Issue No. 247 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features an insightful book on the "mindset" of multiple generations--a unique resource for your strategic planning work. Plus, this reminder: check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
If your kids or your grandkids are graduating from high school in the Class of 2015, "Arnold Palmer has always been a drink." That's just one of 75 insights from this year's Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2015--an annual list created for the faculty (and now the world) at Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, to remind the profs about the "mindset" of freshmen that arrived at college last fall.
The mindset list delivers a different way of thinking about the future--and I've been following the list (and recommending it to clients and colleagues) for several years. And now there's a book (of course), The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages, What Ten Generations of Americans Think Is Normal. Authors Tom McBride and Ron Nief provide additional color commentary on generational thinking--but it's not professorial dry or dusty, it's fun and quotable.
I won't spoil the journey for you with too much information, but you must buy the book and use it in your strategic plan's environmental scan process. The fun part: the authors forecast the mindset of the class of 2026 (those born in 2008 who will graduate from college in 2030. Their classmates might include Tripp Palin-Johnston, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban, Gia Zavala Damon, or the Jolie-Pitt twins. For them, "George Carlin, Charlton Heston, Gerald Ford and Tim Russert have always been dead."
Examples from the class of 2026:
#1. Their parents claim their lives are contained on those little metallic discs in plastic cases stashed away in the attic, but there is no place to play them anymore.
#3. Only Special Home Delivery Priority Mail is delivered to the house.
#4. They have always tried to keep track of their parents and grandparents by searching old Facebook accounts that the folks still think are pretty cool.
#6. They have never seen a folded paper roadmap, a paper medical record, a printed phonebook, or a check.
#8. The only network news program they have ever seen is the NewsHour with Jon Stewart on PBS.
#10. Their college textbooks are all online, rented for a semester, and downloaded to their digital readers.
#15. When they vote in their first presidential election in 2028, they will have a week in which to vote online.
#16. The Cuban economy has been booming ever since U.S. manufacturing jobs began moving to cheaper factories there.
#18. Most students entering college will never set foot on the campus from which they will graduate.
#25. Declaring it safer than aspirin, doctors have always prescribed marijuana for the slightest pain.
#39. Sotheby’s has announced it will soon be auctioning off information.
#43. Their parents still cannot believe that the Pittsburgh Pirates would actually move to Silicon Valley.
#50. They’ve never seen the Cubs win the World Series.
Want more? Visit the book’s website or buy the hardback book (while books are still being published!). To order this book from Amazon, click on the graphic below for The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages—What Ten Generations of Americans Think Is Normal, by Tom McBride and Ron Nief.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Pretending to look back, the authors said the class of 2026 saw their communities address multicultural problems by passing laws against muezzins’ calls to prayers at local mosques “even if it also meant the banning of church bells playing ‘I Love They Kingdom, Lord.’” They add, “This has led to middle-of-the-night illegal tolling from dissident steeples.” So…what other faith-based issues might face the class of 2026—and how could this affect your organization’s products, programs and services in just 14 short years?
2) What words, phrases, mantras and concepts in your organization are holdovers from past decades (or even generations) that are missing the mark with the high school class of 2012—your future employees, volunteers, donors and clients?
Benchmarks: Antidotes to Dead Horses - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in my book, Mastering the Management Buckets, is to feed your strongest programs and benchmark the others. It’s helpful to agree on program benchmarks BEFORE you launch a new product, program or service. When you establish measurements, dashboard reports and accountability systems—in advance—you will keep the agreed-upon results on the front burner.
While we all affirm that “when the horse is dead, it’s best to dismount,” it’s actually very painful to drop a program. Yet when you establish growth benchmarks—in advance—you clarify expectations. If growth doesn’t occur on schedule, then you bite the bullet and close down an unproductive or under-performing program, as agreed.
All programs are not created equal, so visit my Program Bucket webpage and download “Worksheet #6.1: Strategic Program Development Standard,” a tool for annually evaluating your primary and secondary programs.