1) JZS On Gen Z – Part I
By Jeremy Zogby
The digital age and the Great Recession have impacted all age cohorts in the U.S. though millennials seem to get the most coverage in the news. However, another cohort has emerged that is an even greater byproduct of the digital age and the Great Recession – Generation Z (1995 present).
Already a large group, estimated at 73 million Americans, Gen Z’ers have witnessed the trials and tribulations of their older millennial siblings (crippling debt and difficulty launching careers) and we are finding that they are already learning quickly from their challenging environment.
Even more than their older millennial siblings, they have known no other era than the digital age. Thus, it is clear why Generation Z gravitates towards DIY education and online skill development. A recent survey of high school students revealed that 52% used YouTube and similar sites for their research projects. From a very early age, members of Gen Z are displaying a self-directed attitude which is no surprise for a generation that always had a huge amount of information at their finger-tips.
Furthermore, it is more common in classrooms to witness teaching methods where students are offered a problem, teachers step back, and groups of students are allowed to collaborate and come to a resolution.
Problem-solving and collaboration-based methods plus Gen Z’s obsession with DIY education are good indicators as to why so many of them envision their future as entrepreneurs and not employees, according to another survey of high school students that revealed 61% answered the former.
One key astounding fact is that they are by far the most likely to be from interracial parents – hence why they tend to easily embrace diverse environments. They are also likely to have a global network (with varying degrees) via the various social networking sites.
Of course, like any generation, there are drawbacks as well. Some professionals raise concerns about their shortening attention spans (which one study claims has been reduced on average to 8 seconds from 11 seconds), spending too much time in front of screens, their high likelihood of panicking in absence of their devices, and lacking situational awareness.
However, given the complex, uncertain, and volatile world that they inherited – Generation Z has adapted successfully to date. With characteristics being displayed such as agility and taking initiative, many appear to be equipped with the skills necessary to navigate further disruption – ask them and they’ll tell you it’s all they know.
More about Gen Z to follow.
Coming Soon: Who’s Your Tribe? The only app you’ll need to discover your Neo-Tribe
2) Tribal AnalyticsSM For Understanding A Dynamic Society
Written by John Zogby, from the Aspen Institute of Italy (Original Version in Italian)
Do we still know who we are? There are some who have been American for seven generations, have Dutch origins with an Italian name, but never set foot in either Amsterdam or Florence. Or what about a Jew who has not entered a synagogue for decades, lives in a suburb but works and spends time in a big city. Factors such as global mobility, telecommunications, and the continuous expansion of social networks, make it difficult to place American citizens in rigid and one-dimensional categories. The point is that traditional demographics are no longer suitable for defining our identity.
The difficulty of understanding and describing a complex society
The theory of Neo-Tribes and Tribal AnalyticsSM is based on three key words: process, content and collaboration. Over the years, market research and sociologists have developed a number of methods to classify individuals into groups or clusters based on common features in order to better understand how they are behaving, what kind of interests they are nourishing and what motivates them. Segmentation and cluster analysis techniques applied to population samples are typically based on demographic criteria, which are now outdated in a world susceptible to sudden and radical changes. Furthermore, traditional demographics often ignore the importance of common views and behaviors and involve logistical difficulties (think of large-scale telephone sample surveys) as well as high costs. And they are by no means flexible: the data collected must be considered valid for at least a few years, otherwise the time and money spent would be unjustified. But is there something in the world that lasts so long?
Tribal AnalyticsSM is an absolute novelty as it allows people to “segment” themselves on the basis of self-identified tribal affinities: views, philosophies of life, and shared values. And so it goes beyond demographics which are arbitrary parameters that can obscure the shifting attitudes and behaviors of the public. “For this reason,” says Dayna Dion, communications strategist and former cultural strategy director at Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago, “tribal analytics is a crucial tool for emerging cross-cultural marketing practice” (Cross-Cultural Marketing and Communications Association was established in 2013).
Demographic data is always an interesting tool to understand and anticipate behaviors and reactions, but they are now downsizing and do not account for differences within individual, regional, ethnic, and income groups. The demographic field is simply too wide. Census sections and postal codes have for decades been a fundamental resource for population analysis in relation to the geographic context; But the role of geography today is challenged by increased mobile technology systems that provide greater information and global connectivity. “Microtrends” theorized by the great analyst Mark Penn is a fascinating idea and, I must admit, intellectually inspiring, but lacks effectiveness for marketing and management. The studies of Joel Garreau (The Nine Nations of North America, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1981), Dante Chinni (Our Patchwork Nation, New York, Gotham Books, 2010) and Colin Woodard (American Nations, New York, Viking, 2011), are all based on the assumption that every individual can be placed in a broad and coherent cultural context. While undoubtedly these books are illuminating, and I often refer back to them; they have the disadvantage of overlooking communities of interest that motivate people and influence their decisions. Garreau’s essay has made him an apologist because he focused on the cultural dimension going beyond the traditional political boundaries. After all, why should Maine and Northern New England not be associated with Canadian Francophone territories, given the importance of the common historical, anthropological and religious heritage?
