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Nonprofit Radio for April 15, 2024: The Generational Divide


Miriam P. Dicks: The Generational Divide

Across the generations, people think about work differently. They all have different needs. They all bring different skills. They work for different reasons. They communicate in different ways. But they have one thing in common: Every generation wants to be heard and respected. Miriam Dicks helps you manage across the generations. She’s CEO of 180 Management Group.

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Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit Radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I am your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d suffer with dys chromatopsia if I saw that you missed this week’s show. Our associate producer, Kate is still out sick and I’m left wondering for the second week. Do we need an associate producer this week? The generational divide. Finally, it is here. I swore it was coming across the generations. People think about work differently. They all have different needs. They all bring different skills, they work for different reasons. They communicate in different ways, but they have one thing in common. Every generation wants to be heard and respected. Miriam Dix helps you manage across the generations. She’s from 180 management group on Tony’s take two. Thank you, Nado. We’re sponsored by virtuous. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising volunteer and marketing tools you need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. Here is the generational divide. I’m with Miriam P Dix. She is CEO and chief strategist at 180 Management group. She’s a management consultant with proven experience, transforming organizations to achieve optimal operational performance. She has over 20 years experience in operations management and management consulting and she has taught operations management on both graduate and undergraduate levels. Her company is at 180 Management group.com and Miriam is on Linkedin. Miriam. Welcome to nonprofit radio. Well, thank you so much for having me. Glad to be here. My pleasure. Let’s talk about intergenerational workplaces, different ways that the generations think about work communicate, perhaps work together ideally. Uh or some may maybe, well, they have to, they’re working together in, in one form or another. The, the, the, the togetherness might be uh in some cases, could be a stretch, but just give us an overview. What, what are you seeing around the intergenerational workplaces that, that we could be doing better? Well, I will say that what I’m seeing is this major pull and tug going on between generations and it really is more of the Z millennial. Um and the boomer generation, I am in the X generation. So I’m sort of in the middle, I tend to be a bridge. So I understand the generation, the millennials right under, you know, under me. And then I understand the, the boomers that are ahead of me. Um And I’m able to like translate and I feel like that’s where the vast majority of us who are in this generation born, I guess in the, you know, seventies and into the early and late seventies, we find ourselves having to translate because we remember a time when there wasn’t, you know, a cell phone and, you know, there wasn’t uh internet, but we were young enough to adapt. So we can, we can have those conversations and really understand where a boomer or silent generation person is coming from. But yet still have uh an understanding and empathy for um the other generations behind us. And so we find ourselves in that, that space of translating. So when I’m out there in the field, that’s what I feel like I’m doing because boomers want one thing on in the workplace and millennials and, and this new Z generation is coming up, want something totally different. And where do you meet in the middle? And that’s where our discussion is. All right. Sounds good. II I feel kind of bad for Gen X. You, you, you get, I think you get the least amount of media attention. Uh It seems like more of the attention goes to millennials and Gen Z and, and baby boomers, of course, because they’re dominating and they’re not willing to give up power and things like that. But I don’t know, Gen X seems kind of screwed in the middle there. Yeah, we do feel that way. Yeah, you do. All right. Speaking for the entire, speaking for the tens of millions, uh I just wanna, I just wanna, you know, say that for us. OK. Um No, but I have noticed you don’t, you don’t seem to get a lot of attention. So let’s talk about, let’s, let’s start with what you just kind of teed up. What, what, what, what are boomers expecting? And uh what is, what is Gen Z expecting? Boomers tend not to want to give up, as you said, their shine, which, you know, I am a fan of the boomer generation because, you know, so much has been done to forge a path for us, you know, coming up behind them. However, sometimes just the reluctance to move forward and do something different is, is, is stressful. Whereas, you know, the, this, you know, millennial generation or Aziz, they are really, you know, biting at the top, you know, at the bit, chomping at the bit. I said that’s so bad but chomping at the bit to really do something uh different and new and because it’s all they know. And so what that looks like in the workplace is, let’s say you have a new system that you want to implement and it reduces some manual work. It automates processes. Well, you might have someone on the Boomer generation who says, well, I do better with my notebook and my pen. I don’t need to have, you know, all of my information in a system and I have to log into it like I just want to write it down because I know where it is and that’s my system, that’s my process. And then you have, you know, someone in another generation that says, well, I don’t have access to your notebook every day and I can’t see what you have written down. And how does that help me get my work done if I have to call you and I have to come to your office when I need information. Right? And so you see that play out in, in the workplace and it is, it is very interesting. So what do we do to start to uh start to overcome these obstacles? Well, I think we have to recognize that each generation brings value to the table and it’s not about one being better than the other. It’s about understanding what the value is so that we can pull from that and, and have, you know, um synergy and make decisions and move forward in a way that works for everyone and working for everyone doesn’t mean everyone gets their way, right? It means that we understand what parts of our knowledge, what parts of our technical abilities we bring to the table to become one part of a whole. And to me that looks like understanding the difference between wisdom and technical skill, right? So I was listening to a webinar and it was a webinar on A I and the facilitator and I wish I could recall her name. Maybe I can give that to you later if you want to post that but the facilitator basically said that when it comes to A I and I’m going to paraphrase probably horribly here. But when it comes to A I, we can’t have a generation that’s reluctant, especially leaders, right? So if your boomer generation is leading in very high levels, we can’t have a generation that’s reluctant to embrace it because even though a younger generation has the technical skill to use it, they may not have the wisdom to know how. And so the boomer generation has wisdom, you’ve been on the earth, right? You’ve been here longer than the other generations, obviously, not as long as the silent generation, but you’ve been here long enough to see people to see behaviors, to see patterns, to see political cycles, to really have wisdom as to how we might use some of this technology in the way that is beneficial because technology is a tool and, and the tool in the wrong hands, it can create damage, but a tool in the right hands and with the right perspective can be very useful. So when we think about these different generations, we can think about what the, what wisdom we have from older generations and marry that with the technical expertise from younger generations. And that’s one way to, to sort of bridge that gap and sort of think about the perspectives that need to come to the table. It sounds like something that leadership is gonna be important to, you know, drawing the the best from all the generations. But as you identified, the problem is a lot of the leadership is in one of the generations, boomers. And so if they have this reluctance and it’s, it’s, yeah, I understand you were just using artificial intelligence as one example of lots of areas where we could see this, this conflict play out. But so if all the leadership or, you know, a lot of the leaders, the vast majority of leadership is in the, the baby boomer generation. How are we gonna draw the best of the other generations if the leadership is the, the the curmudgeonly reluctant group? Well, and I think that’s why diversity is important and not just diversity in age but diversity and thought, right? So a psychographic, you know, when we think about diversity, we always think about oh demographic diversity. But what about psychographic diversity? And so you could have leaders who are in another generation that have some um uh affinity toward change and they would be great change champions for others within the same generation. And so if we could think about, you know, and identify who those change champions could be, they could really pave the way for others to start thinking more broadly about what diversity and leadership should look like so that we can have more diversity of thought at the table and be able to have those conversations. All right, it sounds like a part of this is Uh OK. Boomer, you, you’ve had your shot, you had, you had your decades. Uh It’s time to uh it’s, it’s time to, if not step aside, at least begin sharing. Well, and I agree with you, but then a boomer probably would hear that better from other boomer than they would. Well, one just said it. I’m, I’m, I hasten to add that. I’m among the youngest of the, of the baby boomer generation, among the youngest in case, I didn’t mention that before. Um I, I may remind you again in five minutes. But uh all right. So Boomer just said it and we’ve, we actually did a show called OK, Boomer uh move over something like that. I think it was OK. Boomer move over say, all right. So you know, my uh my older colleagues in the in the generation, you know, it’s uh it’s time, it’s time to start sharing, recognizing the value that folks younger than us bring and start bringing that to the table, you know, and not, not just in appearance but in, in uh but in uh not just value, but uh the word that I’m looking for is this is why you know that I’m a member of the Baby Boomer generation substance. Substance is the word that I was looking for, not just in appearance but in substance, say a little more about psychographic diversity. I never heard that phrase. Wow. So and I heard it in passing. So I’m not the foremost expert in it, but we often think about psychographics when we think about marketing because we’re thinking about a specific person and how they would either buy something or be able to um relate to a particular campaign. And so that’s more of a psychographic, right? So I am as a female, I might be more likely to shop, you know, and at certain times of the day, um that’s more psychographic right than demographic, demographic is more about, you know, what, what area you live in. Of course, race is demographic, uh income is demographic, but behaviors are more psychographic. So what are the behaviors that we’re looking at versus, you know, um having demographic diversity, which is very much, do we have all the colors of the rainbow represented? Do we have all the genders represented? Do we have all of the area codes and zip codes and income levels are presented? Well, psychographic diversity might be, do we have people who have certain political persuasions because that’s a behavior attachment too, right? Or it might be that you have uh certain outlooks on, you know, education or whatever the case may be. So they are just different psychographics and behaviors that we could be thinking about when we, when it comes to diversity. So thinking about folks who are very prone to, you know, change and wanting technology, folks who are prone to, uh you might actually be thinking about personality typing, right? So I know we aren’t supposed to hire based on personality profiles but to have diverse personality profiles is psychographic too. Right. So if you were to take a Myers Briggs assessment or if you were to take an enneagram or a disc assessment, there’s a certain personality type associated with that. And do you have sort of diversity in those personality types? Those are things that we also should be thinking about when we think about diversity. And, and so I’m thinking that’s a good bit of psychographics. But again, I was hearing it in passing and it resonated with me, didn’t do my full research, but that’s what I gained from it. No, no, no, it’s fuller understanding than I had a couple of minutes ago. Thank you. