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Sarah Sladek is frequently featured in the media discussing change, generational gaps, and how demographics affect companies of all sizes. 

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Featured Articles

Millennials Develop Entitlement Complex - Sarah Sladek Weighs In

XYZ University CEO Sarah Sladek said Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers are the ones to blame. While they were raised to be self-sufficient and independent things, they didn't raise their kids like that. “We saw parenting shift from that hands-off parenting model to extreme hands on, or helicopter parenting,” said Sladek. Sladek said Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers raised their kids to have a voice and interact with adults. Now, they expect that in the workplace. “And, they’re saying I really want this great relationship with whomever I’m working with or for; and I want to feel positive and appreciated and respected. And, I want to feel happy,” said Sladek.

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Q&A With XYZ University CEO and Founder Sarah Sladek

Associations have undergone sea changes in recent years, due in part to a new workforce culture, rapidly changing technology and a shift in demographics. More than ever, organizations should be thinking about strategic ways to engage and retain their employees, which is the topic of a new book released by the American Society of Association Executives, Talent Generation: How Visionary Organizations Are Redefining Work and Achieving Greater Success. Author Sarah Sladek, CEO and founder of XYZ University, spoke with M&C about what has led to a workforce crisis, why associations are best suited to solve it and how they can get started.

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11 Things You Should Know About Generation Y

While the members of Generation Z (anyone born after 1993) are beginning to show up on the radar screens of businesses around the world, Generation Y (people born in the '80s and '90s) is now firmly established in the workplace and a force to be reckoned with.

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How to Keep Young Employees Happy

If you’re worried more about your employees who are nearing retirement than your younger talent, you’re making a grave mistake. At least that’s according to demographics expert Sarah Sladek, who argues on Leadership Now that a focus on older workers is what killed iconic camera company Kodak.

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Balance Tips from Boomers to Millennials

Millennials will soon outnumber baby boomers in the United States, and sometime this year they are expected to become a majority of the workforce. Suddenly, Maple Grove workplace consultant Sarah Sladek is in high demand.

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As Older Minnesota Volunteers Leave, Who Will Replace Them?

The concept of a volunteer’s “return on investment” is especially important to millennials, who were born after 1980, said Sarah Sladek, a consultant who helps businesses and nonprofit groups understand generational differences.

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Innovation is Key to Engaging Gen Y

Media and marketing professional Sarah Sladek has been researching demographics since 2002, so she has plenty of advice for engaging the perplexing workforce power that is Generation Y (people born between 1982 and 1995). Her book Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now examines the motivations and values of Millennials and provides insight on how to involve them with associations.

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NWA Convention Reflects Association's Eye Toward the Future

“Our keynote speaker is Sarah Sladek, and she is probably the foremost global expert on Generations X, Y and Z,” Bob Morrissey, executive director of the NWA, told The Produce News. “We are very excited to have her speak and to remain on for a couple of months as a consultant for the association.”

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Watermelon Group Focuses on Generation Y

Having hit its 100th birthday last year, NWA has seen flat or declining membership over the last several years, and with the association’s leadership aging, NWA staff were growing concerned about the organization’s future, said Sarah Sladek, CEO of XYZ University, who delivered the keynote address at last week’s conference.

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Effectively Managing Generations X, Y and Z

Speaking at the 2015 International Builders’ Show, Sarah Sladek, CEO of management consulting firm XYZ University, said it’s critically important for employers to recognize and acknowledge that baby boomers and Generations X, Y and Z have widely different approaches to work.

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Marketers Must Get to Know Digital Natives

“This generation … gravitates to new experiences they didn’t have as children,” agreed Sarah Sladek, CEO of XYZ University, a management consulting firm, and author of “Knowing Y: Engaging the Next Generation Now.” They also favor brands that have charitable giving in their DNA, such as Toms Shoes, which makes a contribution to a cause with each shoe sale, she said.

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Companies Change as Millennials Become Majority of Workforce

“I think we have experienced a really huge change in the workforce and we really haven’t spent a lot of time talking about or thinking about it”, said Sarah Sladek, CEO of XYZ University, a consulting company that works with organizations to engage different generations.

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Leadership in Transition: Succession and Retirement Planning

“Filling the shoes of retiring leaders is a widespread challenge for most industries,” says Sarah Sladek, author of Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now (ASAE Association Management Press, 2014). “We’ve moved away from an era in which you pick a career and stay in it until retirement. Now, people change careers regularly and are very restless, and it leaves organizations wondering, ‘What’s our succession plan?'”

