living in an information age. I’ve got more professional news and information delivered to my inbox every day than I can keep up on, and I’m looking to social media for information before I even check my email. There is way too much information to pay attention to all of it. And I’m just talking about what I subscribe to. Sound familiar?

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Top 10 Ways European Associations Are Harnessing The Web

In the first of two guest posts, we caught up with association professional and chair of the MemberWise Network, Richard Gott. By day he is the Head of Membership Development at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and by night he develops and runs his 1,400 association professional-strong (free to join) network.

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What Generation X And Mosquitos Have In Common

A slight 48 million Americans, Generation X (1965-1981) is situated between two behemoth generations: 78 million Baby Boomers (1946-1964) and 80 million Generation Ys (1982-1995).

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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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Communication Across Generations: Making It Work

Life would be much simpler if we all communicated in the same way, but we don’t. Different generations, while they may all essentially want the same things, certainly don’t communicate the same way.

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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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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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Gen Y Is Simple

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

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Gen Y Employees: Gain Loyalty Through Talent Development

Talent is the most important resource your organization has or seeks; the single most important factor in your business’s success. And you might not know this, but there’s a talent war on. Everyone is looking for talent, and as talent wars continue, someone will try to headhunt your top talent. You need to not only cultivate talent, you need to do it in a way that encourages loyalty.

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Segmentation Recommendations For Membership Associations

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

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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.

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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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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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Gen Y And The Power Of Social Media

Not only are Millennials the largest generation, over 80 million strong, but they have a large voice. What I mean is, we have large social networks that we are not afraid to leverage. We’re connected through social media and know how to use it to be heard.

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The World Is Our Home When We’re Mobile

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

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

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

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Your Membership Marketing Is In Trouble: The 2013 Pulse Report

Greenfield Services just released their 2013 Pulse Report based on a survey of 173 association managers, leaders and executives across Canada. This year, the news is not great, as the title of the report may give away: “Opportunities Beyond Our Grasp.” Membership marketing issues are top of mind for a lot of associations, but unfortunately, many aren’t keeping up with member demand. The report is filled with disconnects between what associations know they need to or want to do and what they are actually doing. We’ve done a bit of discover to break down the important aspects of this year’s report:

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Why Generation Y Won’t Go To Washington

Thousands of Americans woke up yesterday unsure where their next paycheck will come from. Others found their vacations to national parks cut short. Still others found the frustration of the federal bureaucracy even more frustrating, with fewer federal workers around to handle their questions.

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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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7 Ways To Engage Gen Y With Your Association

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

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Making Email Work For Membership: Is It Generational?

According to Marketing General’s 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmark Report, email is a favorite marketing tool for associations, but is your association using it effectively? Are you reaching Millennials and yes, even Gen Z via email?

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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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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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Young Staff, Big Results

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

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Associations Are Going Mobile. Really?

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

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Why Social Media Isn’t Working For Your Company

A recent study conducted by Dan Schawbel with the help of American Express, takes a look at 1,000 Millennials and 1,000 of their managers and reveals some interesting findings about how seriously social media is being taken in the workforce when it comes to promoting careers. The results of the study are fairly surprising. But are they being taken seriously?

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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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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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Losing The Employment Game

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

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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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Do You Know Where Your Leaders Are?

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

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5 Key Elements Of A Successful Talent Development Program

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

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Workplace Evolution: Flexibility For All Generations

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

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Build Your Own X-Team: Workplace Evolution

I may be a Millenial, but I’m not too young to remember The A-Team. The best thing about the A-Team was that each member was so different and brought a unique talent. There was no B-squad; they could do it all. As Gen Xers move into positions of management, they need to create their own teams, X-Teams, to capture the unique talents of each generation.

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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.

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Trends In Work Culture: Make Yours Work For Less

You can probably think of a few companies with really great work culture. It’s easy because people are talking about them. Creating a unique and positive work culture goes a long way in recruiting and keeping employees, engaged, productive and likely to stick around for years. Bottom line, your organization will be more successful.

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Create Must-Have Value With Membership Marketing

Membership marketing–the process of acquiring, engaging and retaining members–is the cornerstone for associations. It’s also a very challenging task. Now is the time to think about your goals and what you want–what you need–your association to look like in the coming years. Will you be able to sustain your current membership goals? Do you need support in attracting a younger demographic or engaging Gen X and Gen Y as your Boomers move on and enter retirement?

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Work Ethic: Lost Cause For Millenials?

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

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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.

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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.

