FORT EUSTIS, Va. – Connecting a sense of calling with America’s youth is a critical Army effort that will be shared in this Thursday’s Leader Professional Development session, “Building Generations: Leading Gen Z in the Future Army.”
As the host, Gen. Paul E. Funk ll, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, knows just how critical Gen Z is to the force and its operations. Funk will share his thoughts with subject matter expert Jason Dorsey, president, The Center for Generational Kinetics, who will lead the discussion on recruiting and retaining the Army’s future generations.
The generational passion that Dorsey plans to highlight started young at 18 when he wrote his first book, “Graduate Your Perfect Job.” As a millennial himself, he wanted to help his own generation navigate change and overcome adversity within their careers. He has since spoken to more than half a million millennials and Gen Zs, with 200 TV show appearances, including The Today Show, The View and 60 Minutes.
The center is a leading firm in solving generational challenges for leaders that is backed by research, speaking and solutions, with special emphasis on millennials and Gen Z.
Dorsey founded the center alongside his wife Dr. Denise Villa after an experience during a board meeting. When true data did not match the board CEO’s data about millennials, Dorsey sought his wife’s advice, who suggested they start a research firm to help understanding of true data and drive measurable results.
“And that’s how we founded The Center of Generational Kinetics 13 years ago,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey’s purpose in founding CGK is a driver to what he and Funk will discuss. The topics include encouraging leaders to understand generational clues, separating myths from truths and what shapes different generations. He notes that it will be a candid discussion for Army leaders regarding Gen Z in the context of other generations, the impact of COVID-19, and what they see being most important for recruiting and retention.
He states there are two things that make Gen Z very important to understand in the broader generational trend conversation.
“Gen Z is now up to 25 years old. They are older than most people assume. They often are the fastest growing generation in the workforce,” Dorsey said. “In many ways, they are an incredibly important part of the future of the Army.”
CGK research shows that trends are now being driven from the youngest to the oldest, particularly in terms of technology.
When it comes to recruiting, Dorsey emphasizes that leaders must understand the perceptions and habits that those in a recruiting role bring.
“What makes this conversation so important for recruiting is to help everyone in a recruiting role see how they each look at the message, communication and narrative of the Army,” he said.
His profession signifies that empowered research about Gen Z can help recruiters adapt to change by creating a generational context that looks at the generation divide. In doing so, those in recruiting know how to better navigate talent management.
He notes the key for Army leaders is to recognize and understand what Gen Z wants in a career, and what the Army can and cannot do.
“There’s a lot of things that the Army simply cannot do that Gen Z would love, and that’s okay.” Dorsey said. “The boundaries of what the Army can do is very important for us to understand and then for recruiters to be able to decide what’s most important to talk about and present.”
In this Thursday’s LPD, Dorsey looks forward to talking about technology and generation defining moments that Funk has strong interest in and has spent a lot of time studying.
“I’m super excited to be meeting with General Funk,” Dorsey said. “I find it incredibly inspiring that he is so interested in understanding Gen Z and millennials and really is seeking to separate myths from truths.”
To tune into the discussion, please visit TRADOC’s Facebook or Watch Live Page at 11 a.m. EST, July 15, 2021. Additionally, a recap will posted via TRADOC’s Vimeo page.