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world. And in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers. Responsive. Fundraising puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of the individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow impact virtuous.org. Now back to the generational divide. This is getting a little exhausting the the disc assessment. Well, I had a guest who said that her company uh requires folks to do a disc assessment after they’re hired, not, not as part of hiring, but after and then I is, is that the one that gives you your, your, your areas of strength and your and your areas where you can use help. And so the company uh tries to leverage the strengths and get folks uh and get and get folks to not have great responsibility in the areas where they’re weakest or maybe try to build those areas up. Do you, do you use these assessment tools in your, in your consulting? We do one of our consultants on staff is certified dis a disk trainer, um and consultant and we do because what we like about dis and, and again, there are lots of different, you know, assessment tools that you can use but dis in the workplace gives you tools as to how it is that you can provide feedback and plans really to help develop your staff. Uh And so we really like that one because it’s not just, oh, let’s talk about who you, you know what you like to do and what you don’t like to do and how you communicate and how you don’t communicate. But what does this mean in the workplace? And how can we you know, build some sort of leadership development from that. Um And so we do use disc for that reason, but it, I think it’s very helpful uh to understand your communication styles at work. And uh because that’s, I think that’s half the battle. We just don’t communicate well, especially between uh generations. So, uh knowing that it really is helpful, let’s identify the values that the, the different generations bring since we uh since we uh kind of bashed or I bashed the uh the baby boomer generation, let’s, let’s, let’s start with them. So maybe try to rehabilitate their reputation. Uh What, what’s the, we’ll get to the others. We do the others too. I try to, you know, um what, what should we recognize as the value that the, the older folks, the baby boomer generation bring? You know, I, I could, there’s nothing I can’t identify anything. I can’t identify a single thing. OK. OK. OK. OK. So I would say when I think about the boomer generation, I think about consistency, hard work. I think about practicality. I think about a resolve, right? Those that comes to mind for me and, and in direct contrast really to other generations. OK. Uh And I value those things and then also, of course, the experience you mentioned earlier, you know that if you’ve got, if you’ve got 20 years with the organization, that’s enormous value. Not, not that we should be doing, not that we should be doing things the same way we did 20 years ago. But yeah, that institutional knowledge, there’s value there. OK. How about the millennials? What, what, what, what are they contributing? Well, I, I think the one is flexibility when I looked at, if I were to go and look for, let’s say I’m gonna hire someone and I’m looking at resumes if I look at a, a boomer resume, which we probably won’t see very many because that, you know, they’re, they’re pretty much staying with one job for a long time. A millennial resume may look like every 2 to 3 years, they’ve changed companies and that is not a bad thing. It used, it used, it used to be upon. But if you have one, if you want to grow in an organization, sometimes there isn’t a space for you to grow, you have to move. And so the growth of millennials I think has increased because of that movement. So you can go one place, learn something, you go somewhere else and learn something new. And that flexibility I think is great too. So they’re not so structured that when, you know, we live in a very volatile time, you know, this, we don’t know what’s going to happen from week to week these days when it comes to our political climate, when it comes to even our environmental climate. And so having a versatile nature and valuing that versatility and flexibility, I think is absolutely necessary just because of how, how business works these days. It’s not the same business atmosphere and climate that it was 3040 years ago. And so having that flexibility I think is wonderful and anything we can talk about any of these values being used to the excess and it makes it bad. Right. So, so we had to kind of think through that um so flexible that you’re changing jobs every six months, every two years or that no one can hold, you can’t commit to anything, right? No one can hold you accountable for the work that needs to be done because you’re already on something different. Right? So that’s, but that’s, I think an outlier and I think we don’t want to harp on that being an issue as much as, as much as the flexibility and the adaptability and versatility of that generation. Um I will say that I don’t think they knew if I’m, if I’m thinking correctly, millennials don’t know of a time without the internet. Yeah, they wouldn’t, they wouldn’t remember, remember it. They were born but they wouldn’t remember it. I think it’s so, it’s so immersed and ingrained into their life. The technology is that it’s like second nature. Whereas in other generations we have to actually think about it like, oh, how do I integrate this? Oh, how do I do this? And, and what’s, you know, how do I automate something? Well, that, that’s not something that they even think about my Children are in the Z generation. And uh I know that for a fact they look at me and like, why don’t you know how to do this and why is it so hard for you? Now, let’s not skip over Gen X. Just skip over your Z. Even. You’re doing it. You went right. You did it to yourself. You went through, we were talking about millennials. You went to your Children in Gen Z. You’re cheating your own generation. I am well, but I’m talking about my generation where we still have challenges even though we are, you know, I’d say we tech technologically proficient, doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges with the newer technology coming out. So I think it’s a, it’s an uh an issue of degrees, right? But, but uh but definitely, I do see the millennials as you know, having more of a uh a plan for what they believe their lives should look like. The millennial generations were getting married later, having Children later because they were more, I believe, more driven about having career paths and goals. And so that’s part of their value system. I will say this one of the values I believe that the millennial generation has that even Gen Xers struggle with is making sure that we’re being paid for our worth. They have a totally different value system about that, which I think is part of leaving jobs going two years, three years here saying no, I think I’m worth this and I need to get paid this um and standing their ground on that. And I really do um uh uh appreciate them for that because I, I do think that that’s necessary. You see that more among millennials you’re saying than, than gen X because II, I remember, you know, as a Gen Xer, my parents saying you go to school, you get a job, that’s what we grew up with. Go to school, get a job and when you get a job, just get a good stable job. And if it’s stable, stay there, right? Um Millennials like, yeah, I don’t want just any job. I want the right job and I want a job that’s gonna, that’s gonna pay me for it. I went to school and I did this thing. I did this thing I studied this, I’m certified this, I want the job that’s gonna pay me for that. Um And we’re in, we’re in that bridge again like, yeah, mom and dad, I know you stayed somewhere 30 years. I don’t think I’m gonna do that. Maybe I’ll stay seven or eight years at a time. And, you know, and I, I want to be stable and I want to have, you know, a decent income, but I’d rather have a job than not. And I know that, you know, millennials they will hold out if they don’t have the right job. Like I’ve seen that in the past. Um, and it’s even more so with Z, they’re not even, you know, looking for one job. They want to find, um, a way to express all of their gifts, whether that’s four part time jobs versus having one part time job that doesn’t suit them. Uh, and what they believe they have to offer the world. All right. All right. Interesting. That’s very interesting. LE let’s, let’s be explicit about, uh, gen X you, the value, the value that uh your generation brings. Um Well, one, I think I’ve already said, which is that we are translators. Um You know, we can, we can understand those before us and those after us. So we’re just that bridge generation. Um As you said, we, we sometimes don’t get the shine, but that doesn’t mean we won’t do the work. Yeah. If the work needs to be done, we’re gonna do the work regardless of the shine. Um And so we’re, we’re very compatible with different generations, but we’re also very supportive and I think we’re very um uh uh there’s, now, look at me, see, I’m trying to figure out the word uh reliable. There’s one word that I can say off the top of my head. But, but we’re there, we’re gonna do the work, we’re not gonna let things fall through the cracks. We’re just kind of get in where we fit in. And I think, and I do think that that’s, that’s valuable. Right. So if you’re in an organization and you find that, you know, your, your um uh baby boomer generation, um maybe retiring, but they’re not necessarily ready to, but they’re ready to like, you know, not do as much work. That work is gonna go somewhere and it probably isn’t gonna go to Millennial because they want the title and the work. So, um that’s, that’s my perspective. I know I have a very specific perspective. Uh But that is, that is mine. All right. Fair. And uh and Gen Z OK. So Jz um I, I am just amazed by them because they are so uh determined to understand and expose those are the two things that I, I think that they really value, which is transparency. They want to know like why are we doing this with this money? Why are we doing this with this in this way? I don’t understand why this is so important. Help me understand. Um They are very big on transparency and they’re very big on um wanting to feel as though what they say and what they think matters. They will not be a generation that’s just going to sit back and just, you know, like this next generation say, well, someone else got the shine. So we’ll just kind of do what we gotta do, they won’t have it. Um And when you bring that to the workplace, it looks like making sure, you know, we didn’t really talk about this. But I think about this generational divide, think about how if you’re in the workplace and you needed to have some practicality to this conversation. What does this look like to be able to do work together? It looks like um understanding tasks versus outcomes, right. So A I is doing a lot of that transitioning of jobs because now we need to be focused on the task and not the role because A I is taking some of the task out which may change the roles and some of the roles may go away. And so if you’re thinking about how is it that we’re going to bridge the gap? Well, the boomer generation might be, might be best suited for thinking about outcomes, right? Because wisdom help us with understanding outcomes versus, you know, a younger generation may be better at the task because they have that technical skill set, not that they can’t, you know, obviously um do any kind of like projections or anything like that, but they have that technical skill set to be able to help make sure those outcomes come to pass with some very technical tools. And so when we think about this, this uh Z generation or yeah, Z generation, they’re more likely to work in roles that they can actually use their skills and bring their own talents to the table that may not be traditional roles, right? So for example, and, and I will use my Children um I’m sure they won’t mind. But um I have a son who is um an econ major. Uh He’ll, he’ll more than likely, you know, go into some sort of business graduate program. Um But he also loves production, producing um video content, uh videography. Uh He’s a creative but it’s like he does that on the side and it’s almost, and it’s almost like I have my foot in the business world, finance traditional, you know, management. But I also have a skill to produce video content and, and do creation um and video crea content creation. And it’s weird to me, but he would rather have an internship. He might have an accounting internship. But then he also has a small side business where he’s, you know, creating logos for other people. Right. So it, it’s not, it’s not a mix that I would put together what job is gonna let you do both of those things. Right. Well, that’s what you said. They may take four jobs so that all their, all their talents uh get, get used. They’re not, they’re not, he’s not gonna be happy just doing video on, on nights and weekends or something like as a ho that’s not gonna be sufficient. But he also knows that he needs a job that’s going to give him some stability to be able to do those things he likes to do. So for him, it is, you know, and I believe many in that generation it’s, I know I can do this and I can do that and I can do this. How do I make all of them work for me? Um And that might not look like a traditional full time role at any organization. So, organizationally, if you’re a leader of an organization, you might be thinking, do I have, do I need to have full time roles for every task or every group of tasks? Maybe there are some roles that I can outsource. Um Just certain groups of tasks, maybe there are some roles that need to be changed so that, you know, it makes more sense and I have more of a pool to hire from, for certain uh responsibilities that need to be uh uh accounted for. So, so the changing landscape of even how roles and jobs are designed is really based on the, the coming generations and we need to be thinking about that so that we can have the ability to have a pool of applicants that makes sense for our organization’s work. It’s time for Tony’s take two. My thanks to NATO, the North American Y MC A Development Officers conference and I made a mistake last week. I called it National Y MC A. No, it’s the North American Y MC A development officers, NATO and I was at their conference in Denver, Colorado and I wanna thank them, thank them for inviting me to come. I’m already looking forward to 2025. I hope they will have me, I, I wanna present again because why, because it’s, as I said, last week, such a supportive community, all the w just wanna help each other. They don’t see themselves in competition at all. They, they see themselves as collegial and supportive. So I, I, you know, they’re supportive of each other. I want to support them. You know, I see them helping each other. I want to help them. So I hope that NATO will have me back to the 2025 conference. I’ve already got an idea about what to present, looking forward to it already. My thanks to NATO, that is Tony’s take two ordinarily. Now, I would say Kate and she would tell us uh what’s coming up the rest of the show, but she’s uh she’s still not with us. I mean, she didn’t die, she just still sick. We’ve got just about a butt load more time. So let’s return to the generational divide with Miriam Dick. That’s outstanding. Uh The, the, the, the, the, the, the idea of reimagining uh work that, you know, everybody doesn’t need to be a full time employee for all of our work to get done. I gotta say as a baby, uh the youngest among the youngest uh baby boomers. The first thing is the first thing that strikes me. All right. Did I mention that? Uh I did, did I mention OK. OK. Um The, the first thing I think of when I think of somebody with three or four jobs is how are they going to pay for their medical insurance? So, uh, you know, there’s the practicality of, you know, somebody who’s 62. Um, but it’s, it’s, it’s an issue, you know, but, but they will figure it out because they are the, they are the practicality of folks. So, you know, um, now I don’t, I don’t want to distill what you just said down into, you know, for each of the generation into one word. But so, but if you look at some of the features of them, because it, because any generation obviously is more than a single word. But if you look at some of these features like like practicality, transparency, reliability, flexibility, consistency, I mean, these are all very, very valuable attributes that, that uh we can, we can, we can use to our advantage across the generations. I mean, these are great things. These are, these are terrific skills, they’re values that they’re, they’re more than just skills, they’re, they’re uh their, their attributes, their contributions that all the generations can make. So maybe we can spend a little more time thinking about talking about how because if we just think about it, it’s gonna be a kind of a quiet podcast. We should, we should actually probably should actually let’s actually discuss it um ways of drawing out the talents and, and recognizing the talents of, of folks regardless of what generation or just some, some other generation than your own. You know, how do we, how do we get, get the most out of folks? I think a lot of that comes with one intentionality. Right. So we need to be intentional about having conversations and, and creating a context where that’s possible. Um I was, uh recently I took a course, it was a leadership course and I’m trying to remember the exercise. I think the exercise was based on personality types and they put us into separate groups and these groups were sort of the opposite personality type from yourself. I think there were like four groups. And so two groups had very similar, um maybe uh social skills but very different work work flows or something like that. So it was just different opposite type groups. And we were asked to talk about, you know, what we think of the other group. Uh so that we can kind of get an idea of how people perceive us who are not like us, right? And so in this one group, I’m in the group and I am an extrovert, like I’m 99.99% extrovert. And I know this about myself. I’m outgoing, I’m, you know, if someone wants to have a conversation, I’m like, let’s do it. I’m not going to shy away from, you know, from a conversation. I’ve never met a stranger that’s me in the workplace, you know, that means I’m probably talking at every meeting. I am maybe having conversations throughout the office on my way to my desk. Right. That’s just me. Well, someone in the other group said I am the opposite, which is I wait until there’s space for me to talk. Like you’ve got to give me some runaway here if you want me to talk. Because if you’re always talking, I’m just gonna let you, I’m not gonna, I’m not going to interject. And so knowing that was like, oh, I need to give space and, and, and she said this in meetings as well, like I’m not going to speak up in a meeting. If I don’t feel that I have been given a path or given an opportunity or an extended, an opportunity to speak. I’m not just gonna jump in there because that’s just not my personality type. And so that got me to thinking about, oh, so when I run a meeting, I probably need to just take time and say, hey, do you have anything to contribute instead of waiting for someone to jump in? Because that’s what I would do. And I think about it the same way when we’re talking about, you know, should we um how do we sort of bridge that gap or bring out the best in everyone is being intentional about making sure there’s a space and a room for everyone to contribute and it doesn’t look like them always volunteering to contribute. It looks like you’re pulling it out sometimes and when you have those types of opportunities and spaces, I think that’s when you start to see the changes being made. Yeah. Yeah, I’m thinking about, I’m, I’m trying to beyond meetings, you know, just, uh you know, opportunities for people to, to express um yeah, just open, open opportunities and just keep opening the opportunity until, until no one else talks, right? Rather than calling on people, you know, it’s your turn or something like that, you know, but uh just opening, opening space, interesting having that space and I loved how she said it providing a runway like, you know, I need to, I need time to gear up to be able to speak even. And I also don’t like to be caught off guard. So having time to even think about what it is we could be discussing. So not just bringing things on people so that they, if you are wanting to be intentional about having discussions about bringing things out, how is it that you provide the necessary prep time for people to think through that and come to the table thoughtfully? Um And, and having a space to do that. So there are ways to do that. I’m sure we can think of some very practical ways whether it’s in the workplace, whether it’s in your community to do those things, but at least start thinking in that direction. How is it that we make space for others to be able to come to the table with meaningful information and bring them their full selves to the table. A little bit of a caution there too embedded in what you said that, you know, that we not spring things on people. So, you know, now I’m going back to a meeting, you know, oh, let, let’s, let’s talk about this because everybody’s here that, that, uh, th this came from a conversation, uh, that I had last week with somebody at the nonprofit technology conference. Uh, all the people that are involved in this other topic that we didn’t put on the agenda, it turns out everybody’s here. All right, let’s talk about that. We can, and then we can avoid having another meeting. Well, now that’s springing. You know, that, that’s not fair. I haven’t had a chance to think through it. I, my role, my questions about it. Do I understand the topic fully? You know, I haven’t had time to prepare the way I did for the items that were, that were on the agenda. That’s not fair to everybody but it’s especially harsh on the introverts. Exactly. Exactly. And so, you know, thinking about that, you know, even from a generational perspective, uh, let’s say if you are more seasoned, you are in leadership roles, you’re gonna feel more comfortable having certain, um, uh, speaking up in meetings, having, uh, you know, expressing your thoughts because you’ve been in those positions long enough to know how things go and how to, you know, even negotiate some of those conversations where someone who in another generation is younger, um may still need time to kind of work through. How do I present myself in this situation? How do I best speak up? How do I, and, and it’s just, it’s not um second nature to them yet. Uh And so those things happen too. Uh And so being very cognizant of, of those different dynamics, I think is very, very helpful when trying to bridge that divide. What have I not asked you about yet? That, that we should talk about. Oh, wow. Um I feel like we really talked about a lot. I can’t think of anything um that we did not talk about. One thing I will reiterate is that we all need to have some introspection uh about, you know, recognizing that our value system is tied to generational culture, you know, generational culture. And what does it look for me to extend the olive branch outside of my value system to another generation that values something different because we all have a responsibility to bring um to help others come to the table. All right. And to be able to express themselves and understand their values. Knowing that the end goal is not for any of us to have everything we want. The end goal is for us to do work well together, Miriam P dix CEO and chief strategist at 180 Management Group. You’ll find her company at 180 Management group.com. You’ll find Miriam on linkedin. Miriam. Thanks so much for sharing. Enjoyed it. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. Great time. My pleasure, my pleasure. Next week, we’ll return to our coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I do beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com. We’re sponsored by Virtuous. Virtuous. Gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. Do we need that associate producer? Really? I would save money without her without one that uh we’ll see. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff still for this week. Our associate producer is Kate Martin. The shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation, Scotty. You’re with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for May 22, 2023: Multigenerational Technology Teaching & Goals Aligned With Technology


