Posts Tagged ‘engage’

No medium has ever survived the indifference of 25 year olds.Clay Shirky

If I worked in the 8 track tape industry, I’d be real nervous.

What if we altered the brilliant Mr. Shirky’s statement a little:

No organization has ever survived the indifference of 25 year olds.

The generation born between 1978 and 1992 are referred to as Millenials.  They are one big and powerful crowd — sorry Boomers, but in 2008 there were 77.6 million millenials to your 74.1 million and despite your best efforts, the fountain of youth has eluded you as it has generations prior.  Enjoy your time leading while you can — there is a strong and larger generation coming and they are very, very different.

In their book The Networked Nonprofit (Amazon link), Beth Kanter and Allison Fine state:

If alarm bells aren’t ringing inside of nonprofit organizations right now, they should be — loudly.
Millenials represent a potential fatal blow to the large, ongoing membership donor bases for traditional organizations.

If that doesn’t send a chill up your spine…it should.

Millenials are like weather vanes, moving with the slightest change in a societal, technological, or cultural breeze.  They are fickle and move from flavor-of-the-month at a breakneck pace with a different definition of loyalty (just ask MySpace).

Strong organizations will not try to “capture” the millenials it hopes to serve, hire or involve.  Strong organizations will restructure in order to evolve with millenials, it will be the only way to remain relevant.  Don’t focus on the generational divide, focus on building the bridge.

Start having the conversation now or soon no one will be talking about us.  What steps are your organization taking to engage the millenial generation?

I was honored to provide a guest blog to Jay Baer’s blog over at Convince and Convert.  Be sure to visit.  Thanks for checking it out.

Here’s the link:  Convince & Convert Blog

Oh how those words permeated the fitness industry in the 1980’s and on.  Then as we softened, or the rest of the populace softened, we slowly evolved into the mushy titled “wellness” industry.  I guess “fitness” as a word has too many hard corners.

We are an industry of full blown tactics — more reps, more sets, higher target heart rates, etc.  All about progress to that better, fitter you…just like the magazines (yeah, right).

In the past if you called someone the “biggest loser” you’d get punched in the nose, now grown men are crying on TV for the title.

I don’t begrudge them one bit and I admire the work they go through all on national TV with decent ratings.  And those trainers work the contestants oversized tails off — while serving as therapists as well.

I’m deeply embarrassed that my industry some how missed them.  We wronged them and many, many others.

Maybe the shift to “wellness” will help.

Like any industry, our customers come to us with goals.  Are we actually taking the time to listen?  If someone states that their goal is “simply to feel better”, why do we simply revert to the tactics — reps, sets, target HR, yoga poses, etc.?

Ask the question, “what does feeling better mean to you?”  Ask 50 members and you’ll get 50 different answers.  That is where the journey can begin.

In my industry, the annual resolutionaries are beginning to fade from sight — it is heart wrenching to me (see you all again next year…I hope).  We’ve let them down and didn’t engage them.  And did not listen.

We can all gain and it’s painless to simply create the dialog.

We must be remarkable, not replaceable…and now more than ever.