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

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 McKenzie - Team Leader of Communications at McCrindle

    Ashley McKenzie 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.

    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


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