Gen Z: a brave transatlantic voyage

Many companies are playing catch-up on how to recruit and retain Generation Z (you know, people born between 1996 and 2010). Many are scrambling to get a handle on the new world order for US-UK relations and perceptions. Enter the (Young) Braves strategic, transatlantic co-lab.

US Embassy, Brave ambassadors

A Reluctantly Brave team answered the call from the US Embassy in London to get the answer to how US & UK companies can attract and retain Gen Z in this unpredictable, new environment.

The Embassy wanted to see the possibilities for uncovering unexpected insights through young people collaborating from across the UK and US. They came to the right place.

The power of inclusion

We assembled an amazing blend of people for a 2-week, intensive journey through cross-sector and cross-cultural approaches to getting Gen Z excited about working in the corporate world.

Backgrounds and experiences were hugely diverse, the 2 weeks carefully set up to bring the best out of the blend, with guidance from the Reluctantly Brave crew.

The core team was split between 6 UK and 2 US young people, with a total of 21 people involved:

  • Age range 17-35
  • Nationalities from Algerian to American
  • Languages from Polish to Nigerian
  • London innercity high school students, to current US college undergrads, to Oxford graduates

The team explored a huge range of opinions through openness to massively differing mindsets. They started out feeling strange – coming from lives that were actually highly homogenous, to having to work and bond with such different people.

The project built on the quantitative research and recommendations of a Reluctantly Brave-sponsored 5-month research paper by a student from Fontys Academy for the Creative Industries (Tilburg, The Netherlands).

Supported and stimulated by our millennial and Gen Z expertise, they worked together on key, transatlantic perceptions of each other, companies, work and culture. They filtered stereotypes from facts. They split insights into the categories “Culture” and “Workplace” – and sprung from these to recommendations for both UK and US corporations.

Their big takeout from the Embassy challenge to uncover deeper insights?

Don’t get hung up on external differences: get stuck into the richness of people’s diverse mindsets and opinions.

Solutions fast

The 2 weeks ended in a big presentation by the core team to an audience including US Embassy staff, a high-profile businesswoman and Cambridge don, a board member of a US investment bank and an East London entrepreneur. They were given 5 key insights and 4 strategic recommendations for engaging future employees from Gen Z.

They were blown away:

“I learned so much from the Generation Y and Z event. I’m now hooked on learning more about this completely alien group of people.”

The (Young) Braves were pretty pumped about it too:

“It was pretty nerve-wracking to start, but it was amazing to speak to people I never thought I’d speak to, and give them ideas they could actually use.”

The outputs? See our next blog, or get in touch for more details.

Written by:

Ibukun, Lynna, Henry, Dennis, Jake & Ellen, (Young) Braves

Adam, Partner, Reluctantly Brave