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Where Generation Y Works Now Matters To The Future Of Your Company

Millennials are hard workers and you’ll want to recruit them for a number of reasons. So, what’s the best way to do that? Give them what they want, of course. Let’s take a look at where they are now and why that matters for how they get through your doors later:

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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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5 Ways To Engage And Disengage Generations X And Y

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

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Creating Positive Culture For Your Association

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

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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.

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Gen Y And Associations: The Perfect Twitter Match

You’ve heard of Twitter. You may even use Twitter. But do you know how effective Twitter can be in engaging with a specific audience? I’m not writing this post to give you stats and industry trends. I’m writing this post to give you actionable steps to engage Gen Y using Twitter. Interested? Read on!

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The New Workforce: Young, Rich And Female

Picture a picnic blanket, laid out beautifully on the green grass set with a wooden picnic basket and plates, napkins, and delicious food on display.

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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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Win The Talent War: Get Synced With Gen Y

My generation basically has you over a barrel. You need to hire us, but we won’t work for you or remain loyal if you don’t give us what we want. This might sound harsh, but it’s a fact. The traditional workplace is out of tune with the way we want to live.

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

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

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Going Rowe: What You Need To Know About Results Only Workplace Environments

Ever wasted time at work trying to look busy while counting the hours until you could head out the door? Ever wondered how to engage and empower your workforce while simultaneously providing them a perfect work/life balance and getting the most productivity? If you answered yes to either of those questions, the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) is for you.

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Loyalty? What Loyalty?

Over the past few weeks I seem to be stumbling across articles and have been involved in discussions about Gen Y and how they are – according to some – disloyal to their employers.

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Engage Employees With Organizational Democracy

WorldBlu added its first Minnesota company to their prestigious list of most democratic workplaces. Because I live and work in Minnesota; this is exciting news for me.

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Recognizing Membership Success: Examples From Ontario Library Association

In September 2011, I had the pleasure of meeting Beckie MacDonald, M.L.I.S at the CSAE (Canadian Society of Association Executives) National Conference & Tradeshow in Saskatoon, SK.

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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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The End Of Work As We Know It

Last week I gave a presentation at the national conference of an industry association. I was charged with giving a presentation on younger generations and future trends.

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Is Democracy Dead?

It’s an election year, and regardless of which party line you prefer, here’s a little known fact: We have the oldest Congress in history right now. Equally, if not more alarming, is the fact that most elected officials in office now were in some type of office by the time they were 31.

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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.

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How To Recruit The Best Of Gen X

Talented Gen Xers are looking for jobs. With some Boomers hanging on past retirement age and Gen Y working for less money, middle management roles tend to be filled by Gen X (and are also the easiest for financially strapped companies to cut). And even if they are currently employed, Gen X is known for changing jobs frequently, so they have their eyes and ears open.

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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.

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Sustain Your Organization Through Employee Mentorship

Your organization is unique. You are successful because there is something different about what you do and how you do it. Now, how can you best communicate that to your next generation of leaders?

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Effective Associations: Make Yours Hit The Mark

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

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Volunteer Food For Thought: Shape Opportunities For All Ages In Your Organization

When I was in middle school the thought of volunteering for any school activities where I could spend time with my best friends and twin sister made me want to jump up and down with joy. As I entered high school, those same feelings of excitement were still there – and encouraged by teachers and peers in grades older than me. Seeing upper-classmen volunteer in organizations both in school and around the community made volunteering the “cool” thing to do. I kept those same thoughts in mind as I attended college and joined several organizations at the University of Texas here in Austin, and I am today, at the age of 30, still active in several organizations around the community.

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Thou Shall Not Eat And Tweet At The Same Time: Resolving Generational Conflicts

With four generations in the workplace, compromise is becoming a necessity. But that’s easier said than done. It’s so much easier to point fingers, place blame, and criticize, isn’t it?

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Kick Your Organization's Old Habits: Tips For Creating A Better Work Culture

Your organization is doing what it does because it’s always worked for you; or has it? It’s time to look to the future instead of putting too much stock in the past. Your old habits might actually be holding you back. Kick ’em to the curb and develop a future work culture that will sustain your organization and grow future talent.

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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

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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.

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5 Must-Have Strategies For Successful Membership Recruitment

Ever feel like you’re reacting to low membership numbers rather than working through an established, proactive plan to recruit and retain your members? Do you know why you do the things you do as they pertain to reaching out to new members for your association?

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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.

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Under The Hood(Ie): Realizing Gen Y's Potential

This year, the oldest members of Generation Y will turn 30. By the time these people reach their 33rd birthday, Generation Y will have become the majority of the workforce. In other words, by 2015 the majority of our workforce will be in their 20s.

