Fast Company has a story about how the world has changed for one demographic segment:
"You’re probably familiar with the term midlife crisis, two words stubbornly embedded into our everyday language, and coined by Canadian psychoanalyst Elliot Jacques, who was studying a lengthy, depressive period experienced by male painters in their mid-thirties. He watched in amazement at the avalanche of interest in this phrase, describing it to an interviewer as a 'tiny little piece of work' and urging others to look at his later work (they didn’t). But the notion stuck and has become our point of reference for all midlife calamities, usually associated with a 'nudge, nudge, buy a Ferrari mate.'
"But the 'midlife collision' is something else. Experienced by midlife women more than their male counterparts, it’s a time in which there is a significant increase in the proportion of stressors. It’s also called 'role overload,' as professional women cope with a complex collision of care (children, siblings, partners, and parents), together with financial, work, and health issues (menopause or otherwise) - all of which have physical, mental, and emotional manifestations.
"It’s messy and complicated, often leaving midlife women gasping for breath, for a break, a pause. Sometimes, by disconnecting each midlife event (think menopause, parental care, or children leaving home), it’s easy to forget the sum of the whole."
- KC's View:
If companies are going to be effective in creating cultures of caring - and I think in the 21st century that should be a high priority for every business leader - then these are the kinds of things of which they should be aware.
After all, "midlife collisions" are having an impact on both employees and customers. In the case of the former, there may be people with enormous expertise, institutional knowledge and deep commitments to the organization who are facing role overload, and the smart business leader will figure out how to keep them engaged while softening the impact of inevitable collisions.
And from a retailing perspective, if there is an entire cohort of customers facing role overload, that strikes me as an opportunity, especially in the food business. Y'think there could be ways to market to shoppers facing "a complex collision of care (children, siblings, partners, and parents)" and "health issues (menopause or otherwise) - all of which have physical, mental, and emotional manifestations"?