Leading Teams in Changing Times with Ashley Fell

Friday, February 02, 2018

Leadership. There must be thousands of blogs, articles and books written about it. It's certainly front of mind for almost anyone who works in a team.

However, being an effective leader today is implicated by the inter-generational workplaces that are emerging. Where Baby Boomers and Gen Zeds, who have different expectations, learning habits and communication styles, collide.

Our research shows that the ideal manager is one who values communication and creates an environment of transparency and respect for staff.

Particularly for the emerging generations, their preferred leadership style is 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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Ashley Fell, Head of Communications at McCrindle

About Ashley Fell

Ashley Fell is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst and media commentator, she understands how to effectively communicate across diverse audiences.

From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms, content creation and event management, Ashley advises on how to achieve cut through in message-saturated times. She is an expert in how to communicate across generational barriers.

Download Ashley's professional speakers pack here. 

Black Friday Sales in Australia

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Black Friday is the retail super-day popular in the US and in 2017 it is November 24. It is the day following the Thanksgiving public holiday and in some states it is an additional holiday. 

All of this has combined to make it the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season, and the biggest single shopping day of the year. 

It has grown significantly over the last decade and last year, more than 100 million Americans went shopping on this one day, ringing up sales exceeding US$50 billion. For many stores, Black Friday and the shopping season launches a revenue boon that pushes revenues into the black, thus the eponymous name.

Without the Thanksgiving marker, or any public holidays, Black Friday is currently not a big event in Australia. In fact this national research we have just conducted shows that less than 1 in 20 Australians (4.7%) are expecting sales, and more than 1 in 4 (27%) have never even heard of it.

40% of Australians say Black Friday doesn’t really happen in Australia and another 39% don’t know.

Most Australians (54%) don’t know whether Black Friday is online only or also in stores.

Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, popular for online shopping super sales, has even lower awareness in Australia. Considering we are in a global marketplace, used to adopting retail trends from the US, the current low awareness of these sale super-days in Australia may be a surprise. However, the mass engagement with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US is really only a decade old, and so the years ahead will see a higher profile for these sale days in Australia.

Australians are up for a bargain, whatever the day is called, with 1 in 3 Australians (34%) agreeing that they will definitely be looking out for stores offering discounts. Even without the tradition of these sales, or the associated public holidays, late November presents an ideal opportunity for local retailers to kick start their Christmas sales, and so we can expect to hear more about Black Friday in coming years.

Download the summary report here.

Mark McCrindle in the media

SBS "Will Amazon join Australia's Black Friday party?"

Courier Mail "Black Friday 2017 sales: Australia missing out on best shopping deals because of ignorance"

Gen Z Career Aspirations & the Future of Work

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What do Gen Z aspire to be when they grow up? Social researcher Eliane Miles was recently asked to unpack the latest findings from the Australian Institute on Family Studies on ABC The Drum.

Gender-based career preferences

The research identified there are significant gender differences among Gen Zs aged 14 and 15 when they think about their possible futures. Boys gravitate most towards engineering (14% of those who stated an occupation), information technology (10%), construction (9%), automotive (8%), or sports (6%), while the top five occupations chosen by girls were medical professionals (13%), education professionals (11%), legal (11%), personal services (7%), and performance arts (7%). Just three occupations (health, design, and performance arts) overlapped among both genders when looking at the top ten list.

Girls need more inspiration to move towards STEM

While are naturally career preferences that appeal to each gender (with Eliane’s commentary highlighting that this is strongly linked to parental influence, as shown in our work with the Career Industry Council of Australia), there are challenges that may emerge for women in future-proofing their careers.

We know that Australia’s workforce is at the cusp of significant change. In 2030, the majority of the jobs that we will do (85%, according to Dell Technologies) are not yet invented. Yet 75% of the fastest growing careers require STEM skills – qualifications and skills in science, technology, engineering and maths. As we look across Australia’s educational landscape, just 16% of STEM graduates in our nation are female, highlighting the continuing need to lift the profile of STEM careers for female school-leavers among parents, educators, and media personalities.

Fantasies or a new work order?

There were a disproportionate number of ‘fantasy-type’ occupations listed in the AIFS study, things like ICT (‘games developer’, ‘YouTuber’, and ‘blogger’), sports (professional AFL player), and performing arts (actor, ballet dancer). And, not surprisingly, 41% of young people aged 14 and 15 didn’t have a clue as to what they want to do when they are older.

This uncertainty of the future is to be expected, and not only among Gen Z. In an era of multiple careers, lifelong learning, the gig-economy, in which digital disruption is bringing whole sectors to an end, and new jobs are emerging each year (nanotechnology, virtual reality engineers, user-experience managers, data designers etc.), what will the future of work look like?