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Equal Opportunity: Women And The Generation Gap

I can see why female Baby Boomers and Gen Xers might think the women of my generation have an entitlement problem. The women who came before me had to literally convince men they belonged at work; they had to fight for it. It’s never crossed my mind that I won’t be hired just because I’m a woman.

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Stories From A Gen X Outlier: Why I Join

Sarah Sladek‘s presentation to my employer, a professional society of dentists, on the demographic challenges facing associations was fascinating, not just because it rang true to my organization, but also because it confirmed that I was a Gen X outlier.

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When It Comes To Advocacy, Don’t Ignore Gen Y

Go to virtually any association’s website and you will find advocacy listed as a membership benefit. Is it really a benefit?

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Members Won't Tell You, But Your Data Will

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

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Association Email Marketing: Millennials And Member Engagement

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

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Are You Prepared To Make Gen Y An Offer It Can't Refuse?

Think back to when you landed your first “real” job. What was it about the job that made it so appealing? What is the ability to work in your chosen field? The fact that you had final “made it” as a grown up? Was your salary a factor in what made you happy or pushed you to accept the job?

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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.

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Why Gen Y Won’t Buy What You’re Selling

Compared to previous generations, Generation Y (1982-1995) has some very different habits that have taken the marketplace by surprise.

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Recruiting Young Talent: Examples Of Successful Student Association Chapters

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

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Make Space For Gen Y

OK, so we can’t all have offices like Google, but at the very least, before you order more cubical walls, consider the space that Gen Y, your future workforce, will be most productive in.

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Quick Glimpse At The Generation Gap In Your Office

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

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Scared Yet? Workforce Stats That Chill Our Bones

Just in time for Halloween, an infographic with some pretty telling stats about the future and current state of our workforce. Is your organization ready for these changes? Do you have a plan to develop the new talent and leaders you’ll need to push forward in the future?

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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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Election Day: Watch, Listen And Learn

No matter your political party views, election time always brings about a fascinating array of political ads, supporters, phone callers, door knockers and general engagement from those who may seem otherwise quiet during a “normal” year. Passion, or advocacy, for a particular cause, topic or political agenda is something that can rally people together in ways that may have seemed impossible years earlier–especially if the correct communication tools and support are there.

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The State Of Advocacy For Associations: What Does It All Mean?

Luckily, by now, the robocalls have stopped and I’m sure you’ve all gotten out and voted. I doubt anyone is missing the relentless television and Web ads promoting one or another candidate or cause. But, just because the election is over doesn’t mean it’s time to stop talking politics.

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The State Of Advocacy For Associations: What Are The Challenges?

Here at XYZ University, we recently conducted a study of more than 125 association executives to gather insight on the state of advocacy in associations. In our survey, we asked you what the major challenges were relating to providing advocacy as a service to members, here’s what you had to say.

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Why Gen Y Isn't Interested In Advocacy

In our last post on advocacy in associations, we discussed the challenges you face. We were surprised that “Engaging the younger generation in the process” came in as low as number four in our 2012 Advocacy in Associations Survey. So now, in this post of the series, let’s talk specifically about advocacy and Gen Y.

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Thank You To Our Advocates

This month, we’ve been talking about advocacy as it relates to membership associations, specifically from a political standpoint. Engaging your audiences at all levels is important in any organization and, in the spirit of advocacy and the month of Thanksgiving, we’d like to take a moment to thank all the wonderful advocates of XYZ University.

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How To Engage Gen Y In Advocacy Efforts

Based on our recent advocacy in association survey results, it seems that many associations are not being realistic about where things are headed. Although most are concerned about the lack of participation by members under the age of 40, most associations also believe that they will be sustaining or growing advocacy efforts in the next 5-10 years. If that is to happen, we need a new approach.

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The 43% Change

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

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Training Our New Leaders

They might be working at Starbucks now, but pretty soon, Gen Y will be leading your company. Right now, Baby Boomers are retiring quickly; as a result, Gen Y is getting increased responsibility much earlier in their careers. Preparing Gen Y to lead is essential to the success of your organization.

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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.

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Gen Y: Are You Getting The Whole Story?

Hey employers, Gen Y has a story for you, but you aren’t going to find it on their résumé, not even on LinkedIn.

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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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The Turnover Tsunami: Prepare For The Post-Recession Workforce

Four years ago, generous benefits and opportunities for advancement convinced many employees with advanced degrees to work for hot companies dubbed the best places to work — places like Starbucks, for example.

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2011 Means The Big 65 For Boomers

This is the year we’ve all been waiting for–the year that Baby Boomers will start turning 65.

