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February 22, 2010 / Mervyn Dinnen

Networking, Learning but I still got Those Talking Gen Y Blues – TruLondon thoughts

Following last Thursday’s adrenaline rush of a blog I’m now looking back on TruLondon from a slightly more reflective angle!

There’s no denying that it was great event, and it enabled me to meet and engage with so many interesting and passionate people, from the UK and US, Canada, Holland and Switzerland. Whilst day 2 was certainly more ‘organised ‘than day 1, nothing could detract from the fact that overall there were some very insightful debates.

Three things struck me about the whole event.

Networking… it provides a fantastic networking opportunity. With a mix of HR professionals and recruiters, sourceologists and technologists, job boards and journalists, there is always someone interesting to talk to. My favourite parts are always the ‘break outs’ or the mini tracks where 2,3,4 or 5 people leave a track and start their own discussion. Through this you really get to talk ideas and experiences, sometimes without even knowing who it is you’re talking to!

Learning…  there is a lot to learn. Some of it from listening and some from asking. There is also variety between different tracks, from listening to track leaders debate amongst themselves, to debating with them and finally to those tracks where the leaders often pass their knowledge on. I sometimes wish the attendees would open up more on these and get involved, but then maybe that is something that we all need to work on in this embryonic format. I’m certainly keen to attend unconferences elsewhere to see if there are cultural differences in how we absorb information and ideas.

Got those Talking Gen Y Blues…without doubt my favourite comment of TruLondon came from Charlie Duff when her headline for Day 1 was ‘HR practitioners claim that Gen Y talk is nonsense, but can’t stop talking about it’ …and indeed they can’t!

Talk of Gen Y, the uniqueness of their position, the skills they bring to the workplace, their audacity, creativity and expectations, seemed to permeate through many tracks…and when the debate finally got its own track, then things got quite feisty – an agenda of technology, economics, sociology and geo-politics in one mass of opinions, hopes, fears and convictions.

Without getting shouted down, I’m not sure that their position is so much different to any other generation.  Every age group has wanted it all, and every age group has often had a far sharper and detailed knowledge of current technology and societal mores than their elders. (Dare I say that some of the social and political talk of change sounds not dissimilar to that we’ve read from the ‘hippy’ generation?)

What they do seem to have though is a conviction and confidence that has often been lacking before, but I think are in danger of turning themselves into a cause. However with over 20% of their age group in the UK unemployed, and with companies needing to find ways to best utilise and harness their talents and attitudes, I somehow feel I’ll be Talking Gen Y for some time yet…

All in all TruLondon was an extremely successful event, offering the chance to meet so many new people and learn so many new ideas…and leaving you wanting more. Just reading the tweets and blogs since Friday has made me realise how many people I never really properly got to talk to…

…hopefully I will next time!

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3 Comments

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  1. Alan Whitford / Feb 22 2010 6:46 PM

    Hi Mervyn
    Insightful and thoughtful, as usual. Really appreciated your wrap up on the Friday night RCEURO Thought Leaders radio show, the tape of which is going up on the site tonight.

    I look forward to continuing those conversations and starting new ones.

    Cheers

    Alan Whitford

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