before falling down the gen z rabbit hole – read this

May 12, 2015

If you’re like most organizations and brands today, you’ve spent the better part of the past few years reading about, dissecting, and trying to understand how to reach, connect with and engage the Millennial generation. I know I have. In fact, this has been a large part of what’s occupied my professional existence over the course of the past eight+ years.

It was back in March of 2008, while working at the Case Foundation, that we first released Social Citizens – a document that took on a life of its own and helped shape the conversation about the power and potential of Millennials in the social sector and beyond. The Case Foundation’s initial investment helped spur an ongoing dialogue, research, a national conference, and even a book.

But, lo and behold – here comes Generation Z.  And here we go again. Organizations are already spinning their wheels asking the same questions today that they did back then. How can we begin to understand let alone reach, connect with, and authentically engage this new demographic of “kids”? 

Before you spend time, energy, and money going down the Gen Z rabbit hole – maybe these are the wrong questions to lead with. Maybe we’re spending too much energy trying to reinvent our organizations every ten years as the “next” rising generation comes of age and starts having a greater impact on society. What if instead we placed greater emphasis on celebrating those organizations who recognize that in order to thrive, they need to proactively be open and willing to adapt? 

Today’s organizational leaders need to work harder to stay current, keep communications and messaging fresh, and create collaborative environments where every voice can be heard. We all need to get smarter and build this into the culture of our organizations because these are the things that individuals across ALL generations have come to care about and expect. 

I don’t think you need to dig very deep to find out that there’s actually more that unites generations than divides us today. Our problems are too big. Our resources are too small. What if instead, we use our energy to work across generations, and put our collective perspectives and skills toward solving some of our most complex problems?

this post brought to you by team member, kari saratovsky.

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