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Youth and the Future of Associations

“The next five years are going to be the defining years for associations,” says Sarah Sladek, CEO and founder of XYZ University, a management and consulting company that specializes in Millennial recruitment. “Either they’re going to swim or they’re going to sink.”

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Technology-Advanced Millennials May Succeed in Business World

Because of the many stereotypes about millennials, some employers are hesitant to hire employees from the generation. But according to Sarah Sladek, author of Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now, many millennials prefer to start their own business. In fact, Sladek says 50 percent of millennials want to or have already started their own business. And many see the millennial connection to technology as a fault, but in reality, the workforce is driven by technology. Millennials tend to know their technology and are innovative, and traits such as these are necessary in a rapidly changing world.

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Bar Association Governance for Changing Times

The notion that strict parliamentary rules can govern discussion, that it takes months or years to accomplish a project, or that age prohibits leadership is foreign to many in those generations, Sladek says—and associations need to respond to that. “They expect their associations to be more responsive. They want things to happen faster,” she says. “When you’re talking 12 years of board service to become president, that doesn’t work anymore. That’s like a life sentence for young people. So many associations are so consumed with their traditions. Oh, my gosh—it’s time to let all that stuff go.”

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Engaging Millennials as Next Gen Members

After defining ourselves for centuries by possessions – cars, houses, books, china patterns, stocks, boats, land, and jewelry – what matters to a growing number of young people is not so much ownership as access. The pressure is on clubs to deliver continued, quick, and easy access to new information, valuable services and products, meaningful relationships and experiences that deliver a real return on investment.

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The Great Generational Divide

“The ‘distinct group’ everyone is talking about is the millennials, because this year they became the majority of the work force,” Sladek says. “This is a monumental shift considering boomers have been the majority of the work force for 34 years.”

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Report: Associations Boost Chicago Nonprofit Staffing, Spending

Sarah Sladek, founder and CEO of XYZ University, which helps membership associations engage younger generations, said there is a disconnect between the interests of young professionals and the way associations traditionally operate. With millennials this year becoming the majority of the workforce, according to Pew Research, Sladek said associations are “at crisis level or near crisis level” when it comes to attracting young members.

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How to get Gen Y to Buy Insurance

Many differences that we see with millennials and the other generations are due to the fact that they are the first generation of the post-industrial era. “We’ve been in an industrial era for over a century and many of the methodologies, especially in the insurance industry, are very rigid and set in this era. As a result, we’re seeing the need to change for an entire industry, not to mention individual businesses. When you’re talking about change in the scale that it needs to happen, it could be quite daunting.”

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Here's Why You Should Be Talking To Millennials

The fact that advisors and marketers aren’t focusing on this generation — which, as of this year, has a buying power of $600 billion, according to Sladek — is worrying.

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Generation Y. Millennials. Echo Boomers. Trophy Generation.

Generation Y, also known as Millennials, have been a difficult generation to engage because the traditional membership doesn’t meet their values, and therefore falls drastically short of meeting their expectations. Knowing how to engage Gen Y begins with knowing why this generation is unlike any other.

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Grow Membership by Engaging Gen Yers and Millennials

When it comes to engaging Generation Y and Millennials, there are several key components to keep in mind. Sarah Sladek, CEO of XYZ University, shares her tips for engaging existing and potential members who fall within this age group. Includes a case study of the membership-building project XYZ University developed for American Institute of Architects.

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Millennials are ready to step up. Are you?

In 2015, Millennials officially outnumbered Baby Boomers in the workplace. “Companies are starting to freak out about the massive talent shift that’s taking place,” says Sarah Sladek, CEO and founder of XYZ University. Sladek makes it her business to know what makes Millennials tick and help organizations embrace this new generation of employees. “The Millennials are the most-studied generation in history,” Sladek says, and reminds Aware readers of a few of the well-known findings.

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Startup Investing and Entrepreneurship in 2016: Top 3 Trends

As millennials begin to take over the work force we can note these facts about the generation according to Sarah Sladek, author of Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now: 92-percent believe that businesses should be measured more by social impact than by profit. 61-percent feel personally responsible to make a positive difference in the world.

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Millennials: How to Prepare for Tomorrow's Power Generation at Your Firm

Sarah is a contributing author of Generation Shift: Recruiting, Managing and Retaining the Millennial Lawyer and CEO of XYZ University, a consultancy that provides companies with insight and guidance about Generations X, Y, and Z so they can grow membership, reduce turnover, and increase participation. The Ark Group interviews her about the defining characteristics of Millennial lawyers, workforce changes, and what law firms need to do to engage the next generation of attorneys.

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