Demographics: Change is Gonna Come

Will your  staffers be humming Dylan? There’s a growing chance they will.

Demographic ‘changes are coming’ -it shouldn’t be a shock.  Are those changes working in your favour? your organization’s favour?

Demographics move so slowly & are so well monitored that some organizations are unhurried to act; they prioritize reacting to short term market change instead. Managers/Marketers/Retailers tend to be recognized, rewarded, feted for ‘reactive’ skills such as acting on shifts in daily public sentiment (which can ‘turn’ on a brand in a moment) or fashion taste (crocs in, uggs in, crocs, out, uggs out,…) or labour swings (outsourcing to freelancers, crowdsourcing, etc).

However, demographics are key b/c they’ll affect who will be on your team, who will be your customers, how you convey your message, which kinds of products & services are more likely to succeed.  And demographic changes, being so comparatively slow paced & inevitable, play the role of the warm water in a soon-to-be boiling pot. Just cuz change is slow doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be recognized and dealt with. Yet many otherwise-smart organizations fail to make fundamental necessary ‘evolutionary’ changes.

One college I know of, has seen it’s ‘Full-Time’ education arm add more & more in-demand ‘applied’ graduate certificates. The college now emphasizes a faculty’s  industry experience & contacts, ensures students earn industry accreditation  and even makes some courses available on Friday evenings & Saturdays. That shows some demographically-inspired smarts! Such traits have relevant appeal for the rising (& demographically driven) number of ‘mid-career re-education’ seekers. But this same college remains reluctant to face an ever-warming-water fact- ie THIS IS THE NEW REALITY! They won’t admit that consumers seeking mid-career retraining see the college as 1 brand, not 2 schools: ‘Continuing Education’ and ‘Full-Time’??? What dat?!?! At present, the public must navigate two completely separate systems- course calendars, websites, faculty are all 100% separate. The left hand & the right hand of 1 college brand don’t know the other exists. Consumers just want the college’s retaining/ reeducation options to be clear; why must they face a brand with 2 completely different bureaucracies, advertisements, sets of faculty, etc- when courses are offered by the same brand, on the same premises, at only slightly different times of day, days or the week? To consumers seeking re-education option clarity, this is baffling.

But, just b/c that organization won’t react to the ever-warming water, that doesn’t mean YOU should ignore demographic & long term societal changes. Ergo, a few highlights on this fine CBC story:

  • Atlantic Canada (now joins parts of Vancouver Island as) Lead Market for Seniors.
  • More people 65+ than children in Canada now.
  • Boomers are gobbling up jobs, and working later into life.

Enjoy! And consider what changes are a coming for your organization given these slow-churning shifts.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/job-market-older-workers-1.4101163

Steven

 

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