Lauren HopkinsMultigenerational Technology Teaching

If you have folks spanning the generations working or volunteering for your nonprofit, you may have noticed they learn technology differently. Lauren Hopkins shares the strategies for teaching tech across the generations. She’s from Prepared To Impact, LLC.



Jett WindersGoals Aligned With Technology

Step back from your technology decisions before you buy the shiny, new apps. What are your goals for the tech? And how does the tech support your overall goals? Jett Winders from Heller Consulting helps you think through it all.

These both continue our coverage of NTEN’s 2023 Nonprofit Technology Conference, #23NTC.


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[00:02:07.29] spk_0:
And welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. And this is number 641 which means we are just nine weeks away from the 650th show. 13th anniversary coming in July. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the effects of dextrose gas tria if you upset my stomach with the idea that you missed this week’s show multigenerational technology teaching. If you have folks spanning the generations, working or volunteering for your non profit, you may have noticed they learned technology differently. Lauren Hopkins shares the strategies for teaching tech across the generations. She’s from prepared to impact LLC and goals aligned with technology. Step back from your technology decisions before you buy the shiny new apps. What are your goals for the tech? And how does the tech support your overall goals? Jet Winders from Heller Consulting helps you think through it. All these both continue our coverage of N tens 2023 nonprofit technology conference on Tony’s take to share, share. That’s fair. We’re sponsored by Donor box with intuitive fundraising software from donor box. Your donors give four times faster helping you help others. Donor box dot org. Here is multigenerational technology teaching.

[00:02:29.17] spk_1:
Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 23 N T C. The nonprofit technology conference we are at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver where we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation

[00:02:31.98] spk_0:
for nonprofits. With

[00:02:34.41] spk_1:
me. In this meeting is Lauren Hopkins. She is social impact consultant at prepared to impact LLC Lauren Hopkins. Welcome to

[00:02:46.00] spk_2:
Nonprofit radio. Oh, thank you so much. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. Pleasure.

[00:02:53.09] spk_1:
I love your topic. We’re talking about teaching to technology skills in a multigenerational workplace on the baby boomer. You’re a millennial. I am and we will try to bring in a couple of other Jen’s as well. We don’t want to exclude Gen X and sometimes it does sometimes feel a little left out or

[00:03:09.88] spk_2:
they don’t think they feel left out. I don’t think so. As long as we provide the tools, I don’t think so. Okay.

[00:03:17.34] spk_1:
Um And Gen Z, of course. Yes, we’re not going any younger than that. Now.

[00:03:21.41] spk_2:
We do have the traditionalist um younger or I’m sorry, older than the baby boomers. And we discussed that in myself. Okay, traditionalists, traditionalists. Yes.

[00:03:33.10] spk_1:
Okay. Because I’m a young boomer at 61 where traditionalists, I

[00:03:38.33] spk_2:
believe the traditionalists if I recall about 78.

[00:03:57.48] spk_1:
Okay. Well, there still are some 78 year olds in the workplace, especially returning to returning to work, perhaps second career. Okay. Okay. Thank you. I don’t want to leave out and I don’t want anybody traditionalists. So uh just give us, give us like overview. Why did you, why do you feel we’re not doing as well as we could training across the generations?

[00:04:45.23] spk_2:
Yeah. Well, you know, so I really enjoy teaching technology skills. I started as a social worker and I started to um teach technology skills in various sectors. And so Department of Social Services, teaching software implementation. And then I went to Aflac teaching the same thing and in the nonprofit field, and I really feel as though we have individuals within, within the various generations that still have a lot to learn and depending on the learning styles, their learning needs are very different. And so the strategies that we use to teach the technology could vary based upon the generations.

[00:04:52.04] spk_1:
So when you say their learning needs you there starting in different places, starting

[00:04:56.47] spk_2:
in different places and their learning styles as well,

[00:04:59.84] spk_1:

[00:05:01.18] spk_2:
their comfort and um and the tools and strategies that we will use to reinforce some of that learning some of the activities and such may be different based upon the generation.

[00:05:15.15] spk_1:
One of your takeaways is learning how people value training differently, they value it differently. That was interesting what I’m not, I don’t think of valuing training. So I’m obviously not in the mainstream. So that’s why I’m talking to you because I need help. So how do people value it differently

[00:06:12.37] spk_2:
across the ages if you think about it? Um with some of the, with the baby boomers and we the traditional list, they genuinely want to learn. Um They just may need some, some help along the way where we think of millennials and the Gen Zs. It’s sort of as if um they’re just expecting for the information um to be provided to them. And so we just want to make sure that we’re providing the information that they need to be, to be successful. So it really, it depends on how the information is provided that their values may change.

[00:06:20.18] spk_1:
You have some techniques to talk about. Yes, for training across.

[00:06:26.30] spk_2:

[00:06:28.01] spk_1:
Let’s, let’s dive in. Okay. Don’t sell short now. And nonprofit radio listeners don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t hold out okay. But what’s, what’s the technique? Which, which one, what should we start with?

[00:07:08.68] spk_2:
Let’s start off with the traditionalists. Okay. Yes. So with the traditionalist one, one thing that we do well with the traditionalists and the baby boomers, we want to make sure that we are providing step by step tools and strategies for them to be successful. So if you are training on some technology skills, make sure that you do have the step by steps with screenshots available and really encourage them to, to go ahead and print that out. So within the training, if your training is virtual or if it’s in person, they can follow along really well. Also, we want to make sure to the best of your ability if we do have someone of a younger generation that maybe we can partner them together with someone of the older generation and they can, they can assist in the learning process.

[00:07:31.30] spk_1:

[00:07:57.50] spk_2:
Yes. Yes, both are learning because we’re talking about a multigenerational workplace. Um And so, um and also with the baby boomers and the traditionalists, they both prefer to learn within a traditional in person classroom setting. But we know that that’s not always possible. And so we want to make sure that we are um making some accommodations to ensure that they are getting the information in the best way that they receive it the best way that we can. Okay.

[00:08:06.56] spk_1:
So in person is better for the older folks

[00:08:11.28] spk_2:
better and well, let me say preferred is preferred for them. Um Research shows

[00:08:19.45] spk_1:
preferred their prey, but it may not be

[00:08:21.23] spk_2:
possible. How do you, how do you like to learn? Do you prefer virtual as a baby? You say your baby? Right. So do you prefer to learn virtually or in person as far as if you’re learning new technology skills? Yeah,

[00:09:01.32] spk_1:
I have a two part answer to that first is I generally don’t like it when guests turn the tables and put me on the spot. That’s the first, that’s the first answer. But the second answer I will go along with you. Is, uh, no, I prefer, I’d much rather be in person. Yeah. I also prefer speaking to in person audiences. Um, I prefer in person into like this. I mean, I have to do most of them over Zoom because the guests are from all over the country and I live in North Carolina. But, um, are you in

[00:09:10.28] spk_2:
North Carolina? I am from, I’m from North Carolina originally. I now live in South Carolina. Where are you, where are you from? I’m from Hickory and then I went to undergrad in high point and I also lived in Wilmington’s.

[00:09:21.44] spk_1:
Okay of those three. I’m the closest to Wilmington’s. I live in Emerald Isle. You know, the little beach town about an hour and a half above Wilmington’s. Yes,

[00:09:30.36] spk_2:
I do love it. Small world. Where’s hickory hickory hickory? It is at the foothills and so it is about an hour from Charlotte and about an hour and a half from Asheville.

[00:09:44.83] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. Foothills. Alright. Alright. I’m originally from New Jersey. Okay. Okay, cool. And you’re in South

[00:09:49.70] spk_2:
Carolina? I do live in South Carolina now Columbia, South Carolina settled down there. So

[00:10:30.84] spk_1:
that’s the capital of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. Don’t think I don’t know why. Yeah. Okay. So, um, yes, so I prefer in person, everything, audiences, learning interviews, um, meetings with, I do plan giving, consulting, fundraising. So I much prefer to meet donors in person, but a lot of times phone has to suffice. And for the older folks that I’m working with, they’re usually not interested in being on Zoom, they’ll do it for their grandchildren, but they’re not gonna do it for me, which is fine. So I pick up the phone, I got you. But I’d rather be in person whenever I can whenever I can.

[00:10:36.81] spk_2:
May I ask something? Then

[00:10:38.82] spk_1:
after my first answer to the last question you’re still gonna ask again?

[00:11:18.05] spk_2:
It’s not a question. It’s not a question. But as far as far as baby boomers and the traditionalist, I also recommend providing an option for them to call. That’s what reminded me uh providing them an option for them to call the, the training consultant, whoever’s doing the training in case they have questions. Um If there’s a phone available phone number, because oftentimes with technology, you know, we want them to email if they have questions or send a message. But with those two generations, they prefer to pick up the phone or if there’s an option to meet in person, not sure if that is possible. But um at least the phone option will be great better

[00:11:42.12] spk_1:
than email or text. Makes perfect sense. It’s what they grew up with. Exactly. And an email and text or what the other generations grew up with. Exactly. So follow up phone offer, phone, follow up anything else for dealing with Boomers, traditionalists? Not right now. Okay. What if maybe we’re gonna get to this. What? Yeah. Alright. So you are we gonna be talking about having multiple generations like in the same class? Yes, like you said, pair off somebody younger with somebody older. Okay.

[00:11:57.72] spk_2:
Okay. Yeah. So one of my suggestions is to um in your training plan, look at the learning styles of all these generations, figure out what is best or how each of them learn best and just implement various little nuggets that meet the needs of all of the generations. That is my suggestion instead

[00:12:16.66] spk_1:
of like what give me some sample nuggets.

[00:13:30.31] spk_2:
Sure. Yeah. And so for the, let’s start, let’s start at the top. So for the um for the traditionalist and for the baby boomers, like I said earlier, you may want to have a um a print out of the step by step guides for the Gen Xers. They love independent work. So for the activities to reinforce that learning, if you have some independent work that would be helpful um for the millennials, they also enjoy group work. And so after the session, if we have some group work, that would be great. And um we can reinforce their learning to by pairing them up with someone who’s a bit older and helping to strengthen both groups. And then for the Gen Z’s, they love videos, training videos. 3 to 6 minutes is the sweet spot videos of 3 to 6 minutes. Because remember this is the generation that goes to youtube for answers to almost anything. And so videos will be great. And so um if we can have trainings and then implement just little pieces that are catering to the various generations inside of the learning plan or the training plan, that would be ideal.

[00:13:37.53] spk_1:
Okay. So take a hybrid

[00:13:39.11] spk_2:
approach. Exactly. Touch

[00:13:45.58] spk_1:
everybody with what they need and this is all research based. We know Gen Z does much better. Exactly. Two

[00:14:01.32] spk_2:
six minute video. Yes. Yes. And for those who have attended the conference this year, the learning materials and my slides with the references are online. Okay, so they can pull that

[00:14:03.12] spk_1:
up, walking your talk. Alright. Yeah. Um what else other, other techniques across the generations? We got plenty of time

[00:14:22.38] spk_2:
together. Okay. So let’s go with the Gen Xers. They really enjoy being active and so their activities, if they can be active, that would the ideal um any type of gaming that would be great too. So um in their activities, if they can get up and move, if it’s in person or if it’s virtual, let’s set up a way that the activities can help them to just be active and implement what they are learning. That’s key.

[00:14:43.66] spk_1:
So active, meaning they get up out of their

[00:15:35.85] spk_2:
seats. Oh yeah, that’s good. Let me clarify, let me clarify. Yeah. So for active you could get out of your seat. But an activity. So what I like to do is say for instance, you have a, um, an activity plan for them to, let’s say I used to work at our local United Way, United Way of the Midlands in Columbia, South Carolina. And I taught the homeless management information system to about two huh 100 users. Right. And so what I like to do is after their New Year’s or trainings, I would email them a task sheet for them to complete their tasks. And once they finish that task sheet, go ahead and send me their work and I’ll look over it. So that is a way for them to be active. Now, depending on the resources that your agency have, you may have um some gaming um strategies or tools. My agencies did not have that. So we work with what we have. Um But that is a way just for them to be um to be actively doing something and to reinforce the learning that has taken place.

[00:16:40.97] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Stop the drop with donor box. It’s the online donation platform used by over 100,000 nonprofits in 96 countries. It’s no wonder it’s four times faster. Checkout, easy payment processing, no setup fees, no monthly fees, no contract. How many potential donors drop off before they finish making the donation on your website? You can stop the drop donor box helping you help others donor box dot org. Now back to multigenerational technology teaching with Lauren Hopkins.

[00:16:48.01] spk_1:
What about Gen Z. Anything? Anything further further for Gen Z besides the video?

[00:17:05.26] spk_2:
Yeah, just for, for Gen Zs and for millennials, one thing to note is that they love learning management systems or LMS as most people. Um Well,

[00:17:06.23] spk_1:
I have Jargon Jail on non profit radio. So I’m glad you opened with learning management system. LMS would have to call you out. What the hell is an LMS?

[00:18:48.07] spk_2:
Um So the LMS for learning management system that have a feel of social media. All right. So if we have a discussion board, if we um have some sections that just feel like social media, that you can put together a poster or um share a tidbit or tip of the day that just feels like social media that would be helpful. Now, if your agency does not have those type of resources, that is okay. Another thing that is helpful, especially for the millennials is if there is a blog for um this generation really enjoyed blogs. And so if there’s a blog where you as a trainer can introduce some tips, so say for instance, every week or two, you do a tips Thursday or tips Tuesday or whatnot and introduce or post a tip for them to be utilizing the system. That would be, that would be great also. And another thing as well, remember remember that with these videos, we have to have somewhere to store them, right? And so one thing that I do a couple things that I suggest finding a mutual place where we can store the videos via your, the L M s or maybe it’s a site that is open where you can store those, those videos, a screen share videos that could be helpful as well. Um And also I’m not sure if it’s possible, but depending on your agency, if your company has a, a, a, a company, youtube, see if it’s possible where you can record the screen of some trainings, just making sure that it’s not any confidential information on the screen. But see if we can store it on there. And remember too that the videos should be between 3 to 6 minutes if that’s not possible. 20 minutes or less, but the sweet spot is 3 to 6 minutes.

[00:19:19.53] spk_1:
Yes. Um What kinds of you already had your session? I did. What kinds of, what kinds of questions were you

[00:20:21.73] spk_2:
getting? Yeah. So I got a couple questions. One question that we got was for the baby boomers and for the um traditionalists if they are in this um in the classroom and um we cannot implement in person trainings, how do we teach them? What’s the best way? And so one thing that I really enjoy doing, especially with training software is for those generations, I really like to do one on one training. I love to do one on one training. And so what I offer them is let’s meet one on one now in my um in my work experience, we always use teams. And so, and I’ve also um I use some others too, but mainly teams, but let’s go ahead and share your screen. And what I like for them to do also is for them to drive the training. So I don’t, I always prefer if the learners, no matter what the generation is, if the learners will share their screen and, and drive and I will teach them as they practice. Dr

[00:20:32.68] spk_1:
meaning what they decide what the topics

[00:21:54.58] spk_2:
are, training, training agenda. Yes, we have a training agenda. Exactly. So let’s say for instance, I am teaching um a staff member at a local shelter how to check a client into a bed using a particular software. What I’m going to do as the trainer, if this is their first day, I’m going to ask them to log into the system. Be it the live system or a training system somewhere? They can mess up in and practice or whatnot and share their screen. I’ll give them a login, share their screen and I will teach them. All right. This is where you go to enter in the client’s name. Okay, go ahead and do that. Alright. Next, we’re going to click on such and such. Okay, go ahead and do that. Um And so that’s what I mean by driving. So letting them um letting them navigate and, and play around and see what it feels like also I do enjoy and I do suggest rather having step by step guides like I’ve mentioned before. But if your agency does not have that or you don’t have time to create it or whatnot, because we do know that a lot of nonprofits, they have a smaller staff and such or, you know, smaller department. So that’s okay. Make sure you give your learners no matter what the generation time to write notes, um write notes during the trainings. And so make sure that, you know, you’re taking your time and and can write, allowing them to write some notes that that is a huge tip.

[00:22:06.64] spk_1:
Any other valuable questions you got? Oh,

[00:23:01.81] spk_2:
yeah, let’s see here. I did have a question about um oh, confidential information. Um Someone asked me a question about um confidential information and sharing, not sharing the confidential information. But what if it is a part of the new software? Let’s say that it is an electronic health health record that your agency is in implementing. And so one of my suggestions is to just ensure that the company that, you know, the company’s policies and what can be shared during training and what should be only shared, you know, in, in the real world. And so that, that is um that is huge. Someone said that oftentimes that is the question, should we be sharing this or whatnot? So that’s my suggestion that just look at your company’s policies as far as the training or if y’all don’t have that, um, go ahead and implement something, what should be shared during these trainings, what can be shared or if we need to go ahead and make up some dummy data

[00:23:09.39] spk_1:
beforehand, dummy database.

[00:23:12.76] spk_2:
Exactly. And then sometimes with some databases, um if there’s not a dummy database, maybe that we can make up some data in the live one and just delete it. It just depends

[00:23:25.57] spk_1:
or something. Exactly.

[00:23:29.61] spk_2:
Exactly. Yeah. So that’s part of the pre planning process.

[00:23:34.53] spk_1:
You were going to have folks practice designing strategies. Now, how did you, we can’t practice here but how did you set folks up to? It was

[00:24:37.91] spk_2:
great. Yeah. So what I went ahead and did, I created five different scenarios of agency that are implementing a training, a tech training. And so what we did is we went around the room and we split up the individuals and um they went ahead and I created a pre created objectives for the scenarios for the, for the training plan and they put in place some activities for them. And then also that could be um that could be used to teach the information and then a skills check activity. So how can we ensure that the learner has um understands the information? And so it went really well. And then after that, after um after the groups, we probably spent 15, 18 minutes or so and then the various groups went around and shared with the entire um and with the entire class, their ideas one or two minutes, but they gave us some um some fresh ideas that they have utilized in the past. And then, um as they, as they were working in the team, how they brainstormed then went really well. Now

[00:24:57.73] spk_1:
skills check. Sounds to me like a euphemism for test.

[00:25:26.15] spk_2:
Yeah. Well, it doesn’t have to be though. It does not have to be a quiz. It could be say that that task sheet that I was telling you about earlier, do this, do this and then once you finish these tasks, send me say the client number or the client I D and I will check it out. I’ll check it out before you get access to the life site. I really like to do that or it could be um just do this worksheet and go ahead and write down the responses oftentimes to with these skills checks. They don’t need to turn them into, you know, if you want them to and that could be an evaluation part or evaluation strategy for you as a trainer to make sure, okay, our folks really learning what they need to learn but sometimes it’s a way for them to just practice. Mm hmm.

[00:25:47.36] spk_1:
What did you learn in your session? You know?

[00:25:51.06] spk_2:
Yeah. That’s a good question.

[00:25:52.91] spk_1:
I finally 23 minutes in decent question comes out of this guy. I

[00:28:21.56] spk_2:
love it. No. Um So what did you take away? Yeah, my takeaway was that I really through that activity of the scenarios and then creating a training plan. I actually came, came away and walked away with some good ideas, um, that I could actually use in the workplace or share with others. And, yeah. So, um, let’s see here. Oh, one particular group they stated that they would have a hybrid training, so to meet the needs of all of the generations, they would introduce a hybrid training instead. So virtual for some and then in person for others um that’ll be really helpful. Also making sure that we have a step by step guides um available. That is really good. Um I did have if I could go back to the one question that you stated about um about the questions that some folks asked. So one thing that someone came up to me afterwards, they stated that they work for um they work for Salesforce and they train um the Salesforce Salesforce software with different agencies and because sales force can be so customizable, she was wanting to know what are some suggestions or what is a suggestion that you have for the step by step guide piece, especially for some of the older generations or even the video piece also because sometimes you don’t want to create too many videos because the screens may change because it is customizable. And so um and I did ask her, I said, okay, Well, do you have relationships with these individuals? And she said, yeah, so, so she’s not just going in one day and then just leaving. So over time, I did encourage her to just get to know the learners, um try to figure out what their needs are and to create a video for that agency specifically for that agency that may be helpful. And then as the software changes, she may need to um recreate a video, but hopefully that will last a little bit for, you know, once they’ve been, you know, customize their screens have been customized a bit, but that is one suggestion. She said that was very helpful. Um So, you know, she may not, she said she didn’t have time to do the step by step right now guides. So that’s okay. Um But let’s see if we could do some videos and because the video should be 3 to 6 minutes. She said that maybe, oh, maybe I could do some short videos depending on the topic and go ahead and create those and share them with the agency. All

[00:28:50.26] spk_1:
right, Lauren. Um You want to leave us with some uplifting thoughts about, you know, why it’s important to be all inclusive in your training.

[00:29:29.53] spk_2:
It really is. Well, thank you and thank you for the opportunity. So this subject matter is very close to my heart. I really enjoy training and especially those of the older generation. Um No offense but baby Boomers and the traditionalists. Yeah, they’re actually my favorite generation to teach. And I think oftentimes as we’re thinking about technology, we sometimes leave out um, Gen Xers, baby boomers and the traditionalists and we sort of forget about those learning needs. Now. Um I did not share this and you might not, you might know, but I actually have a doctorate in curriculum and instruction and,

[00:29:37.18] spk_1:

[00:29:57.86] spk_2:
that’s okay. And so, um so training and learning is just very close to my heart. So just remember that no matter what the generation is, um just please keep in mind their learning needs and that if they’re in the classroom, they might be forced to be in the classroom depending on their jobs. But they all have various learning needs and they have um they have value at the agency and we need to equip them with the tools to be successful. We really do. And so um so it’s just been, it’s been very, very good, it’s been a good experience and I really hope that folks can take some of this information and use it at their workplaces and in their communities, at

[00:30:53.57] spk_1:
the very, very least rages consciousness. You need to be aware, sensitive to the different values, the different learning styles, learning needs of everybody who’s in your workplace. Not just the folks who are new to the organization or not just the folks who are of a certain age of a certain age, of course, So raising the very bad, I mean, you’re going way beyond just consciousness raising, you have a lot of very good ideas too. But greater consciousness is

[00:31:14.33] spk_2:
absolutely. And one other thing if you don’t mind, the you brought up a good point in saying beyond the new user training, the initial training, remember that just because the users of any generation has completed, the new user training does not mean that they don’t need on going training. So we want to remember that and make that a part of the overall training plan for ongoing training.

