Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Boomers Do Might Impact Your Association

Last week, I posted a blog called “Ready or Not, Here Comes Generation Y.”

I’ve given presentations and facilitated visioning for associations planning ahead and working on how to engage millenials in their organization.

As you know, I’m convinced the millenials – all 80 million of them – will greatly influence how associations organize and how they engage members.

Now, along comes Dr. Ken Dychtwald and his thoughts and research on how Boomers will chose to “retire” and how that will impact the U.S. and various organizations.  (Thanks to Harvey Mackay for his column in the St. Louis Business Journal sharing Dychtwald’s thinking.)

Here are some excerpts:
  • “With each passing birthday, some wise guy asks me if I’m finally going to retire. Oh, how I hate that question. I love my work, and I love to work. And as it turns out, I’m part of an emerging demographic: the longevity revolution.”
  • “What happens to media, marketing and advertising that have been oriented nearly exclusively toward 18-to-34-year-olds when that age group diminishes in size and the 50-plus population, which has always been a throwaway group, suddenly has all the money and growth?”
  • “Which business opportunities are going to emerge as we have a new bunch of 50-year-olds, 60-year-olds, 80-year-olds, 90-year-0lds, maybe 110-year-olds, in years to come?” 
  • “Ken argues that rather than focusing on trendsetters, we should turn our attention to the ‘influentials’ - the people whom other people take note of and want to be like. Young people are looking up to those who are successful, powerful and good at what they do.”
  • “The highest amount of entrepreneurship in the last 10 years in America has happened among 55-to-65-year-olds.” 
As one who is transitioning from “work” to “retirement,” I really related to this comment from Ken: “Some people work because they have to but many continue working and exploring new careers because they like to. It’s freedom. I’m going to do what I want to do, how I want to do it and on my own schedule.”

In addition to writing this daily blog, I’ve chosen to devote a significant portion of my time as a volunteer for Businesspersons Between Jobs and the St. Louis Society of Association Executives.

As I read Harvey’s notes from Ken in the Biz Journal, I started to “dream” ... “If I could find three or four others who – like me – would be willing to devote 5-10 hours a week to the new SLSAE initiatives, we could really make the organization sizzle!”

What about your organization? How many people like me might be available to volunteer for your association? How do you work to retain them? How to you harness their talent without letting them drive the association in a way that may be detrimental to the needs of Millenials?

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