Generational Research Strategy

Jason Dorsey and The Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) are the leading experts on generations, Gen Z, and behavioral insights. CGK’s research around the world uncovers hidden behavioral insights and specific solutions that enable leaders to drive measurable results with employees, customers, and across generations.

Read the Q&A below to get an inside look at Jason’s view on keynote speaking, research, and using very few PowerPoint slides!

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Q&A: The Importance of Original Research in Keynote Speaking

1.) Why is original research important for your keynote speaking?

Because so much is said about generations that is not true! Not all Millennials are entitled, and not all Baby Boomers carry a checkbook. So, what is true? That is what I like to uncover through data and then bring to life through stories and research.

As The Center for Generational Kinetics discovered, Millennials are breaking into two different generations, and Boomers can be very different depending on if they are older or younger Boomers. As you may know, Gen X was told they would be less successful than their parents, yet they have created some of the most innovative and world-changing companies! Separating myth from truth is key to uncovering what actions to take to drive measurable results.

I believe that leaders need and want to know the truth. To get to the truth you need statistically accurate data.

Research, particularly original generational research, gives you the insights and solutions you need to confidently inform your strategy, separate myth from truth, and make the right decisions. It’s these research-driven decisions that drive innovation, sales, marketing, management, trust, and—most importantly—measurable results. This is true with every generation.

I see my role keynote speaking as providing never-before-seen, transformational insights in a very entertaining way that changes how your audience thinks about generations and drives action.

There is a big difference between our statistically accurate research and what is all too often touted by speakers and “experts” as research but is really just opinion. At CGK, we believe in data because we know our clients are making important decisions based on our insights. They need more than an opinion, they need data they can count on.

2.) How does your research strategy and rigor differ from other speakers who say they are “researchers”?

At CGK, we lead statistically accurate research and share both our methodology and findings. This is really important. This is not a survey to our email list or posting a poll on LinkedIn and calling it research. Our quantitative research studies almost always include at least 1,000 participants, are weighted to a benchmark such as the US Census, and have a margin of error of +/-3.1 or less, which is the gold standard for statistically valid national studies.

Our research is also Ph.D.-led and we’ve worked alongside research and insights teams from many of the biggest brands around the world. This enables us to add our deep expertise and cross-industry experience to every research study we lead and for every speaking client.

As I share with clients, some speakers claim to be researchers, yet they don’t lead their own research—or more concerning, they pull data they find on a Google search and call it research. Our research team has led up to 17 primary research studies at the same time with fielding on four different continents.

In short: I am a geek about generational research and data. I love uncovering what the data says so that we can constantly evolve our thinking and find new solutions. The promise of good research is that you don’t know what you’ll find, but what you do find will be accurate and immediately actionable.

3.) You’ve said “data” a lot. How many slides are in your keynote?

Drum roll please…… 10 to 15. That’s it. Even for my 90-minute keynote!

If you’ve heard me speak, you know I use very few slides. This allows me to interact with the audience throughout the presentation rather than read from a slide or chart. I don’t believe in boring speeches! 10 to 15 great slides are plenty for a 45 to 90-minute keynote.

With great data and energy, you don’t need a lot of slides. And most people don’t want to read a lot of slides! You just need enough surprising data to create “wow” moments throughout the presentation.

However, for half or full-day breakthrough programs, corporate board meetings, private equity events, VC summits, and other data-heavy events, I can include more slides—including our client’s own data—that reveal our latest data specific to your strategies, portfolio, operating companies, region, industry, or priorities.

I work closely with you to design my presentation to your most important outcomes and build the deck for your audience as part of our in-depth customization process.

4.) What do you think makes you unique as a generations speaker?

Clients tell me after an event that what makes me unique is my high energy, “wow” insights, personal stories, and delivering ready-to-use actions. They say I’m funny, too. (but you should see for yourself!) I get fired up sharing what our research team uncovers, especially when we bust through a myth like all Millennials acting entitled or Gen Z being disconnected from reality. I also love seeing leaders taking notes as fast as they can so they can go back and implement all the specific actions I share in my talk. It’s important for me to see an audience engage from the first minute to the last minute.

I also have fun on stage and I think people can tell.

I like to think of it this way: Energy + Original Insights + Stories + Practical Actions = One Unforgettable Keynote

5.) How many generations work at your research company?

Four! We employ Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers in our office. We also run an internship program for first-generation college-bound students. In addition, I’m a Millennial, married to a Gen X’er, and we have a Gen Z daughter!

Our team lives and works in the same multi-generational experience that our clients are trying to lead across and solve challenges within. I think that helps us to better serve them.

State of Gen Z 2021-2022 Ad - Download your free reports

Jason’s Key Discoveries:

  • Millennials are breaking into two different generations
  • Millennials are not tech savvy but tech dependent
  • Gen Z may leapfrog many Millennials in the workforce
  • For Gen Z, 9/11 has always been history
  • Technology is rippling up from the youngest to the oldest
  • Generations are not boxes, but powerful clues

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Gen Z and the Great Resignation? It turns out many Gen Z workers are thinking about their next job. Are you doing what it takes to keep them? Watch my Yahoo! Finance interview to hear CGK’s surprising discoveries into Gen Z workforce trends

One new trend to pay close attention to that we are studying at CGK: Ghosting. This is what happens when an employee is hired, agrees to show up to work, but then never arrives on the first day of work. Yes! This happens. And right now, it is happening a lot and creating tremendous frustration for employers. At some point, the employer-employee dynamic will likely change and become more balanced, but for the foreseeable future, ghosting is likely to stick around—so we need to take action to get new hires to stick around, too!  

Gen Z Research Workforce

You Might Be Wondering: Does Our Speaking and Research Drive Results? Video Proof: Repeat Client Shares Their Experience Solving Generational Challenges

I love working with repeat clients because I get to know their team, culture, challenges, opportunities, and strengths over a long period. Going into the details with clients and working with their teams consistently also builds momentum for action, buy-in, trust, innovation, and results across their organization.

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