[00:31:21.49] spk_1:
Our staff, absolutely, internal professional development. People want to feel supported otherwise, quite quick. Yes.

[00:31:29.61] spk_2:
Yes, absolutely.

[00:31:35.61] spk_1:
I would like to put something on the record that I am a very young 61 born, born in 1962. So very among the youngest of all the baby Boomers is me on the record. I love it. Dr Lauren Hopkins, Dr Lauren Hopkins. Thank you very

[00:31:48.43] spk_2:
much. Thank you. I appreciate it, tony. Thanks for having me. My

[00:32:03.59] spk_1:
pleasure. She is social impact consultant at prepared to impact LLC. And thank you for being with me for our 20 our 2023 nonprofit technology conference coverage where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits.

[00:33:23.25] spk_0:
Mhm. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Hello, who can you share non profit radio with? Maybe it’s among your friends, your colleagues who on your board should listen at least who on your board. Would you like to have? Listen, first step is you gotta share the show with them or who did you used to work with that you’re still willing to talk to. Could you by chance mention non profit radio on your linkedin or Twitter Mastodon? I’d be grateful if you tag me. I will certainly give you a shout out. And I thank you very much for thinking about who you could share non profit radio with and then sharing non profit radio. Thanks very much. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got just about a butt load. More time here is goals aligned with technology.

[00:33:54.88] spk_1:
Welcome to tony-martignetti, non profit radio coverage of 23 N T C. You know what that is? You know, it’s the 2023 nonprofit technology conference that is hosted by N 10 and that we are in Denver, Colorado. We are hosted by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. And from Heller with me now is Jet Winders, Director of Sales at Heller Consulting Jet. Welcome to non profit

[00:34:00.76] spk_3:
radio. Thank you for having me, tony. Pleasure.

[00:34:04.57] spk_1:
Absolutely. Your session topic is how to align your nonprofit’s goals with technology. That’s right. Why is this an important session? Why do we need this?

[00:34:24.12] spk_3:
Yeah. You know, for so many organizations and certainly for tech enthusiasts at a conference like this, sometimes we geek out on the and want to jump straight to what system or what tool are we going to use? And it’s really important to step back and think about what is the goal of using that tool. So what is your nonprofits goals to even start with and then align that with the technology? Because the technology is always advancing something the organization is trying to do,

[00:34:52.20] spk_1:
right? The technology is advancing, presumably your mission certainly is stable. Your goals are going to evolve to achieve achieving that mission. But we need to align these moving parts basically.

[00:34:57.38] spk_3:
That’s right. You know, non profits, they spend a lot of time building strategic plans and they’ll outline, you know, what those North Star goals are and then what those specific levers they’re gonna pull, you know, whether that’s increasing fundraising or awareness or patient outcomes. Those are the goals that the technology is driving towards the goal is never let’s adopt a new tool just for the sake of doing it.

[00:35:22.22] spk_1:
So I’m taking from your, from your learning objectives, identifying technology strategies and how those affect software solution. So what kind of technology strategies are we talking

[00:36:13.40] spk_3:
about? Yeah, you know, sometimes we talk about uh organizations, you know, approach to technology, how do they adopt it? What type of relationship do they want to have with it? So for some organizations that might mean we want to be the most innovative in the field were okay taking risks if it’s going to allow us to be a first mover or advanced something or show the sector something they haven’t done before while others might be, you know, we have to be conservative with our dollars. We want to do something that’s tried and true. We want to do what is proven in the space already. And so we want to do what our peers are doing. That’s a totally different relationship with how you might approach technology and the tools you might adopt. And, and that is just, you know, sort of a philosophy that different organizations adopt that can have an impact on what technology they ultimately select.

[00:36:26.61] spk_1:
Okay. Have you done your session

[00:36:28.41] spk_3:
yet? No, it’s to, it’s on Thursday. Okay.

[00:36:31.23] spk_1:
So walk us through, how are you going through it with your in your session? How are you approaching this?

[00:37:30.18] spk_3:
Yeah. So for first, what I like to get organizations to imagine is that changing technology is actually part of a broader operational change within the organization. And whenever you change technology, uh your business processes also have to change along with that. And your people also have to change whether that’s simply training to use the new tools or it could be new roles and responsibilities based on those tools. And so you want to put in contact context, a technology change with the broader impact that it’s going to have to try to make that change. The other way. I like to get organizations to think about it is that, you know, the technology is always advancing those broader goals within the organization. And so we want you to think through the impact that you’re trying to make first and always be. So starting with that impact messaging rather than, you know, again, getting into the nitty gritty of what tools we’re gonna change in systems we’re gonna change. We need to be centering the impact that it’s going to have at the organization for us to actually sell and make that plan for what we’re gonna adopt and what tools we’re gonna move forward. Okay. So

[00:37:58.19] spk_1:
yeah, centering the impact, right? Not centering the tools we’re not focusing on, not focusing on the tools. Um What is there a method of you? I think you have a method of um assessing different options, information systems options. You say what, what’s, what’s that assessment part

[00:39:15.54] spk_3:
about? Yeah, we take folks through a roadmap methodology that starts with, you know, real strategic discovery to understand what organizations are trying to accomplish. Uh you know, get those specific requirements of what do these tools need to do? It’s not about tool functionality. It’s about what do staff actually need to be able to accomplish in their day to day rolls and then from those types of requirements, build out what you need these systems to accomplish for you. So what role will those technology systems play within the organization? And then only then start to put specific names to what those tools are and that’s where you might actually go out to the vendors at the conference to start to fill in. You know, we need a tool that’s going to do this for our organization. Well, let’s find what tool that is. And you know, the way technology has changed over the years, there’s so many options out there. You know, whether you’re going to take an approach that’s based on a platform and build and customize it to meet all those requirements, or if you’re going to try to find more highly special tools and uh take on the sort of integration requirements of using, you know, tools from different vendors. So there’s not one size fits all anymore of, I just need a tool that does X. You really have to think through that broader approach and put the pieces together and make sure it’s all gonna add up to, you know, those, those goals and outcomes you described at the very beginning.

[00:40:14.31] spk_1:
What about the difference between the like sort of the all inclusive, like like a black box solution or Salesforce versus smaller apps that do different things like accounts payable or there’s an accounts payable vendor behind me. Um Behind us, we’re in the same boat behind us. Um or something else does. You know, it is a fundraising CRM is if you’re, if you’re trying to center the goals, there’s, there’s, there’s one, there’s a one, one size fits all system like that really makes sense. Yeah. Well, one can it, I’m, yeah, that’s such a neophyte question. I don’t know.

[00:41:11.54] spk_3:
It’s, it’s a great question because you are centering the goals and then you also want to look at your organization’s relationship with technology. So that is that example I I shared about whether you’re an innovator or you want to do best practices. You know, these are sort of guiding principles on what your relationship is with technology. Another example might be, um we want to build up our own internal capacity to manage tools and systems with a strong I T and operations department where another organization might say we’re first and foremost fundraisers and program managers, and we’re going to leverage experts outside of our organization to manage our technology. So that’s two totally different relationships with technology. So when you start to decide on your own guiding principles at the organization on what your relationship with technology will be that can then help you answer that question of whether it makes sense to use a platform where you’re going to be responsible for maintaining the integrations and maintaining the customization, or we’re gonna look to a single vendor who’s gonna provide multiple tools in the ecosystem because we’re going to use them as our experts and, and not keep that internal expertise.

[00:41:40.23] spk_1:
Is there a case study or story that you can share?