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Retirement, Communication And The Generational Shift

Retirement affects us all—personally, professionally and within an organization. On a personal level, you may be planning for that magical age, figuring out your financial goals. On a professional level, you may want to hit a certain mark in your career, leave your résumé with a stellar position on top as your last hurrah. But as an organization? Does retirement really affect you now?

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Unproductively Technological

Fifty percent of Generation Y believes the Internet can decrease workplace productivity, according to a study by LexisNexis.

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Best Companies Bridge The Generation Gap

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

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Where Do We Grow From Here?

Gas prices are high. Job openings are slim to none. The housing market still looks rough. It seems like the Great Recession continues to hang out like an unwanted guest after the party is over. And to top it all off, companies across the country continue to cut jobs—upwards of 16,000 cuts announced yesterday alone.

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Gen Y's Failure To Launch Launches Worldwide Chaos

In Tunisia, young people organized the Jasmine Revolution to help bring down a dictator. On February 1, their counterparts in Egypt forced President Hosni Mubarak to say he won’t seek reelection. The young, unemployed, and unhappy have brothers and sisters across the globe.

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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.

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My, Myself And I

Nearly one in two associations experienced a decline in membership last year, according to the 2010 Member Marketing Benchmark Report. With a struggling economy, too many competing associations, and an almost unlimited amount of free internet resources, it is becoming harder and harder to attract members. Many associations are realizing that to stay open, they must stop bleeding members. But, how?

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Generations Working Together For A Change

In my work with generations, I’ve heard so much about how employers fear change, even loath change. Well, maybe they haven’t described it in exactly those terms, but when employers say things like: “Why do these younger employees expect praise just for showing up?,” or “We can’t have people working from home because we don’t know that they are actually working,” and “Do I really have to tweet?” — they are really voicing their opposition to change.

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Would You Hire Your Own Kid?

I’m fascinated by the topic of workforce and leadership development, partly because I’m a parent and partly because I work with organizations grappling with generational issues.

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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.

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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.

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Curb Your Employees' Enthusiasm To Leave

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow morning, walked into work, and half of the employees weren’t there? The desks were empty, the halls were quiet, and you find yourself panicking when you come to the realization that half the workforce has resigned.

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Retirement Is Not The Problem

An article published in today’s Pioneer Press reports that, despite beliefs that the current economy has prolonged retirements, Baby Boomers are indeed retiring. Based on Social Security data and projected population growth, the state demographer’s office projects 59,000 retirements this year, 62,000 next year, and then increases each year throughout the decade.

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Success Defined By Generational Values

This spring, about 1.65 million young men and women graduated from American colleges and universities. That’s a staggering number. Much has been written, and rightly so, about the difficulties facing the Generation Y (also known as Millennials) graduates as they enter a troubled world.

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Collaborative Leadership Wins The Favor Of Generations Who Resist Leadership

I’ve been reading with great interest about collective leadership. In fact, Deloitte‘s biggest global project at this time is in studying effective collaborations–the idea that collaborative efforts and collective leadership are more effective than a ‘command-and-control’ approach.

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Businesses Behaving Badly: No Class = No Talent

A friend of mine has been job hunting for the past six months. When we spoke on the phone recently she lamented about the horrible treatment employers have been doling out–from outright ignoring her to rescinding offers to sending her an email simply stating she didn’t get the job after she went through several rounds of interviews and was told at one of the interviews she would get the job.

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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.

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At Risk Of Aging Out: The Oldest Fortune 500 Companies And Industries

A recent report by RetirementJobs.com ranked Fortune 500 employers by the percentage of workers they have over age 50. RetirementJobs.com gathered data from public records and surveys of employers and employees, to illustrate for job seekers which industries tend to employ a disproportionately high or low percentage of mature workers.

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When Generations Fight: Resolving Workplace Conflict

Picture in your mind a playground with three children fighting over a teeter-totter. The oldest child is fighting to keep the teeter-totter firmly planted on the ground. He has a content grin on his face and he’s plugging his ears. He’s plugging his ears because the youngest child, seated on the other end of the teeter-totter high up in the air, is having a screaming fit because he wants to be the heavy-weight on the teeter-totter.

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Ban This Man: Greenspan Blames Young Americans For Workforce Woes

Former Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan has said America’s young workforce pales in comparison to their Baby Boomer counterparts. He then suggested it would be better for America to hire skilled immigrants to counter the worrying trend.

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The End Of Membership As We Know It

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

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The Big Global Crack Up: Generational Shift Causes Economic And Political Shake-Down

Remember when associations and other membership organizations, like Rotary and chambers of commerce, enjoyed a lock on their markets? The Baby Boomers joined associations in droves. Now, participation is changing, fueled by social changes, generational shifts, a recession-prone economy, and rapidly-changing technology.

