Creating a culture of wellbeing: Leading in times of Change

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

That our world is changing and shifting is not surprising – it’s the key definer of our times. On the one hand the centripetal force of change can push us towards constant innovation. We can be invigorated by the newness around us, so that our means of communication, the way we work and the spaces in which we engage are ever-evolving.

On the other, the speed and scale of change can leave us feeling overwhelmed as we work out how to navigate and juggle complex personal and professional demands.

As leaders, we often find ourselves leading teams of individuals immersed in the rapid uptake of change. Our teams respond to this change in different ways – some with a type of change fatigue in which new initiatives are merged with the old, rather than looking to new horizons. Others respond with change apathy, checking out altogether.

 In these fast-moving times, how do we lead ourselves, our teams, and our organisations through times of change?

Leadership author John C Maxwell once said that in order to lead others, we must first learn to lead ourselves. He also advised, “If you’re leading and no one is following, you’re just out for a walk.” Leadership begins by looking inward, rather than outward. It begins by taking a look at your personal values alignment, learning style, and wellness gauge.

  • Your values alignment: How do your personal passions and strengths align with the ethos and values of the organisation that you are a part of? Recognising areas where your personal passions align with your organisation’s passions will give a greater sense of energy and purpose to your work.
  • Your learning style: How do you learn, get inspired, and stay motivated? As leaders, it’s important to stay fresh by identifying sources of personal inspiration – it could be simple things like reading content that inspires, carving out down-time, or networking with leaders who are just that one step ahead of where you are.
  • Your wellness gauge: How are you tracking in terms of your energy levels and personal wellbeing? Busy lives leave little space for margin and it’s more important than ever before to carve out time to be adaptable and flexible. Manage your screen time and bring in more green time, watch your health and nutrition, and create some space for reflection and deep thinking.

The leadership styles that the new generations respond to are those that embody collaboration, authenticity, mutual understanding and empowerment. When it comes to building resilient teams, it’s not just about processes and policies, but about helping individuals thrive in complex and ever-changing business environments. Our research has identified several key drivers among young workers that motivate them towards engagement:

  • The drive for complexity and challenge: Today’s career-starters are full of innovative ideas towards problems and thrive on identifying solutions. Creating space for the cultivation of ideas and innovation is key not only for better organisational performance but strong employee engagement. When was the last time you gave your team permission to step up to the challenge of solving your most critical problem?
  • The drive for variability and flexibility: Empowering your team to take control of their workload provides them with the opportunity to structure their day towards their most productive times and builds greater levels of team trust. When team members are engaged with the vision and have the skills they need to drive the team forward, hands-off management is always better than micro-management.
  • The drive for community and belonging: In an era where movement is a constant and flux is inevitable, workplace communities have become 21st century families. Establishing a team culture where individuals themselves are celebrated (not just their work-related wins) is critical to developing work-place tribes.

Organisational change is up to all of us, and moving ahead as an organisation involves directing individuals at all levels into forward horizons by leveraging the team’s combined power for innovation. We each lead by example by creating the initiatives and by driving the culture.

In our work with hundreds of organisations across Australia, we have identified several consistent characteristics evident within organisations that have thrived in times of change. These include:

  • Organisations who scan the external horizon. By understanding the current demographic, economic, social, and technological environment, leadership teams are able to make robust and solid decisions that guide their organisation towards its future. While the future can seem uncertain, getting a grasp on the current environment adds confidence to the decision-making process that is needed to stir a ship in a new direction.
  • Organisations who commit to being the ‘only ones’ at what they do. We consistently watch organisations position themselves alongside their competitors to understand what the market is offering. Yet it’s so easy to get caught up in ‘keeping up’ that we lose track of the unique abilities that only our teams can bring. Look inside at who is on your team before looking outward to what you can bring. Commit to carving out a niche that is true to who you are, not what your competitors are offering.
  • Organisations who put their people first. Organisational leadership is at its best when people are the priority. There are countless ways to create value for individuals within your teams (50 Best Places to Work 2016 features just some of them!), and when people thrive, not only is there lower turnover and a larger applicant base, but client relationships are at their peak, there is better innovation, greater productivity, and more sustained long-term business growth.

-Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle.

At the Australian Communities Forum 2016 on October 13th she will give an overview of each generation in the workforce and some analysis of their needs and expectations, as well as strategies to manage change, inspire innovation and create a collaborative and adaptive organisation.