In its brilliant patchwork, Chinni classifies US counties using a huge amount of statistical data and opinion research, as well as excellent analysis and first-hand reports. But it does not take into account the substantial cultural and political differences between structurally related counties. For example, the county of Luzerne (Pennsylvania) and Oneida (New York) have seen a large influx of immigrants in the last two decades. However, if the former is sadly aware of the practices of discrimination and rejection of the new arrivals, the second has demonstrated its commitment to welcoming refugees. Is it really the case to consider them as “sister counties”? As for Woodard, he has actually identified eleven “North American” nations by crossing shared historical roots, cultural affinities, common ideals, and even linguistic similarities. He, like Garreau and Chinni, has gone beyond the patterns of tradition. Woodard’s book, however, leaves the reader the impression that those “nations” are so heterogeneous that they exclude any form of cohesion. The “nations” are fascinating, but the message is desolating.
The bottom up process and Tribal analytics
There is a gap to fill. A completely new scenario has emerged: we now live in the world of cyberspace, and this reality also plagues our minds and hearts. It’s a dimension that goes beyond the neighborhood, district election, Rotary Club, church, or stadium meetings. This new world is reflected in the way we express our identity, define our priorities, and choose which group to belong, not least in the physical place where we work, spend time, or practice religious worship. It needs a bottom-up process that directly involves people and allows them to speak: it was on this premise that the model Tribal AnalyticsSM was developed.
It is to frame individuals in a more appropriate context in a world where their place of residence, birth or school attendance, and income bracket, are less important than the past. Likewise, new technologies and data sources seem to confirm the need for a new segmentation process, with the consultant or researcher in a less decisive role. Why not let the survey participants themselves identify their community of interest? If humans have always found ways to organize themselves into “clans”, “tribes” and “villages,” then why shouldn’t the protagonists of our research tell us which clusters they belong to?
More and more often, our identity is determined by what we choose to be, by the people we decide to relate to and by the way we define our membership group. And, like the world we live in, that group may not always stay the same. Tribes can last forever, or for a long time, or they can turn out to be ephemeral and fluid like the rest. The new American tribes form a rich mosaic, a multidimensional reality, and a kaleidoscope of different identification possibilities. And the outlines are not so clearly defined. The Happy Hedonists, for example, primarily live to have fun. Many are young; however, the percentage of those who go to a place of worship at least once a week is much higher than the average recorded for the 18-29 age-group. Indeed, these lovers of pleasure, who are always ready to celebrate and have fun, go to church almost as often as the faithful believers of the “God Squad” tribe.
These curious “tribal border crossing”, circumstances in which two seemingly distant tribes reveal common values and interests, are very frequent.
The concrete applications of tribal analytics are many: in the business world you can offer a new model of interaction with customers, employees and public opinion in general; In the health sector one can study habits and lifestyles that expose citizens to the risk of contracting illnesses to intervene and perhaps modify them; In the increasingly competitive higher education sector, understanding “tribal border crossings” allows you to take into account the aspirations and real interests of students as well as the faculty; Even in the case of criminal proceedings, the methods of selecting the jury may be improved, limiting the distortions of judgment related to personal preconceptions.
Tribal analytics offers new tools for getting into today’s workplace. Too often professional orientation is conceived in light of the attitudes and aspirations of the student and of an outdated vision of space and geographic reality. New jobs often require qualities such as sensitivity, empathy, ability to interact with other persons of similar or different character inclinations, in electronic form and over long distances. Who is the most suitable candidate for a certain type of work.
Does the job require frequent travel? If so, the “Adventurers” are ready. Does a certain position require lesser technical skills but greater self-confidence? Sounds like a job for the “Self-Perfectionists”. But if the goal is to broaden consensus for issues like the environment and social justice all the while trying to build appeal from those whose top priorities are the family or their parish, the ideal type appears to be “The Dutifuls”. Another hypothesis: a charm alone, a sense of caustic humor, long solitary days in front of a monitor. Here is the opportunity for an “Outsider”.
Who is the ideal candidate for a home job? Who can handle part-time employment and at the same time integrate with colleagues through a screen? Who fits more easily with last-minute transfers, who has the spirit of entrepreneurship? They are all “tribal” questions that require “tribal” answers.
Tribal AnalyticsSM, in conclusion, should lead us to overthrow the poet Robert Burns’s exhortation: instead of learning to “see ourselves as others see us,” we can teach others to see us as we see ourselves.
Coming Soon: Who’s Your Tribe? The only app you’ll need to discover your Neo-Tribe
3) Trump’s Weekly Report Card From the Washington Examiner
So we have two race cars — one Democrat, one Republican — speeding at 200 mph toward a solid brick wall. Do we cheer for the one to hit the wall first? The GOP won its hard fought victory by repealing Obamacare in the House this week. The Republicans cheer and the White House celebrates. Because it looks like it is going to hit the brick wall first?
But the Democrats do their stupid ‘Nah nah nah nah, hey hey, goodbye’ song. Are they pulling ahead in the race now?
Only 17 percent support the GOP American Health Care Act. Victory? Emboldened? I don’t know but it doesn’t look like a win here in Utica, N.Y.
Unemployment is down to 4.4 percent and that is good. President Trump’s approval rating is above 45 percent in several polls and that is pretty good. Weekly reports are never easy but he passes. His grade is good but he won’t get into an Ivy School with this performance.