Our average length of job tenure is now less than three years, and three in ten workers now work casually or contractually (up from one in ten three decades ago). Today’s school leaver will have multiple jobs (17) across many (5+) careers, and part of their reality on the job is that they will constantly be learning. We all will be. By 2030, workers will be spending at least 30% more time on the job learning.

As the workforce shifts (with 32% of our workforce comprised of Gen Z in a decade’s time), so will our mindsets in regards to careers and the future of work. Yes, Gen Zs will bring idealism and self-assuredness, but they will also bring a new wave of entrepreneurialism that might just be what we need to face disruption and manage change. They, and we all, will need to increase our level of critical thinking, problem solving, and digital skills as we move towards this new reality.

About Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, business strategist and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. From the key demographic transformations such as population growth and the ageing workforce to social trends such as changing household structures and emerging lifestyle expectations, from generational change to the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends. 

If you would like to have Eliane Miles speak at your next event, please feel free to get in touch. 

Download Eliane's full speakers pack here and view her show reel video below.

Attracting and retaining Millennials in the workplace

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

If you ask any HR department, attracting and retaining talent is not an easy task - especially when it comes to Gen Y - or the Millennials - as they are often known. Millennials are in their mid-20s and 30s and by 2020 they'll comprise more than a third of the workforce. Our Team Leader of Communications Ashley Fell spoke to Jon Dee on Sky News about how to get the best out of Millennials as employees.

What are some of the key differences between Millennials and the generations that went before them when it comes to careers and the workplace?

Millennials have spent longer in education than previous generations. More than 1 in 3 have a university degree compared to 1 in 5 Baby Boomers. With this comes greater expectations around career trajectory and opportunity. While the Baby Boomers were shaped in an era of greater job security and career stability, today’s emerging workforce have seen sectors like manufacturing decline and new jobs like App Developer, Cyber Security and Social Media Marketer become mainstream.

The rise of the gig economy where people may hold down multiple roles or are more freelancer, contractor and contingent worker than employee means that we have moved away from job for life, and career for life. The national average job tenure is three years per employer, which means that school leavers today will have 17 separate jobs across an estimated 5 careers. While Boomers developed their career by showing loyalty within an organisation and climbing the rank, Millennials are shaped in a work culture where careers are developed by moving across organisations, grabbing opportunities and gaining experience across organisations and industries.

When it comes to the workforce, what are Millennials looking for in their place of employment?

Millennials are looking for Culture, Purpose and Impact.

Culture refers to the workplace community, the way the staff interact, the values that they hold. It’s the ‘who’ of the organisation, the people, and how they do what they do. Culture is important to Millennials because the workplace is one of the main social crossroads through which todays Millennials now pass. They are looking for social interaction, professional collegiality and connection at work.

Purpose refers to the ‘why’ of an organisation. It’s the big picture of what the organisation is about, their reason for existence, their vision. Millennials are more likely to consider the ‘higher-order drivers’ (such as the triple bottom line, volunteer days, organisational values, corporate giving programs, further study, training and personal development) as important when looking for a job.

Impact refers to the contribution team members can make to achieve this vision. It’s no longer just enough to provide a fair days pay for a fair day’s work, this generation want to know that their own contribution is having an impact and making a difference.

What advice would you give to employers who steer clear of younger workers?

Every generation of young people throughout history has copped a bit of bad press from the older generations, and that’s not always without reason. Each generation has strengths, which we should connect with, and weaknesses which we need to keep an eye on.

But the fact is, Australia has an ageing population and with this an ageing workforce. It is just a basic factor of future proofing and forward planning for leaders to start to think about attracting the next layer of talent, leadership succession planning and staff development.

It’s important to remember that Millennials bring the latest education, an innate connection with technology and can connect with their cohort better than any other generation. Diversity – whether that be gender, cultural or generational diversity enhances our workplaces. An organisation gains strength when it not only resembles the society in which it operates but when it brings the different voices into the organisation as well.


Ashley Fell is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst and media commentator she understands how to effectively communicate across diverse audiences. From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms and content creation, Ashley advises on how to achieve cut through in message-saturated times. She is an expert in how to communicate across generational barriers.

Download Ashley's Speaker Pack here, and view her speakers reel below. 

McCrindle Speakers professional presenter showreel

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Our McCrindle Speakers are experienced researchers and engaging presenters, delivering over 150 keynotes, strategy workshops and executive briefings to a range of audiences each year. 


Find out more about their most requested topics, past clients and testimonials in the below speakers pack.

The McCrindle Speakers team

Mark McCrindle is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations. Download Mark's full speakers pack here. 

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, business strategist and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. She is a global trends analyst who not only studies the megatrends, but has herself been shaped as a global citizen. Download Eliane's full speakers pack here. 

Ashley Fell is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst and media commentator she understands how to effectively communicate across diverse audiences. Download Ashley's full speakers pack here. 

Screentime: Making Sense of the iWorld

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Twenty years ago we became subjects of a new world order. A world order in which we started spending more time looking at screens than spending in face to face interaction. Today, each one of us spends, on average, 10 hours and 19 minutes each day looking at digital devices.


When we asked Australians how they spend their time, we found that the top activities Australians do on a weekly basis are indoor activities. Watching television or movies at home (90%) and spending time on social media (78%) top the list.

When asked what Australians would like to be doing less of, we find that we have an aversion towards the things we find ourselves doing. One in five of us would like to decrease the amount of time we spend on social media or the internet, and one in eight of us would like to decrease our television or movie consumption time. 

Regardless of our age or other demographics, we have become the iGen, and a group of global citizens part of a new experiment. A global experiment of digital connectivity that has transformed us to be post-linear, post-structural and post-literate. 

  • Post-linear: We no longer see life in a clear sequence, but rather a series of events that somehow come together in a new order. We don’t go to university or TAFE and end up with a trade or profession, but are entrepreneurial to the core. We up-skill, re-train, re-skill – most of us having 15 jobs across 5 careers in a lifetime.
  • Post-structural: We are post-structural, not needing our life organised in 9-5 modes. We telework, work from home, work from the train, really, we work all the time. We are a truly switched on generation, with more than half of us (54%, among Gen Y workers), admitting that we are always on and never quite feel like we can shut off.
  • Post-literate: Technology has made us post-literate and changed our lexicon and language. New words have entered our vocabulary, whether it be the emoji 'face with tears of joy' or words that aren't words at all, like #hashtag.

Screentime: Who is in control and what happens next?

Our data shows that nearly nine in ten of us have become consumers of social media, rather than contributors. Just 12% are active, sharing our life and engaging with others across social media platforms. There is no doubt that our digital times are changing our communication, our behaviour, and our learning styles. Social media has become the show-reel of our lives, breeding isolation, distraction, and a lesser ability to focus. 

Yet global connection has allowed us to gain insight into areas we never thought possible. Most of the world is now connected with a smart device. Our phones have become our 'third brain', challenging us and expanding our worldviews. In the future, new mediums will enable us to connect with the information currently available to us behind screens, in a way that is truly a part of our normal daily routine and less behind glass.

This global experiment that we find ourselves in presents a new set of challenges for us to grapple with. We have to think about how we navigate this new reality with both our cerebral capacity to think but also the deeper eyes of our heart, responding intuitively to how screens are shaping us and changing us. What future do we envision for the next generation to come, Generation Alpha? 

More than anything, it is about learning quickly from our recent past. We have the ability to create a future for the next generations that we can be proud of by maximising the best technology has to offer while leaving the 'not-so-good' bits behind.   

About Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the megatrends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.

From the key demographic transformations such as population growth to social trends such as changing household structures, to generational change and the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.

To have Eliane Miles present to your organisation on the screenage, Generation Z or the future world of work, please contact Kimberley Linco at kim@mccrindle.com.au or call 02 8824 3422



Recap from the 2016 Census Results

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Rolling around only every 5 years, the Australian Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs. The Census has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia.

Last week, the results of the 2016 Census results were released and revealed a picture of our changing nation. Australia is larger, older, more culturally diverse and less religious than at any other time in history.

At McCrindle, our social researchers are passionate about communicating the insights in clear, accessible and useable ways.

Census media activity

Here is a recap of our media activity from last week’s census release:


Australia Street Infographic

If you lived on an average sized street in Australia comprised of 100 households, and these households were exactly representative of the Australian population, did you know that in a year, your street would see 1.2 marriages, 1.7 deaths and 3.3 births? These 100 households comprise 260 people, 49 dogs and 39 cats! There are 180 cars owned on the street, which each drive, on average, 14,000 kilometres each year.

We are delighted to present the brand new Australia Street infographic based on the just-released census data.

Click here for a summary of the findings from the Census data.

The Millennial Workforce; Creating Culture Purpose and Impact

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Recently our Head of Communications Ashley Fell delivered a presentation titled, The Millennial Workforce; Creating Culture, Purpose and Impact at a range of conferences. From a state-wide aged care conference through to a Millennials marketing event.

Also known as Generation Y, Millennials are born between 1980 and 1994. They are those who lived their formative years or began their careers in the new Millennium.

Millennials seek leadership involvement and career opportunities rather than job security and a stable work environment. What is important to this generation of emerging workers is CPI - Culture, Purpose and Impact.


Millennials thrive on a healthy workplace culture. In addition to training, varied job content, an accessible management style and work/life balance, is a workplace culture and sense of community. Workplace cultures that are fun, inviting, inclusive and provide a sense of community are highly valued by a generation who are delaying traditional life markers, such as getting married and starting a family.


In addition to an engaging workplace culture Millennials are seeking places of employment where they resonate with the values and purpose of the organisation. If the culture is the ‘how’, the purpose is the ‘why’.

Millennials are seeking a higher order than previous generations. When looking for a job, it is about more than just survival and security (remuneration, employment conditions, superannuation, worker entitlements, role description, tenure and job security).

The social aspects – such as opportunities for collaboration, social events, co-working spaces and team building – are even more important. 

What Millennials consider most important when looking for a job are the ‘higher-order drivers’, such as the triple bottom line (people, profit and planet), volunteer days, organisational values, corporate giving programs, career pathways, further study, training and personal development.


In addition to culture and purpose, Millennials are looking for an organisation where they can have an impact. Millennials want to contribute to something bigger than themselves. They want to be challenged in their work, make a contribution and celebrate the wins.

As different sectors seeks to attract, recruit and retain this emerging generation of employees, remember that Millennials are looking for an engaging workplace, inspiring values which connect with their own, and employment opportunities where they can make a difference. In short they are looking for Culture, Purpose and Impact.


Ashley Fell is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst she understands the need to communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage them. 

From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms and content creation, Ashley advises on how to achieve cut through in message-saturated times. 

From generational change to the impact of technology, key demographic transformations to social trends, Ashley delivers research based presentations dealing with global and national trends.


To find out more, check a date or make an enquiry, please get in touch:

P: 02 8824 3422

E: info@mccrindle.com.au

Research Launch Event at NSW Parliament House

Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Eliane Miles at the launch with (L to R) Bishop Peter Ingham, Education Minister Rob Stokes, The Hon Paul Green, Shadow Minister Jihad Dib and Murray Norman.

The NSW Government recently released the independent review of Special Religious Education (SRE). In response, McCrindle was commissioned to review the findings and summarise the key data into this SRE in Schools visual summary.

As part of this process, Research Director Eliane Miles was delighted to speak last Tuesday night at NSW Parliament House to launch these findings. The other speakers who addressed the attendees, who included representatives from most of the major providers of SRE across all faiths, were the Education Minister Rob Stokes, Shadow Minister Jihad Dib, and host of the event, The Hon Paul Green MLC.

Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles
Education Minister Rob Stokes
The Hon. Paul Green MP

The Review highlighted how SRE contributes to students’ understanding of their cultural heritage and is an avenue for their spiritual care. Further, it noted that the work of SRE teachers builds tolerance in schools, promotes multiculturalism, contributes to a well-rounded education, and connects schools with their local community.

In addressing the gathering, Mr Stokes, said, “It is wonderful that we have in our schools an understanding that humans are made up of three parts, mind, body and spirit, and we need to provide sustenance to each part of what makes us fully human. SRE has a very important role to fulfil in our schools.”

Mr Dib expressed strong bipartisan support for the value of SRE. Mr Dib said, “[The review] was not at any point in time thinking how to do away with it, but rather, how we actually improve it.” In thanking SRE teachers and providers, Mr Dib went on to articulate the importance of ensuring, “Every single student should have an opportunity – for at least one hour in a week – to reflect about the person that they are and the way that they can actually better themselves.”

Most striking amongst the research presented by Eliane Miles was the levels of satisfaction regarding SRE from schools and parents. The research showed that of the 780,600 students that attend the 2,152 government schools in NSW (with SRE taught in 87% of these schools), 84% of parents are satisfied or mostly satisfied with their student’s learning experiences in SRE and 96% of principals agree or mostly agree that their school has a good working relationship with SRE providers.

Micro Apartments: Could this be a tiny solution to a big problem?

Friday, June 02, 2017

Micro-apartments are a new wave of affordable housing that is close to the city, and makes use of every square-centimetre of space.

In Sydney there is more demand for homes than there is supply and that is a key factor of what is driving the house prices up. Could micro apartments be the tiny solution to one, very big problem?

Micro apartment are attracting young people, Generation Y, to moving into the city. But they are also attracting the down-sizing Baby Boomers, who are moving from the 'emty nest' house in the suburbs, downsizing into apartment living.

Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle, says with a rapidly growing population and the housing demand far out-weighing demand, we need to follow in the footsteps of the world’s global cities and embrace a more compact style of living.

The future suburbs will be the vertical communities, not the horizontal ones that we used to know.

Sydney has just hit the 5 million mark and it’s going to add 2 million people in the next 20 years. Melbourne is going to do the same. Each of these cities will add a Perth to their population by 2037.

Watch the full segment on micro apartments here

About Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle is a social researcher with an international following. He is recognised as a leader in tracking emerging issues and researching social trends. As an award-winning social researcher and an engaging public speaker, Mark has appeared across many television networks and other media. He is a best-selling author, an influential thought leader, TEDx speaker and Principal of McCrindle Research. His advisory, communications and research company, McCrindle, count among its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and leading international brands.

Visit Mark's website here.

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