Purchase your ticket here

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


resilience 2013 Australian Census focus group unemployment Australian demographics moreton bay socialites entrepreneurial training Australia Day 2017 Assistant Store Manager Australian Dream ideas commuters economy hills shire ACF parents real tableau New Zealand skills facts overcast mythbusters earn future case study Financial Planning Association of Australia teaching cancel plans sun cultural diversity rising house prices ACF 2016 cost of living housing high density goals mining boom faux-cilising state ethnography national crime rates suburb social commentary property price long weekend forum Australian Families business index Kiwi research data travel baby boomers water high school children Valentine’s Day Queensland Australian Trends Northern beaches Event housing trends census fail tertiary education Christmas presents wealth distribution McCrindle Speakers Canberra prince george typical australian futurist affordable Sydney Scouts graphs youth engagement poker master volunteers life conference presentation capital cities Netflix CBD plans forecasting learn collaborative presentations monarchy australian communities forum google for education NSW vegemite hello fresh resource HSC young people consumerism 2016 census The Daily Edition gen z Generation X define trend tuesday waverton aged care puzzle video 1975 January 26th urban living social analysis internships apartment story manly cars Word Up cash employment transport Adelaide omnibus social research local communities 10 years "know the times" friendship survey changing face of sydney going out media activity emerging generations product news office space tips Australians population domestic market research dreaming social commentator engage wellbeing FOMO census 2016 work mates huffington post global media commentary sydneysiders sector kate middleton Australian schools know the times poor Tuesday Trends work 23 million workforce urban living index generation alpha marrickville new york times motivate report clothing hornsby lalor park researcher priorities research pack Hornsby Shire Council speakers parenting education future generations optus my business awards city Australian communities cancelling plans mother's day trends of 2016 politics capital city sydney event high density living criminal national private wealth Aussie New Zeland consumer small business world leadership marriage non profit narcissism Geoff Brailey renter of the future etiquette event sustainable renting stats cancelling event Births customer language repayments generational trends participants faux-cilise ashley mckenzie families national wealth social researchers shopper's pick 40 million leader newspaper learning styles relevant Real Estate rental stress sector wide study Northern Beaches rise of local brand experience bondi trends of 2017 royal influence Royals REIV Conference personalities mccrindle tea darwin australian communities trends report qualitative research focus groups keynote speaker teacher the average aussie land of the middle class click house the australian dream australians staying home more socialising events meetings SMSF professional responsive GPO christianity curiosity church winter bus staff fresh anzac global generations System's Architect environmental scanning ipswich 2012 financial fears mortgage infographic change home 2014 experience wage deloitte generation Z teleworking schools students cloudy days ACT households housing market social lives house price rise rule keeper unaffordable research publication mccrindle in the media social life program research services shbc alpha online average aussie networking Christmas season acf15 forecast identity 24,000,000 wealth and income distribution investing child care buildings travelling young australians Kirsten Brewer entrepreneur train Crime Rates financial future christian shopping professional development dessert holidays social enquiry conference trends analyst baby name trends middle class weather ageing investment Melbourne sydney speaker research visualisation daily commute society trends infographic wall demographics authenticity ashley fell Duchess of Cambridge financial demographic transformations group house price twentyseventeen Western Australia townhouses millionth Northern Beaches Christian School safe car eliane tv emerging technologies Caregiver google university government learning media women lifestyle Channel 7 menai blaxland couple baby names teachers career financial independence sydney metro keynote organisations SA educhat baby boom Financial Planning Association bureau moderators guide hobart mateship presentation income christmas sunny days cooking in the media rent generation affordability in depth interviews entrepreneurs of today energy Australian Bureau of Statistics optus DESTEL financial dreams litter salary celebration wolloomooloo social media easy rider professional services Res Vis household royal family VIC census results pyrmont work-life equip 2016 census results offenders millennials TDE residents trends trend increasing densification storytelling environment property market area baby name happiness #censusfail owning a home social issues FPA society conference speaker mccrindle australia vegetarian sunburnt country thought leadership survey design population milestone future proofing 2020 IT Specialists annual income employers innovative dare to dream Wagga Wagga shifts JOMO Population Clock future of education tattoos Australia Day healthy future 2015 ultimo visual baby name predictions medicine workshop ease of travel the changing face of weekly earnings debate Love home owner digital data royal baby new office intern Australian Communities Trends social NT education research rain selfie Christchurch rich education sector the hills shire men population map 2016 award winner business 1968 Do It Yourself New South Wales social trends baby names australia report grandparents year 12 data visualisation names australian social research budget property culturally diverse leadership workshop internship Bathburst wages social change investor statistics EFF the hills Tasmania NEETs father's day workplace culture internet charity student demographer contiki faux-ciliser Christmas lunch brisbane high density apartments states emerging trends thrive The ABC of XYZ students interactive WA wealth and income communications slideshare mccrindle research media release relational tea social impact 2017 divorce insights urban taskforce sector wide outsourcing professional speaker DIY university degree social shifts living dream year 7 fears public speaking Queensland: QLD list social researcher education royal aged care winter blues population growth mover and shaker baby names report World Water Day wealth suburban living coffee conferences Gen Y house prices post rationalism mythbusting visualisation innovation community event demographic workplace village office housing growth Myth earning Channel Seven suburbs mentor jobs of the future TAS sports Wodonga debt toys public speaker Australian Home technology builders commute Gen X victoria future of work results supply and demand public holiday follow community engagement spend megatrends analysis retirement challenge urban communicate Education Future Forum geomapping proactive organisational culture baby gender low density global financial crisis Aussies eliane miles careers communication jobs potts point Financial Planning Week daily telegraph Engineering Manager February 16 norwest Research Executive nfp school satisfaction friends housing affordability home ownership demographic trends staying in balance REIV National Conference culture religion crows nest Social Trend local wedding not for profit perth recap communities school marriages goal personal growth hopes ageing population millenials ABS earnings gen alpha woolworths education future report summer divorce rate pharmacy Northern Territory sentiments ferry 24 million future proof Wellington economic schools sydney hills sydneycity holiday Mark McCrindle mobile gold coast entertainment easter greatness Tuesday Trend brand group session growing population snapshot aussie culture meals world youth day logan Real Estate Institute of Victoria insight finance Territory study not-for-profit educated paying to work cartodb tuesday PSI princess charlotte cold collaboration online shopping data analyst seasons school students quote Charlotte cost South Australia Generation Y teach community Merry Christmas census brands optimistic English stay home pharmacies award neutral bay youth unemployment panel crime Sydney keynote speaker office opening learner 1980 1994 marketing Deaths food family future-proof growth