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Which Generation Works The Hardest?

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

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Fashion Faux Pas: Gen Y Takes Sexy To Work

A colleague of mine recently shared a story with me of a Gen Y employee who showed up for work in ‘Daisy Dukes’ – extremely short shorts. Outraged, she pulled the new hire into her office and asked her why she was wearing such inappropriate work attire. Confused and somewhat alarmed, the Gen Y shrugged her shoulders and said, “I thought you said we could dress casual on Fridays.”

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Reality Bites For Employers Who Can't Get To X

Generation X, the 48 million Americans born between 1965 and 1981, have become accustomed to being invisible –but no company can afford to ignore them now. Unfortunately, most companies haven’t come to this realization yet.

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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.

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Changes In Technology Mean Changes In Policy

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

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The Office Of The Future: A Gen Y's Vision And Executive Predictions

Josh Ingalls, a certified Gen Y recruiting pro (Campus Relations Consultant) for Principal Financial Group recently posted a Fistful of Talent article about the workforce of the past and what's likely to come into vogue in the future.

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

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

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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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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!).

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What Generation Y Wants At Work And Why You Should Care

What do Ys want at work? For several years Johnson Controls has been sponsoring a survey of younger generations to answer this very question. Their most recent research shows that 18-25 year olds view the office as an extension of their home life.

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The Boomers Have (Almost) Left The Building…Now What?

An estimated 78 million baby boomers are set to retire over the next five to 10 years—for nonprofits, chambers of commerce and other member-based associations, this statistic should be alarming. Why? Because the majority of associations are supported and sustained almost entirely by Baby Boomers. Which bodes the question: Who will you turn to when they’re gone?

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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.

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American Chopper & Apprentice: The Next Generation In Family Business Makes Its Debut

If you’re wondering what the difference is between a Boomer’s approach to work and a Generation Xer’s approach to work, check out American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior on Discovery Channel.

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E-Mail Takes A Backseat To Social Media

In the mid-1990s, I worked at a company that introduced a collaborative e-mail station for staff to share on a single computer. I remember how afraid management was to allow e-mail access to everyone. Management warned us that e-mail was a dangerous privelige and the information could just as easily end up in a black hole for anyone to find. Nothing good could come of using e-mail, they told us. It was much safer and easier to use a telephone.

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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.

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Limelight Aligns With Monarch To Help Companies Leverage Their Talent

I am pleased to announce that Limelight Generations has formed an alliance with Monarch Leadership. Our companies share a common mission to help organizations grow and bridge the talent gap through the development of their emerging, young leaders.

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New Leaders Needed: Change Is Our Only Hope

Generations X and Y have a tainted view of authority. From President Richard Nixon to Enron, we have observed the fall of many of America's leaders. Will it ever stop? Here's just a sampling of what's happened in the past two months:

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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.

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Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: Avoid Being Black-Balled While Giving Out Pink Slips

I recently gave a presentation on the importance of recruiting and retaining younger generations in the workforce when someone in the audience raised his hand in vehement protest.

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The New Workplace Has Arrived In Washington Dc.

President Barack Obama swept his way into the White House by promising “change” in America. He promised a new way of governing, a new way of working with foreign governments, and new transparency for his own decisions.

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Bring Out The Best In Y: A Limelight Workshop

They have been described as entitled, egotistical, demanding, driven to make a difference, and wanting the kind of life where every minute has meaning. This is Generation Y, and like it or not in two years they will comprise the majority of the American workforce.

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The Art Of Leadership

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Move The 'Fame Junkies' Into Marketing With Employee-Generated Videos

Looking for an inexpensive and effective way to market to younger generations? (And in this economy, who isn’t?) Here’s an idea: employee-generated videos.

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Three Strikes Against Paying Dues.

Last night, I listened to a speaker talking to a bunch of young graduates about how to get a job in the marketing world. At one point, he mentioned that his daughter was "a perfect Gen Y". She'd only been in her job for 6 months, and already thought she should be doing director-level work. The speaker told us that in a voice laced with sarcasm, and all the college seniors laughed on cue.When I heard that though, I wondered how many of them will still be laughing once they get out in the real world. I think a lot of them will change their minds pretty quickly.

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

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

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Downsizing With Dignity – And Perks!

In November 2008, the Victaulic pipe plant laid off nearly 260 workers. After the workers were laid off, the United Steelworkers union applied for special unemployment benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor, citing that the company produces products that also are imported from other countries. The benefits will give the workers up to two years of unemployment pay and re-training.Unfortunately, not every company is eligible for benefits that will allow laid-off workers access to re-training or other valuable perks. But perhaps it’s time for companies to consider offering ‘perk packages’ for laid-off workers.

