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New book explores what happens when Gen Y hits the workplace

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 9, 2010 10:46 AM

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inno-gen-book.jpgOut later this month from Boston entrepreneur Jennifer Floren is "The Innovation Generation: The Gen Y Way & How New Thinking Can Reclaim the American Dream." Floren is founder and CEO of Experience, a company that links students, colleges, and employers to help students and recent grads find fulfilling internships and jobs.

The book makes the case that more than ever, employers need to be clever about identifying and hiring the best entry-level talent. "A lot of companies don't do internships or hiring of students, or get their front-line people into the world of education as mentors, and that's a huge missed opportunity," Floren says. If they don't, as the Baby Boomers start to retire en masse, "that's going to put them at a competitive disadvantage," she says.

The book makes the case that Gen Y brings a new perspective to the office that differs from older employees — especially with regard to communications technologies and social networking. That can create management challenges, Floren admits, but it "can also be applied in your organization to fuel innovation."

Floren says she started writing the book only last year, booking a few days at a time on her schedule exclusively for writing.

Floren started Experience when she was 24, just after leaving a consulting job at Bain & Co. Since then, the company has raised about $46 million in venture capital (most of it used for acquisitions, Floren says.) The company achieved profitability in 2006, and today has just over 40 employees.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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