Kelvinwright's Blog

postmodern thoughts

Travel Revolution – the Millenials have arrived

20130815_Millennial_Traveller  By the end of the decade, millenials (those who are, in very broad terms, between 18 and 30 years of age) will be the travel market’s biggest sector.


I have been living the Up in the Air life the last few months, since starting in a new, exciting job. I’ve seemingly slept in hotels more than in my own bed since April, so much so that several times I have woken up in the night, not knowing where I am.


Despite being tired after each of my early starts (I wake up before the birds begin their song) I always ask for the wi-fi code (in reality, I no longer need to – they know me at the hotel, greet me by name, and hand me the wifi code even before my room key). It doesn’t matter where I am, or how tired I am, it seems that a prerequisite for the 21st century traveller is that hotels offers free wi-fi – why should we pay for a basic right? (the right to stay connected). It’s as much a way to save on expensive roaming charges, as it is the sense of community, to stay connected, wherever we are, and at whatever hour.


Wifi allows me to sit in a bar or a cafe, with views of the street, the sea, the park, to chill out late at night, or early in the evening or morning, scanning the news, answering emails, or posting photos of my travels, opinions, where I am in life, how I am, what I’m drinking, whether it’s an orange juice to start my day, or the beer or Prosecco at the end of it.


CNN did a great little series of short documentaries on millenial’s travel preferentials, from hotels to airports and bars.


When on travels, (business or pleasure, or a mixture of the two), what do you look for in twenty-first century hotels?




See the video, Fussy millennials redefine travel:


Image from:



August 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Inspiring hope – a different view of our generation

Over the last few days, I’ve come across a poem that was being claimed across some social networks as evoking emotions, giving people chills, and being a technically excellent piece of work. A poem written by a 14 year old boy has been retweeted more than 120,000 times.


At first read, the poem sounds like the typical, plain but simple dissection of the 21st century lost generation. However, bear with me, read it until the end, and then follow the short one line instruction. Maybe it can help to inspire hope in our generation:


Our generation will be known for nothing.

Never will anybody say,

We were the peak of mankind.

That is wrong, the truth is

Our generation was a failure.

Thinking that

We actually succeeded

Is a waste. And we know

Living only for money and power

Is the way to go.

Being loving, respectful, and kind

Is a dumb thing to do.

Forgetting about that time,

Will not be easy, but we will try.

Changing our world for the better

Is something we never did.

Giving up

Was how we handled our problems.

Working hard

Was a joke.

We knew that

People thought we couldn’t come back

That might be true,

Unless we turn things around


(Now, read it again, only this time from bottom to top)


It bears remarkable similarities to another poem I came across a few years back titled, The Lost Generation, by Johnathan Reed.

Happy Sunday



Original tweet:


March 2, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Great Expectations – Generation Y

gen-y-at-a-glance-millennial-branding  I’ve been interested in the development of Generation Y for a while, that new group of tech savvy, connected individuals now leaving Universities and entering the workplace. It frustrates me when I read comments along the lines of them being an impatient bunch of people more interested in connecting via Facebook, in building up their LinkedIn profile or more interested in advancing their careers, than helping the company grow. They are impatient; and well done to them for being so!

Gen Yers do not seem to get stuck in the rut of complaining for years about the employer that does not develop them, look after them, give them an opportunity or a pay rise. Gen Yers haven’t gone to University, making the salary sacrifices in their late teens and early twenties, to sit in a job with no prospects of career advancement and development. They are an inquisitive bunch of young professionals, open to change, willing to take the initiative, and willing to improve the way things are done: or put another way, they have the open mindsets and behaviours that we ask of our more senior colleagues and mid-management leaders, without yet having the years of experience. There must be a way to develop them, asking them what they would do different if they were in charge. We shouldn’t be afraid – one of them might just come up with the solution that nobody else has offered.

My message to HR professionals and company leaders would be this: if you want to ensure that your organisation has the ability to attract, recruit, develop and retain Gen Yers, then you need to engage them, which means that you need to talk to them, to do what is not customary to do and to ask them what they’re looking for, ask them why they joined you in the first place, and ask them if their expectations are being met. And it is senior people who need to do this. I’ve written before about the MD walk about – our Directors and senior business leaders need to move about in the organisation and to talk to those young professionals coming in: they need to ask them: why did you join us? Are you satisfied here? What would you do differently? It still seems alien in many organisations for senior leaders to speak in one-to-one and small group situations with colleagues lower down in the organisation. This needs to change, or our talent will leave, knowing that if we don’t develop them, then somebody else will.

Generation Yers are more switched on and more connected than any other generation. They also embrace change better than anybody else and are prepared to lead it, even if they don’t yet have the necessary experience to do so. Whilst many more “senior” colleagues seek to slow down, reject and criticise change, Gen Yers seek to constantly improve and question how things are done. We need to ensure that the mechanisms are in place to take their ideas on board (and indeed everybody else’s) and innovate: And regarding the, “they’re too young”: if an employee is ready for development, ready for a promotion, and ready for something new, then s/he is old enough.



Image: from

December 14, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Adapting social recruitment to the digital age

LinkedIn is for professional profiles, interconnecting professionals, uploading CVs and jobs, and searching both for candidates and vacancies. Facebook is for posting those photos that we hope will never reach our LinkedIn profile (either for their unsuitability or their privacy).


Or so it was – for something is happening.