[00:42:06.58] spk_3:
Yeah, tomorrow, I’ll be highlighting, you know, three different examples of organizations that we worked with and, and took them through this process. And so you know, for one organization, uh they were really focusing on having tools that were easy for their users to use. They needed to look across the organization to a platform that could support five different departments within the organization. Um And they were prepared to take on managing that platform but didn’t want to build it all out from scratch. And so that organization chose salesforce as a solution that had built some of the purpose built mission tools that they needed on their platform already working with another organization on the

[00:42:42.44] spk_1:
salesforce. Absolutely. What kind of outcomes did they see that? You think they would not have, they would not have gained if they had done is the way it’s typically done or, you know, focused on focusing on the technology instead of their mission and goals.

[00:43:06.24] spk_3:
Yeah, I think the approach that they might have taken that I, in my opinion would have been a mistake would be to look at each of these departments in the organization individually. So they’d be looking at uh you know, their programs and uh mission support separately from fun raising separately from finance. They might have each submitted an RFP focused on what are the requirements for each of that department? And they might have chosen different systems based on in a vacuum, what looked best for that department and then none of it would work together and I T would never be able to support it. They never get any good analysis of how information is actually flowing within the organization?

[00:43:30.24] spk_1:
Alright, I kept you from another

[00:43:59.59] spk_3:
story. Well, yeah. Well, in uh in contrast, another organization really was looking at efficiency, you know, they were in that state of having different systems within each of the departments and their I T department recognized that they couldn’t support the different systems that had been chosen independently by different departments. And so they really focused on having a centralized I T structure that could manage and develop solutions on behalf of all of these different departments. They chose Microsoft as a platform because it was an extension of expertise that they already had already using Microsoft in some areas of the organization and then building on that. So they have a core competency now as an organization on Microsoft and are able to hire for those roles and maintain solutions across the organization that are sharing from that platform.

[00:44:49.16] spk_1:
If you’re centering your goals, there’s a lot of organizational introspection that’s got to happen first. So are you, are you looking to your strategic plan? I guess if, if you’ve got one that’s current, I mean, how does this, how does this exercise take place before you start talking about technology

[00:44:49.81] spk_3:
solutions? That’s right. You know, when and where

[00:44:52.24] spk_1:
also it’s c suite conversations. Is it down at the user level? You know, so please wear also. Yeah,

[00:45:30.76] spk_3:
absolutely. You know, when we start working with clients, it’s amazing how much work has usually already been put into defining those types of broader organizational, you know, goals, you know what those strategic plans are, those are often already, you know, their year three of a 10 year strategic plan and they may or may not be on track to achieve some of those lofty goals that got put out there. So, you know, technology is really downstream to support those goals. And we’re often, you know, when we’re working with somebody in operations or an I T kind of forcing them to dig up that, that document and, and confirm like this is still the path the organization is, is on, that’s what we’re trying to accomplish so that we can put our recommendations in context of what the whole organization is doing.

[00:45:52.09] spk_1:
Okay. Um And you had a third story.

[00:46:31.72] spk_3:
Yeah. Well, you know, I I shared uh an example of a Salesforce platform and Microsoft platform. We worked with another organization that actually left Salesforce, um really recognized that managing that platform was too much for the organization. They did not want to keep the in house staff to manage that. Uh They wanted to focus on fundraising, but, you know, didn’t really have the internal capacity to, you know, select apps or integrate with, you know, other online tools. And so they actually went to a purpose built solution, they went to virtuous that happened to have a lot of, you know, features and functionality out of the box for them with an easy on boarding process and a lot less ongoing maintenance and cost for them in the long run. And so, uh, there’s no, you know, perfect solution for everybody out there. It’s really about aligning what you need, you know, to work with and the tool and, and finding what’s going to be the right fit for you.

[00:46:57.27] spk_1:
You have some recommendations about evaluating different uh solutions that you might have, you might identify. Okay, they fit your, your, your stated goals. How do we make the, make the decision?

[00:47:28.65] spk_3:
Yeah. Well, one thing I discourage folks from doing is focusing on the old demo with organizations. You know, when we talk with folks, that’s almost the first things that they go to, you know, they wanna see demos of a bunch of different products and the demos only offer a limited insight into some of the usability, you know, how user friendly something might be. Uh people are flying through the

[00:47:33.69] spk_1:
screen, they could never replicate it, you could never replicate it five minutes after it was shown to you.

[00:48:15.84] spk_3:
That’s right. It doesn’t give you the full perspective. And so, you know, what we really encourage folks to think through, you know, once you’ve done that sort of identifying your goals, understanding what types of tools might be appropriate based on how you want to approach and use technology, then, you know, actually identify systems and platforms that could meet those goals. Sometimes there’s only one or maybe sometimes there’s one or two with big contrasts between them. You can actually do a lot more groundwork and understanding whether those are going to be a fit for you or not before you actually see the product, seeing the product is just that kind of final confirmation to see how it works and get a little more familiar. So how do you do

[00:48:22.87] spk_1:
this groundwork in your evaluation? How do you, yeah, what do you do before the

[00:49:07.82] spk_3:
demo? Yeah. So from, from your discovery effort and developing the requirements, the critical step is prioritizing those requirements against the goal. So you know, when you ask people what they need or what they want to be able to do, you’ll hear tons and tons of different things. And so the real critical period is prioritization of what is going to be mission critical for that fundraising strategy. That’s gonna get you double fundraising in three years or what’s that critical requirement? That’s gonna allow you to analyze whether, you know, multiple, you know, whether one of your program participants is actually participating in three programs so that you can actually see, see that rather than it being siloed data in separate program databases. So prioritizing what’s critical for you allows you to then look at different technology approaches and systems and narrow them down before you ever get to the demos. What

[00:49:24.98] spk_1:
else do you have planned for your audience tomorrow that we haven’t talked about yet.

[00:49:59.80] spk_3:
Yeah. You know, the last exercise I’ll talk folks through um is one way to, to map out your systems in sort of a pre work to any technology selection is to track what data is coming in to the organization where that data is stored, how it’s being used by different individuals and what other data folks would want and need. You know, sometimes a mistake that we see organizations make is they just think all data is good. We want to capture as much of it as possible, but that’s actually not the case. You really want to understand what data you’re already getting and where it is, but also what data you need to make critical decisions and who needs to use it. And when, because having that kind of map of where your data is, how you’re going to use it and what you need is really a lens that we can use to look at these technology systems of whether it’s going to support that or not.

[00:50:25.97] spk_1:
Okay. Anything else planned for tomorrow? I don’t know what you’re holding out on nonprofit radio listeners. I think we’re

[00:50:33.15] spk_3:
gonna talk about tomorrow. I think you’ve got the highlights for sure.

[00:50:47.12] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. These Jet Winders, Director of Sales the hell are consulting, which is our 23 N T C sponsor technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Jet. Thank you

[00:50:52.14] spk_3:
very much. Thank you, Tony Blair. My

[00:50:54.11] spk_1:
pleasure and thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 23 N T C 2023 nonprofit technology conference

[00:51:38.77] spk_0:
next week, equitable project management and make time for professional development. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by Donor Box with intuitive fundraising software from donor box. Your donors give four times faster helping you help others. Check out donor box dot org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff.

[00:51:41.05] spk_1:
The shows social media is by Susan Chavez

[00:51:43.71] spk_0:
Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by

[00:51:49.46] spk_1:
Scott Stein. Thank you for that

[00:52:00.34] spk_0:
affirmation. Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Is Boomer Indulgence A Threat to Planned Giving?

From Flickr courtesy of thepeachmartini
The Los Angeles Times had a piece in September that wasn’t too flattering to baby boomers. It claimed many of them plan to spend all their money on themselves before death, cutting out their children–who the profligates feel they’ve already done enough for–in favor of travel, fine dining and other treats.

It bothered me that in all the talk about end-of-life planning there wasn’t a single mention of charitable giving. I went to the U.S. Trust 2011 survey of high net worth americans, cited in the article. The situation isn’t as grim as the paper led me to believe. I took away these points from the survey:

  • More than half the respondents (56%) have discussed philanthropy strategy with their financial advisor (slide 29). I’d like to see that number higher, but it’s not bad.
  • 80 percent either did not change or increased their charitable giving in response to the recession (slide 30). It’s theoretically possible that the 63 percent who did not change were giving zero, but that’s not likely.
  • 55 percent plan to volunteer more actively upon retirement (slide 34).

Clearly, there are boomers who will spend all their money and achieve the day-of-death zero banking balance that one woman in the article aspires to. And they’re entitled.

I’m gratified to know those folks don’t represent all the baby boomers, and that among the high and ultra-high net worth population, many intend to include nonprofits in their plans.