Leading teams in changing times

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Before we can lead and expect people to follow, we must be able to understand and connect.

As John Maxwell quips: “If you’re leading, and no one’s following- you’re just out for a walk.”

Our research shows that the ideal manager of the emerging generations is one who values communication and creates an environment of transparency and respect for staff. Their preferred leadership style is simply one that is more consensus than command, more participative than autocratic, and more flexible and organic than structured and hierarchical.

Here are 5 tips on how to lead people, your team or your organisation, so that people will follow.

Prioritise People

Leaders prioritise culture and build it within their organisation. By knowing your purpose (that is, what you do and why you exist) you can instil this into your team, and lead with a values-based vision.

Be Collaborative

The best leaders intersect the differing levels of their organisation to make a cohesive and united team. While you might have senior leaders, managers and executives within an organisation, leaders bring these roles together to create alignment under the one vision.

Focus on the positives

Leaders focus on the positives, spread words of affirmation and celebrate the wins within their team. When things don’t go to plan, leaders initiate a culture of focusing on the positives, and using the negatives for improvement.

Shape the culture

Effective leaders shape a culture of participation, not isolation. Collaboration is key for 21st Century organisations, and by utilising the different skill sets and talents within a team, leaders will not only find more effective solutions and ideas but also bring out the potential in the members of their team.

Be proactive, not reactive

Leaders are proactive, not reactive. A proactive leader is one who sees opportunities or potential, and acts to make effective change, rather than waiting to respond. They are not victims of change but rather see the trends, shape a response and create the future.

So in a world of flat structures and consultative practices, it is leaders who coach and mentor rather than command and control, who understand and connect with their teams who will see people follow them.

About our leadership workshops

In a world of flat structures and consultative practices, coaching and mentoring has replaced commanding and controlling. This session delivers the latest findings on how to effectively motivate and lead teams in these 21st Century times. This session covers:

  • Overview of the best HR practices for today
  • Attraction and engagement strategies
  • Management strategies that connect with an intergenerational workforce

  • About Ashley Fell - Team Leader of Communications at McCrindle

    Ashley Fell is a social researcher, trends analyst and Team Leader of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst she understands the need for organisations to communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage and motivate them. 

    From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms, content creation and event management, Ashley is well positioned to advise how to achieve cut through in these message-saturated times. Her expertise is in training and equipping leaders and teams on how to communicate across generational barriers.

    Wealth and Income Distribution State V State

    Monday, July 25, 2016

    Australia has long been considered the land of the middle class, but in recent years the gap has been widening between the rich and the poor. When it comes to the battle of the states, which corner of Australia scores the highest and the lowest on the income and wealth report? Will the Baby Boomer generation continue their stronghold on our national wealth?

    Is Australia still the land of the middle class?

    It is hanging in there, but it’s under pressure. We have seen some hollowing out in the middle of the earnings and a bit of spread to either end. The average annual household earnings are around $107,000 however the lowest fifth of households earn 20% of this while the top fifth average almost three times this. That means that the top fifth of households are taking home about 12 times what the bottom fifth of households are earning.

    Most Aussies have their wealth tied up in their homes, how does ownership compare with the top, middle and lower classes?

    The average wealth (if you liquidate everything and pay off all your debts, what are you left with) is about $800,000. The bottom 1 in 5 have a net worth of just $35,000, the top 20% of all household have a net worth of about $2,500,000. That means that the top fifth of households have about 62% of Australia’s wealth, and the bottom fifth take less than 1% of Australia’s national private wealth. So that's a big difference in wealth across these households.

    Which states are best and worst performers when we are looking just at income?

    The mining boom in WA has really done a great thing over there and so they are leading the earnings chart, with the ACT not too far behind with public servant wages doing pretty well. At the bottom of the tree you have Tasmania, earning about $50,000 less per annum, per household, than what we have in the west.

    What Makes a City the Most Liveable?

    Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    What makes a state or city liveable? Is it the low crime rate, affordability, ease of travel or is it simply the weather? We have compared some of the major factors and revealed what Aussies really think.


    If you take the average weekly earnings, subtract the average weekly mortgage repayments based on house costs, you find that NSW doesn’t do too well, it is earning 20% above the average, but the houses are 64% above the average, so NSW works out to be the worst in terms of income after housing. But WA is on top of the charts, with the ACT doing pretty well also.

    Ease of travel

    We took the centre of population of each of our capital cities, the mid-point of the population sprawl where as many people live north, as south of this point, and as many east, as west. From this centre of living we measured the average, non-peak hour driving time to the centre of the CBD marked by the GPO of each capital. We found that as we would probably expect, Sydney was the longest drive, about 33 minutes to get from the centre of population to the centre of the city, but the quickest trip of all was Brisbane with just 8 minutes.

    Crime rates

    This is the number of offenders per annum, per 100 people and the Territories book end the data here, with the ACT with the lowest crime rate nationally and the Northern Territory as the highest crime rate and the other states right in the middle. As measured by crime rates, the ACT is Australia’s safest place to live.


    We measured this by looking at the average number of sunny days - totally clear days in a year. Tasmania not doing too well with a lot of cloudy, overcast days, but WA takes the crown with the most number of sunny days in any given year.

    Watch Mark McCrindle's full interview on The Daily Edition here

    A Snapshot of Education Across Australia

    Monday, July 18, 2016

    We have been looking at different aspects of life in Australia and we are turning our focus on how each state rates when it comes to education. Are we more educated than we used to be? In 1986 49% of students completed year 12 and these days its fast approaching 90%.

    Let’s talk about tertiary education across the generations

    We are becoming an even cleverer country as measured by university completion so if we look at the Baby Boomers, 1 in 5 have a university degree, for Generation X, that’s 1 in 4, for Generation Y its 1 in 3 but for today’s school students, about 1 in 2 of them will end up with a university degree in their lifetime.

    How does university attendance compare across the states?

    If we look at 18 – 24 year olds, who are full time students, we have the ACT and Victoria leading the charge there and the other states not too far behind, while the Northern Territory is a fair way behind.

    When looking at school performance, which state is performing the best as they hit year 7?

    The NAPLAN results allows us to compare across Australia. If you look at the percentage of students in year 7 who are above the national minimum standard, again good results across the board. ACT and Victoria again leading Australia as far as the proportion of students above the standards. The other states are close behind, again with the Northern Territory a bit off the pace.

    Having an education usually means a lower risk of unemployment, how did the states rate?

    Pretty good, Australia as a whole is going very well, with 5.7% unemployment, that’s well below a lot of comparable nations. It has gone down this year, not up and if you look at the states that are doing better than that with a lower unemployment rate, the Northern Territory and ACT are performing best however some other states particularly South Australia and Tasmania are a bit behind.

    Watch Mark McCrindle's full interview on The Daily Edition here

    The Shopper's Pick: Understanding Australia's new village green

    Thursday, July 14, 2016

    This year we were delighted to write up and design the third and latest report in the Trolley Trends Series, ‘The Shoppers Pick’ for Woolworths Limited. From developing the survey through to conducting the analysis, this report is the perfect blend of quality research with segmentation and visuals, making the research easy to consume.

    With 1 in 5 (20%) Australian supermarket customers going to the supermarket at least once a week, the report reveals that a record number of people (44%) consider the local shopping centre to be central to community life and has truly established itself as the new village green – a place for connection and engagement with the wider community, perhaps even more so than the local pub, school or community centre.

    It is the theme of local which is clearly the key message of ‘The Shopper’s Pick’, which provides a unique look into modern Australia’s living, eating and shopping habits today.


    As Australia becomes increasingly connected to global economies and new technologies, there is an equal if not stronger desire among shoppers to support Australian made products and local growers. It is increasingly important to Australian shoppers to know where their food comes from.

    More than half of Australian shoppers (52%) state that buying local food is extremely or very important to them. In fact, around a quarter of shoppers prefer to purchase meat and poultry, bread and grains, and seafood and fish that are sourced locally in their own region rather than sourced further afield in their own state or within another region in Australia.


    Australians are impacted in different ways by the changing seasons. Australia’s Seasonal Personalities explores the different personalities of Australians and the impact seasons have on their lifestyle. Which Seasonal Personality are you?


    Australians are becoming increasingly health conscious and aware of the foods they consume. This trend towards healthy eating is demonstrated in the increase of health foods being included by Australians in their weekly shop.

    Just over half of shoppers (52%) buy health food products weekly (i.e. sugar free, additive free, gluten free, dairy free, organic, raw, salt free or vegan), with sugar free products the most likely to be on Australians’ shopping lists and purchased by just over half of shoppers (51%), followed by organic and raw foods (both at 35%), and additive free foods (27%).