If most of us were asked, “Do you spend more time on Facebook or LinkedIn?”, the answer would no doubt come out in favour of Facebook. One Swiss recruitment consultancy seems to have realised this and has come up with a creative (and remarkably simple) way to tap into the talent pool, and most likely to Gen Y – click “like” on their page from Facebook, and you will receive all their job offers. They can’t view your private profile, but a simple “like” allows you to receive their vacancies into your updates, whilst you upload holiday photos, build farms, or hoards of vampires, and add status updates. The idea is simple and it moves online recruiting closer to the social platforms that Gen Y use; and since I also clicked “like”, at least one person from Gen X.


Recruitment moved online as the twentieth century said goodbye. Now digital recruitment will see another revolution, and both candidates and companies must adapt. Old stereotypes need to be broken down, and we must be prepared to consider new realities. Companies already engage with external customers via a Facebook page, so why not engage with those who are interested in becoming employees via the same medium? Companies want to tap into their future employees, their future talent, and their future leaders. And a good place to start is to use the social platforms that their future (and current) employees use most.

* image uploaded from

October 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Generation Y v Success

Building on from the previous blog on Generation Y, I began reading blogs by this dynamic new group entering the workplace. If I am going to attract, engage, recruit, develop and engage (again) Generation Y, then I need to understand what they want from my company. The Baby Boomers looked at multination corporations for the sense of security that they perceived such organisations offered. The idea was to work long hours, and see effort and sweat rewarded with promotions. The aim was to build life-long relationships with their global employers. It was definitely not good to have more than one or two companies on your CV – “What’s wrong with this person?”, “Why has s/he job hopped so much?”


Fast forward to the 21st Century and things have changed. Generation X initiated the change, a response to the removal of the job for life that baby boomers enjoyed. New phrases like downsizing, and organisational reengineering / restructuring / resizing etc etc hit the corridors and meeting rooms of the safe companies. So, if the hard graft of 50+ hour weeks and a diminished or non-existent personal life was offset by long term career stability, what will Generation Y look for?


There has been largely unfair criticism that Generation Y is less ambitious that previous generations just because they have refused flat out to sign up to corporate doctrine of the long working hours and the hard slog without something in return. Generation Y is just as ambitious as previous generations. But rather than success being defined for them as it was for the baby boomers, and to some degree Generation X, Generation Y seems to want to define what success is for them as individuals, than for one collective group reading the marketing literature at the university or corporate careers fair.


Society is full of influencers – our personal circle (family and friends), educational institutions, corporations, the mass media (more mass by the year). Who I am to tell anybody what Generation Y wants? I’m just Generation X, the ones impacted by the switch of the job for life to the job for as long as you have one. I’m part of the group who first saw the possibility to adapt to the new realisation. Generation Y though seem to be laying down a marker for what they want when we ask them: to be happy; both personal and professional development, and that means allowing them time away from the workplace to do so; they are more aware of and interested in corporate social responsibility than previous groups and like helping others; they want to develop all relationships, not just those in the meeting rooms or those that will allow them to climb a company ladder quicker. Whatever it is that they want, we need to think about engagement not just during an interview process, but during the entire employee life cycle.


It seems that for HR departments and multinationals wanting to engage and attract Generation Y talent into their workforce, there is a need to switch their thinking. Rather than telling Generation Y what success means in their companies, they should ask them.

September 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Generation Y and the changing way we work

I recently interviewed a candidate born in 1990, and began thinking. To this person the Cold War meant as much as the Vietnam War did to me – I know it happened, because I’ve read history books and watched countless movies. I never actually lived it though. My candidate may have understood the importance of the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the concept of an East and a West Germany, may have even read a John Le Carre novel, but she never lived them.

I read a report this week that Generation Y, those born between 1979 and 1997, will be the dominant age group in the workforce in ten year’s time. As the baby boomers , those born between 1946 and 1964, leave the workforce, so we will have to rethink our workspace, our office design, and our recruiting and retention strategies. We are facing an important generation shift, according to a 2010 report (see link below for credit and full article on

According to the article Generation Y rates high the importance of having an “engaging workplace” and low the “quality of meeting rooms”. Baby Boomers on the other hand, stated the exact opposite. Whereas Gen Y likes quick and casual meetings, so the Baby Boomers liked structured, face-to-face meetings, because that’s how they usually got things done.

To baby boomers the office location, size and décor was a status marker. In contrast to Gen Y, a status symbol is more likely to be the latest gadget. As somebody involved in helping to set HR strategy, it’s more important than work life balance; it’s more about a blended work-life approach, about learning and development opportunities, involvement in interesting projects, and an engaging and connected work environment.

Work is becoming an activity for Gen Y, and not the place that it was perceived by the Baby Boomers. There is a shift from the Baby Boomer’s idea of the fixed, elegant office to the functional office of Gen X and now the Gen Y trend where employees are encouraged to move around, and change work space according to their tasks; Gen Y is seeking collaboration and innovation.

So where does that leave those of us that were born in between, the so called Generation X? (those born between 1965 and 1978). Whereas the Baby Boomers had jobs for life, Gen X grew up with financial and work insecurity. Gen Y on the other hand not only does not seek job security, they accept a pact with companies, “You can remove me whenever you like. And I can look for a new job whenever I like.” Gen X fought for job security, until experience told them it didn’t exist. Gen Y doesn’t even look for it.

September 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment