I ran a workshop with a membership organization last week and I was struck by just how much Millennial Culture is a factor in executing strategy and operations. In this session, I was working with the group to confirm their alignment with a strategy they had previously set, and a discussion emerged about how to attract younger members.  

At face value, this is a marketing problem, and it isn’t new. Every organization charged with providing a valuable product or service needs to be aware of the demographics of its emerging target. This, however, felt different. Rather than discussing only the preferences of younger members, I noticed that the work I’ve done on Microslices has a profound impact even on this non-professional services group.  I write in Microslices, and in this blog, about the three characteristics of a Millennial Attitude: an innate trust in technology, a focus on outcomes, and willingness to experiment.  Here’s how it played out in the Workshop I ran last week:

Millennial Trait 1: a high trust in technology and relatively low trust in people.
In the workshop, the group discussed how the organization’s lackluster membership website doesn’t just frustrate, but it drives away the next generation of members. For executives, this means that your antiquated email practices, shoddy platforms, and unwillingness to almost instantly adopt new tools drives away not just customers, but talent.

Millennial Trait 2: a focus on outcomes rather than a focus on activity
In the workshop, the group discussed how some other, competing organizations don’t have some of the tried and true member interaction processes that they had -- but yet younger prospects continue to turn to those organizations. One participant speculated that those face-to-face, activity-centered benefits just don’t appeal to those with a Millennial Attitude.

Millennial Trait 3: a willingness to experiment with new methods, processes, and technologies.
In the workshop, the group discussed how a new training offering targeting younger prospects might be beneficial. However, the offering is geared toward more mature members, using a 15 year old curriculum. The group noted that younger members are more likely to be attracted by brand new methodologies, developed only within the last couple years.

It’s always interesting to see how technology, data science, and millennial culture are forcing organizations to change and this one is no different. Yours probably isn’t, either.

Interested in holding a workshop like this one?