    Australians are a nation of savvy shoppers, who seek products that are value for money. Nearly 7 in 10 shoppers (69%) state that buying on discount is extremely or very important to them. These values are reflected in the ingredients they purchase for meals cooked at home, with 99% of Australian shoppers saying price is an important factor they take into consideration. As part of being savvy shoppers, Australians are also creative savers. Almost 6 in 10 shoppers (58%) save money by purchasing groceries based on weekly specials, while just over half (52%) save money by writing a shopping list and sticking to it. Stocking up and bulk-buying are two other ways Australians save money, with just over half of shoppers (53%) currently saving money by stocking up on discounted non-perishables.

    This report follows on from the 2014 Trolley Trends Report which focused on the increasing importance of ‘Fresh’ amongst the Australian population. The report also found that one of the most common community connections for Australians is the local shopping centre. To access the Future of Fresh report, please click here.

    World Population Day; a snapshot of Australia’s population state vs. state

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    Today is World Population Day, so let's take a look at different aspects of Australia's demographics and how each of our states stack up. Sydney’s headcount will hit 5 million later this year, but can it keep its place as the nation’s biggest city? The state of Queensland is also set to mark a major milestone, as it hits 5 million, while Melbourne has maintained its lead as Australia's fastest growing city.

    what will a population of 5 million mean for Sydney?

    More densification and more urbanisation. 1 in 5 Australians lives in Sydney and it’s been one of the fastest growing cities and from a population perspective it’s Australia's leading city. For every new detached home that is built in Sydney, you now have 2 units or townhouses, so it’s the vertical communities not just the horizontal ones – that’s what will mark Sydney’s future as the city continues to grow.

    NSW is going to hit 8 million, but Queensland is going to hit a milestone too

    Queensland is closing in on the 5 million mark, and around the same time, Sydney gets to 5 million. Queensland is interesting because it’s the most decentralised of our states, more than half of the population lives outside of its capital of Brisbane. It’s has 11 of Australia's 30 largest cities, while NSW only has 5. For NSW, two thirds of the whole state lives in the one city of Sydney.

    In terms of population growth, how do the other capital cities compare with Sydney?

    It’s really all about Sydney and Melbourne, in terms of the size of the cities, they are the largest cities. We have slower growing states like South Australia and Tasmania - in fact Melbourne is adding more people every 11 days than Tasmania adds in an entire year at the moment.

    By comparison, how slow is South Australia’s growth?

    It is quite slow, it was 1959 that Sydney got to 2 million people, Adelaide won’t get to 2 million until 2055, about a century after Sydney got there. While it’s the fifth largest city, it’s a long way off the pace of Sydney and Melbourne. Interestingly, in the year that both Sydney and Melbourne get to 8 million, it will be in that year that Adelaide gets to 2 million.

    Why is South Australia’s growth so small?

    This hasn’t had the historical scale and growth of the Eastern capitals. While it has the lifestyle and housing affordability, it hasn’t been Australia's business capital in the same way that Sydney and Melbourne have been however, with new state government incentives, this may start to change. 

    View Mark's full interview on The Daily Edition here

    Digital Thumbprint; Social Media Trends Study

    Monday, July 04, 2016

    We were delighted to have been commissioned by Optus to conduct research into the increased use and implications of online selfies with a focus on the role played by parents in guiding their children’s online behaviour. This national research has been launched in partnership with Optus and their Digital Thumbprint Education Program, and revealed some interesting insights into the attitudes of Australia's next generations towards online safety and selfie regret.

    Social media has taken the world by storm, with Facebook reaching 1 billion active users in 6 years. Today, Facebook has already exceeded the population of China at 1.4 billion users, while YouTube boasts 4 billion views per day. The report reveals that young adults (aged 18-25) and parents in Australia share in this statistic, with over 9 in 10 (93% and 92% respectively) of those who have at least one active social media account being active on Facebook.

    The research found that one in four parents (25%) own a social media account to monitor their child’s online activities.

    It also found that teens say they obsessively compare their life and achievements with others, with one in three admitting they regretted one or more selfies they had shared online. A quarter of 18 to 25-year-olds said they were affected by FOMO – the fear of missing out – and so were hooked on social media. 

    "While at first it may seem self-obsessed to put photos up on Instagram of yet another selfie or the lunch we are about to eat, there is actually more to it than that. Individuals are taking photos of themselves to share their experience with others – it’s keeping in touch, trying to connect and communicate.” - Mark McCrindle.

     Find out more about the findings of the study in the below infographic:

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