WPage 1

6 Predictions for the 2020 Fraternity


By Steve Good – Director of Education & Technology

Being the son of a librarian, reading is in my blood.  I’m addicted to the search for a great book, but my definition of a great book may be a little different than most.  While many might say that a great book is one that they read from start to finish very easily and quickly, I say the opposite.  A great book in my mind is one that takes forever to get through because of its ability to make me put it down, think about the content, jot down notes, and wonder how I can apply it to what I do in my life.

I recently finished one of these books that I would consider great, and yes, I opened up this book for the first time a month and a half ago.  The book is The 2020 Workplace – How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today by Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd.  The book was given to me as a gift, but ironically enough, has some great parallels to the Phi Delt 2020 strategic plan that was recently unveiled and Greek life in general.  The end of the book featured “20 Predictions for the 2020 Workplace,” and I found six (go figure) of the predictions to be very relevant to Phi Delta Theta and Greek Life in general.

Prediction #1
You will be hired and promoted based upon your reputation management.

In Greek termsYou will be respected or disrespected based upon how you manage your reputation.

An increasing focus on reputation management is occurring because of the ease of information flow in today’s society.  Those individuals and groups who actively manage their reputation will be better off.  Those who don’t will be discounted or left behind.  Phi Delta Theta as a whole will gain respect and be seen as a great asset when others see and learn about how our actions and decisions align with our values.   On the other hand, the truth, through information flow, will eat up those who disregard how their actions may negatively affect the organization.

Prediction #2
Your mobile device will become your office, your classroom, and your concierge.

In Greek TermsPhi Delta Theta must work diligently to provide its services to the technologies that you utilize.

In the words of Michael Jones, the chief technology advocate for Google, “The mobile phone is for the next decade what the computer has been for the last two or three.” As an organization, we must spend time thinking about and tailoring our communication, information, and education to how it can be effectively received on your mobile device.  If we don’t, our relevance as a value-added organization will dwindle.

Prediction #3
Recruiting will start on social networking sites.

In Greek Terms Recruiting will start on social networking sites.

Our undergraduate chapters must fully understand the capabilities of social networking as a recruitment tool.  If they don’t, we will fall behind and lose members to those who do.  As you build your recruitment strategies ask yourself the question, “How can we capitalize on the power of social networks to find new members who can make us better?”  As a GHQ staff member, we’ll be asking ourselves the same question as we look for future employees.

Prediction #4
Human resources focus will move from outsourcing to crowdsourcing.

In Greek TermsCollaboration that capitalizes on the “wisdom of our members” will drive improved results.

The book gives a great example of how Best Buy asked their pool of candidates for a specific position to create the job description. Rather than pushing down a job description that they thought was best, they allowed their candidates to develop something together that was better.  Phi Delta Theta must create venues for others to work together to find the best solution.  For example, as the Fraternity works to develop a standardized Phikeia Program, how can we benefit from a collaborative approach that allows our members to share their best practices and lessons learned to create the best possible program?  There are many operational areas that could benefit from this approach.

Prediction #5
Lifelong learning will become a business requirement.

In Greek TermsA focus on sound learning and education = More successful members and a better organization.

According to the book, “In 2020 and beyond, we will see another innovation – branded lifelong learning centers – to ensure ease in continually updating one’s skills for both one’s current job and one’s next job.”  While the execution of leadership conferences and addition of PDT U (Phi Delta Theta’s center for online learning) has helped the Fraternity encourage lifelong learning, we must continue to produce and share learning experiences with our membership. In turn, our membership must be familiar with these opportunities and encourage the development of education content that is currently not there.

Prediction #6
Companies will disclose their corporate social responsibility programs to attract and retain employees.

In Greek TermsAn increased focus on service and philanthropic activities must be present to attract and retain today’s student.

The millennial generation is influencing today’s work environment, offerings from higher education institutions, and even programs at the high school level.  A study referenced in the book states that 79% of a sample of 1,800 13-25 year olds want to work for a company that cares about how it impacts on and contributes to society.”  The General Fraternity and its chapters must prove to its current and potential members that their involvement in the organization will impact society in a positive way.  A commitment to service and philanthropy can assist in this task.  Assess what you are doing in this area and ask yourself if you can do more.

It’s an exciting time within Phi Delta Theta as we plan for the future and develop goals for where we want to be in 2020.  As we do this, we must be aware of what’s happening around us and how these dynamics affect the things that we do.  I’d encourage you to consider these predictions and challenge those around you to adapt and prepare for the future.  If you do so, Phi Delta Theta will be an even greater organization than it is today.

4 thoughts on “6 Predictions for the 2020 Fraternity

  1. Phi Delta Theta and perhaps other fraternities will cease to be call “social” and be called “leadership & service” – hopefully before 2020.

  2. I just recommended the book to our Emporia State director of Career Services.

    Thanks, Steve.

Comments are closed.