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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.

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When Boomers Behave Badly

At a recent workshop, one of the participants complained about their Gen Y workers. As an example of the “horrors” that Boomer managers have to deal with, he said indignantly. “Some Gen Yers even bring their parents along on interviews!”A couple of the other participants nodded in sympathy.

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Give Boomers Incentives To Teach

At Sarah’s workshop a couple weeks ago, someone brought up a really interesting way that a company is encouraging older workers to pass along their knowledge to younger generations.Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the company. I was so impressed by their story though, that I’m going to write about it anyways!

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Is Talent The Same As Tenure?

Last week, I gave presentations to two very different audiences — technical recruiters and energy providers — yet, the questions were the same. Why worry about recruiting and retaining Generations X and Y? What could younger generations possibly offer that a more experienced, dedicated worker could not, especially in the midst of economc crisis?

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Welcome To XYZ University: Learn How To Become A Next Generation Association

Welcome to XYZ University, the first generation-specific networking and learning community for association executives! XYZ University features the latest information on how to succession plan and effectively recruit and retain younger members to your association.

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XYZ University Webinar Prepares Associations For Future Generations

Recruiting younger members is essential to the future of associations if they are going to remain vibrant and relevant and sustain.

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The Perfect Entrepreneurial Storm

A few weeks back, I was a mentor for the Girls Going Places Entrepreneurship Program in Minneapolis. I was truly inspired by how business-saavy these young girls were, and being in the generational line of work, I know that today's students and young adults claim the largest volume of start-ups in America.

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Lost Generation Video: Redefining Negative Stereotypes

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Generation Z, Brands, And Advertising

It’s time to move on from Gen Y. Gen Z are the new breed of consumers. They are in their teens, digital natives, lovers of advertising and most importantly, they know you are trying to sell them something.

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Twitter Rediscovered: The Why, What, And When Of Microblogging

A few months ago I started using Twitter. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration. I created a profile and I tweeted a few times, but I really struggled to understand the concept or even really like it.

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Apply Now For Next Generation Employer Of Choice Awards — Deadline To Apply Is July 31st

The Next Generation Employer of Choice Awards is now accepting applications! This unique awards program will recognize organizations that are doing an exceptional job at recruiting and retaining the younger workforce. Applications are now available. The deadline to apply is July 31, so make sure to be included. A panel of judges will determine the winning companies and results will be announced on August 14.

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Research Reveals Differences Between Xer And Boomer Entrepreneurs

Oh, what a difference a few years makes! New research by Womenable for American Express OPEN and M3 reveals generational differences in experience, goals and motivations.

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Success. Redefined.

My senior year of college, a professor asked us to write our goals of what we’d like to be doing in five and ten years. I came across the printout of my assignment a few years ago – complete with the holes still attached on the side from the dot-matrix printer. I had completely forgotten about it and was surprised to discover I had fulfilled most of those goals.

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Best Buy To Receive Award For Engaging X And Y At Work

On October 20, 2009, business leaders from across the country will be attending the RockStars@Work Conference in Minneapolis–the nation’s first generation-themed business conference—to learn how to relate to the next generation of workers and address the approaching talent gap in America’s workforce.

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Move Over Pops: Rock Stars Have Invaded The Workforce

Throughout history, many of the most successful rock stars were largely misunderstood and criticized at some point in their lives and had to claw their way to the top of an industry that was highly-competitive and ruthlessly cutthroat.

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Crisis At Work: Students Lack A Good Work Ethic

There is a crisis in the work force today: youth are not learning a good work ethic during their school years. This especially applies to inner-city schools where funding is limited.

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Quarterlife Magazine Examines The Life Of Gen Y

There’s a new kid on the block, and, no, he doesn’t sing for his supper. He writes. This summer Paul Eulette, 23, started QuarterLife Magazine, a weekly magazine written by Gen Yers with content for Gen Yers. With 15 international writers, the magazine covers topics including politics, music, business and culture.

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Rockstars@Work: Behind-The-Scenes At Dreamworks Animation

At the RockStars@WorkConference, hosted in Minneapolis on October 20, 2009, Meredith Berens, head of Human Resources for DreamWorks Animationgave us the insider scoop on what it's like to work for the leader in family-friendly entertainment.

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Rockstars@Work: The Ultimate Search For Meaningful Work

At the RockStars@ Work Conference, hosted in Minneapolis on October 20, 2009, Zach Hubbell and Brett Farmiloe (both social media managers for Jobing.com) shared some of what they learned on their Pursue the Passion tour in 2007.

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Rockstars@Work: Planning For The Future

One of the common themes at the RockStars@ Work Conference was the importance of mentorship for young employees. Two representatives from General Mills, Sue Listerud and Joi Warren, addressed this topic in their breakout session. They said that to be ahead of the game in business, employees must be ahead as well, and mentorship is crucial to getting there.

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Rockstars@Work: Dreamworks Animation Practices Fearless Leadership

Why was DreamWorks Animation listed in Fortune’s top 100 companies to work for in 2009? Meredith Berens, human resources spokeswoman for DreamWorks, answered that question in her keynote speech at the RockStars@ Work Conference on October 22, 2009.

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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.

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Rockstars@Work: Campus Recruiting That Really Pays Off

Before Cargill revamped its campus recruiting program three years ago, 50% of young hires left the company within five years. Now they have 100% retention. Among young employees they also have 96% offer acceptance, 0% unwanted turnover, 84% employee engagement, 32% increase in diversity recruiting, twice as many new hires receiving top performance review ratings, and a pride factor of 96%.

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Rockstars@Work: Multi-Task Your Way To Fitness

Have you ever hit a slump during the work day that you just can’t get past? Do you find it difficult to get in a work-out after putting in a full day at the office? Do you have difficulty focusing on those monotonous everyday tasks?

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Rockstars@Work: The Anti-Corporate Culture

The phrase “Anti-Corporate Corporation” may seem like an oxymoron, but Tony Nuckolls of Quicken Loans proved the contrary in his presentation at the RockStars @ Work Conference.

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Rockstars@Work: Gen Y-Focused Values For The Workplace

Nadira Hira, an award-winning journalist and writer for Fortune Magazine, gave akeynote presentation at the RockStars@ Work Conference. A Gen Y herself, Nadira has written numerous articles about Generation Y's influence on the workplace.

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Rockstars@Work: Gen Y-Focused Values For The Workplace

Nadira Hira, an award-winning journalist and writer for Fortune Magazine, gave akeynote presentation at the RockStars@ Work Conference. A Gen Y herself, Nadira has written numerous articles about Generation Y's influence on the workplace.

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Rockstars@Work: Gen Y-Focused Values For The Workplace

Nadira Hira, an award-winning journalist and writer for Fortune Magazine, gave akeynote presentation at the RockStars@ Work Conference. A Gen Y herself, Nadira has written numerous articles about Generation Y's influence on the workplace.

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Rockstars@Work: Twitter Takes The Stage

“I am eating a banana.” “Just got off the phone with mom!” “I’m ironing my clothes.” “Making some coffee.” Sound familiar? Sounds like Twitter! That is, it sounds like my impression of the infinite drudgeries of Twitter before I attended the breakout session held byLocaltweeps at the Rock Stars@ Work Conference.

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Rockstars@Work: Focus On The Future Of Work

How do you keep your employees loyal to your company, even after layoffs? Why is vision so important to attracting and retaining young employees? What can social media teach us about Gen Y employees? These are just some of the questions raised by Nadira Hira's keynote speech at the 2009 RockStars@ Work Conference.

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Achieving Rock Star Status

Bono is a Rockstar. I was fortunate enough to see theU2 360 Concert recently. And it was Passion on Purpose on display. And all of that Passion and Preparation translated into a monster Performance.

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Rockstars@Work: How To Make Work Work For Gen Y

In an earlier blog, Dana Shapiro told the story of Brett Farmiloe and Zack Hubbell, who traveled the country on the Pursue the Passion tour to interview people about why they were passionate about their work.

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A New Generation Of Socialites

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

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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.

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Board Of Directors: Here To Stay Or Hopelessly Passé?

I met a colleague yesterday over coffee who specializes in board governance. We shared our experiences working with boards of directors, and both of us (as Xers) agreed the board concept has little to no appeal to our generation and the generation that follows.

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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.

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Welcome To Parenthood: Managing Gen Y

I’ve read about it and listened to business executives gripe about it, but I’ve never experienced it myself until now.Yes, Virginia. There really is a Helicopter Parent.Like an urban myth or a mystical creature out of a fairy tale, it’s hard to believe they really do exist. But now I know for certain they do.What are helicopter parents? They are the parents of Gen Ys who are actively involved in their children’s careers.

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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.

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Recruiting The Latest, Greatest Talent

Let’s pretend for a moment that you are a talent agent sitting across the table from a very famous rock star. Let’s pretend it’s Elvis. Every talent agent out there wants to represent Elvis for obvious reasons—his records and concerts sell out within minutes, advertisers want him to endorse their products, and even Hollywood is calling him to make movies.

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Marketing To X And Y: How To Reach The Next Generation Of Consumers

How do you reach an audience that can choose their own music without listening to a commercial radio station, can block outsiders from their social circle—which revolves around cell phones and online networks like Facebook and MySpace—and only refer to newspapers when they need packing material to move on to their next venue?

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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.

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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.

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The Dos And Don'ts Of Advertising To Generations X And Y

Generations X and Y are savvy and skeptical consumers. I know this as a fellow Xer and as the CEO of a generational marketing company. We are an elusive market and advertisers struggle desperately to reach us.Nevertheless, there are a few key tactics to keep in mind when selling a product or service to Xers and Ys: keep it real, be relevant, be creative, and tap into messages or ways to benefit us personally, professionally, and also benefit our communities.

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Keeping The Faith: Xers, Ys Seek A New Way To Worship

Religion has made significant strides recently toward reaching younger audiences.Faithbook launched as the first interfaith page on the popular site Facebook in an effort to foster greater understanding among people of different religions.

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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:

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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!

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Speak Like A Y: The Latest, Youngest Lingo

Each generation has its own language. The Baby Boomers introduced the concept of cool and numerous variations of the word including fab, far out, groovy, hangin', hip, keen-o, nifty, and neat.

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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?

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Read Between The Lines: More And Better Ways To Deliver The News

Take a look at any teen Web site and you’ll see that it takes a lot of bells and whistles to attract Generation Y—the age group that has always known the Internet, and the immediacy and interactivity that it has brought to publishing and the rest of our lives. Print publishers are already lagging in mindshare with this group.

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Election 2008: Will It Be Women Or Children First?

Several months back, when both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were campaigning for the Democratic nomination, I posed the question in this blog: Will it be women or children first?

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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.

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Is Small Town America Becoming Passé?

The impact that Generation Y, ages 13-25, will have on urban planning is already becoming apparent. I’ve read about and observed first-hand the many small agricultural communities reeling from massive population loss, and the mid-size industrial cities dealing with the same issue, as well as struggling with keeping crime under control and selling people on the notion that it is important to rebuild these cities’ urban cores.

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

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

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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.

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Economy Is In The Toilet But It's Good To Be X

The economy is in the toilet but it's a good time to be an Xer. Seriously, how often do we hear how hard we Xers have it? We've been called slackers since we were adolescents and even referred to as the Jan Brady generation because we're sandwiched between two such attention-seeking generations.

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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.

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Jobs For Rent: Documentary About Gen Y's Career Pursuits

JOBS FOR RENT is a documentary that chronicles Generation Y and their endless pursuit of jobs and career, in contrast to the Baby Boomer’s more stable path.

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Economic Crisis Isn't New To Gen X

As we enter the second year of the U.S. financial economic crisis that started in August 2007 with the sub-prime lending meltdown, the impact on the economy and the average American has been devastating.

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10 Strategies To Get Gen Y To Work

Recession or not, we are in the age of the young knowledge worker. Generation Y, presently ages 13 to 26, is the most high-performing generation in the history of mankind with more information in their heads and at their fingertips–so they can perform a variety of tasks in many business domains and can live anywhere if the job and company are cool.

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Great Leadership Requires Plenty Of Practice

The mass exodus of Baby Boomers from the workplace has already begun. According to the US Office of Personnel Management, between 2006 and 2010 Boomer retirement will have robbed American companies of nearly 290,000 full-time experienced employees.

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Meaningful Work Means The Most During A Time Of Crisis

As employment markets tighten and employers expect great outcomes from their employees, some would say the economic crisis has spurred a return to a grateful, less demanding, and stabilized workforc –especially where young employees are concerned. So much for work-life balance, career pathing, and increasing vacation time. Those Xers and Ys should just be thankful they have a job. Right?

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2008: The End Of The Boomer Reign

Since 2002, I have studied generational trends and I have long predicted the passage of the era when the Baby Boomers reigned supreme. In the course of my work, I’ve been accused of age discrimination, ignorance, arrogance, and simply being a Boomer-hater who just wants to push her elders out of the way.But as a former journalist, I’ve just been reporting the facts all the while and urging associations and businesses and non-profits to prepare for the exodus of our nation’s leaders.It’s just that people can get emotional about aging, and protective of tradition — all which is understandable.Nevertheless, I’ve been reading with great interest articles that predict 2008 will mark the final year of reign for the Baby Boomers, and it’s hard not to say ‘I told you so.’A CNN commentary by Marian Salzman, chief marketing officer and a partner at Porter Novelli Worldwide, states:

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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.

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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.

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