2016 Australian Communities Forum Recap

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Last Thursday, McCrindle Research and R2L&Associates were proud to present the Sydney Australian Communities Forum (ACF) at Customs House in Sydney. The ACF featured 15 brilliant speakers and 4 jam-packed sessions.

 

We began the day with tea and coffee on arrival before kicking off our first session, which focused on the research results from the Australian Communities Trends Report into Australia's not-for-profit sector. Before we launched into the findings we received a warm welcome from the honourable Catherine Cusack MLC, Parliamentary secretary to the Premier of NSW, and Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, Deputy Lord Mayor on behalf of our principal event sponsor, the City of Sydney.


SESSION 1 - introduction

Mark McCrindle opened Session 1 with an introduction to Australia's generational landscape and gave a snapshot of the key factors influencing Australian communities and some surprising findings from the just-completed Australian Communities Report. Mark provided an overview of giving in Australia, indicating that 4 in 5 Australians give financially to charities / not-for-profits, and that 1 in 4 give at least once a month.


McCrindle Team Leader of Analytics, Annie Phillips continued to share about the quantitative insights from the research, identifying the top 7 causes Australians support (Children's charities, medical research, animal welfare, disaster response in Australia, disability, homelessness and mental health), the 5 charity essentials and the top communication channels. Annie also provided an explanation of the Net Promotor Score (29) and Net Culture Score (21) for the sector, which were both very high.


Sophie Rention, Research Executive at McCrindle then communicated some of the key qualitative findings from the Australian Communities Trends Report. Sophie highlighted the key blockers (e.g. complex giving process) and enablers (e.g. personal connection) to charitable giving for Australians, as well as the next steps for charities including creating multi-tiered levels of engagement, community building, effective communication of results and fun and engaging experiences. 


We then heard from John Rose, principal at R2L&Associates about what this research means for community organisations and how they can best respond to the findings. In his insights and applications John reminded our delegates that in the midst of changes in the marketplace, trust and relevance is essential. John then presented 5 key issues for charities to keep in mind when engaging with the ever-changing supporter which included aligning, defining, communicating, engaging and leading.

Each of our delegates also received a copy of The Australian Communities Trends Infographic which contains the top line findings from the national study into Australian giving and how charities can engage.

 

SESSION 2 - keynotes

After a networking break over morning tea Eliane Miles, Research Director at McCrindle shared an engaging keynote presentation on Leading teams and managing change in transformative times. In the post linear, post literate and post logical workforce, Eliane reminded us that to engage and inspire our workplaces we need to ensure a culture of contribution, challenge and celebration within our teams. To attract and retain, to lead and inspire, we need to cultivate authenticity. 


Our next keynote, Josh Hawkins emphasised the importance of creativity in social media and marketing campaigns. Josh showed us that creative and fun campaigns are the ones that get cut through. Josh also inspired us to be authentic with our marketing and leadership to under 30's. Through humour, engaging videos and key takeaways, Josh's presentation reminded us that when you "Give someone a task you'll get what you ask for". But when you "Give them a vision you'll get more than you could ever ask for". 


Our final keynote speaker before lunch was Ivan Motley, found of .id The Population Experts. Specialising in using data to inform decisions and shape the future, Ivan and his team talked us through how analytics can shape the quality of education, housing, health, the environment and education. Using some practical case studies, the id. team showed us why we should be using local data to understand our communities, and how information and data can help transform communities.


SESSION 3 - streams

Stream 1: Understanding Australian Communities

In this stream Geoff Brailey, Research Executive at McCrindle began by giving an overview of the next generation of volunteers and donors, and tips on how to engage and motivate them. This was followed by Nic Bolto who encouraged us to do the hard work as leaders and how to effectively implement insights in organisations. Our last stream speaker for this session was James Ward, a Director at NBRS Architecture who showed us, through a case study, how understanding spaces and building communities can help to improve people's lives.

Stream 2: Engaging Australian Communities

In Stream 2, McCrindle Team Leader of Communications Ashley McKenzie began this session by giving practical tips and insights on how to communicate complex data in message saturated times. Following on was Salvation Army officer Bryce Davies who shared how The Salvation Army build community in areas of social challenge by creating communities focused on respect, encouragement and belonging. Our final stream 2 speaker Greg Low, co-founder of R2L&Associates gave us five essentials to make your next marketing or fundraising campaign thrive.


SESSION 4

Following afternoon tea and some great networking, we gathered back together to hear from our last two speakers, Caitlin Barrett from Love Mercy and Andy Gourley from Red Frogs. 


Caitlin Barrett, CEO of the Love Mercy Foundation kicked off our afternoon session by telling us the engaging story of how Love Mercy was founded after Australian Olympian met Ugandan Olympian and former child soldier Julius Achon. After sharing the vision and mission of Love Mercy, Caitlin shared how they engage the community through telling personal stories, the importance of finding the right audience for the right story and telling the right details to provide an experience.  


Our last speaker for the day was Andy Gourley, founder and director of Red Frogs Australia. After having founded Red Frogs in 1997, Red Frogs is now the largest support network in Australia for Schoolies, festivals and universities. Through the use of engaging stories and hard-hitting realities, Andy effectively communicated how Red Frogs was founded and the crucial role they play in safeguarding vulnerable young people at events like Schoolies and festivals.  



We would like to thank all of our speakers and delegates for making the 2016 Australian Communities Forum a fantastic event. A big thank you to our sponsors, The City of Sydney, Pro Bono Australia, Hope 103.2 and ConnectingUp as well for your support in making this event happen.

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


The Australian Communities Forum 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

On Thursday 13th October 2016, McCrindle Research and R2L & Associates are hosting The Australian Communities Forum at Customs House in Sydney. This one day event is focused on delivering to not-for-profit organisations and community focused businesses the key demographic and social trends transforming Australian communities, and how organisations can best engage in these changing times.

Held since 2012 this annual event provides compelling case studies, the latest research, practical workshops and importantly, great networking over morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Come and hear Mark McCrindle launch the 2016 Australian Communities Report, as well as engaging content and fantastic networking opportunities. This not to be missed event will equip leaders in community engagement with the latest insights into 21st Century Australian Communities.

Purchase your early bird ticket today.


OUr speakers

Mark McCrindle

Mark 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. Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair. 


Terrence Mullings (MC)

Terrence is a lively TV and Radio personality with a unique ability to communicate and truly connect with his audience. A regular guest on The Morning Show, he currently works as a Radio Announcer on HOPE 103.2 as well as TV presenter on Positive Hits TV/Radio. Terrence has previously been a presenter on Channel 10 (the Circle), Chanel 9 Morning and also live T.V host on TVSN. Terrence created and produced music video show: “Positive Hits,” which currently airs worldwide. Terrence is in the business of “communication” and utilises a variety of platforms: TV, Radio, Speaking Events, and even speaking from "The Pulpit ".


Andy Gourley

Andrew Gourley is the Founder and CEO of Red Frogs Australia Chaplaincy Network. He started the Red Frog Program in 1997, after seeing the need for a chaplaincy service to safe guard teenagers and young adults. This Chaplaincy Network is now the largest support network in Australia for schoolies, festivals and universities students. Currently the Red Frog Chaplaincy program for Schoolies is located in 17 different locations around Australia and coordinates over 4000 volunteers to run its programs. 


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 mega trends 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. 


Josh Hawkins

Josh is the founder and creator of Hi Josh. Which is one of those things that sounds more impressive than it actually is. He enjoys talking in third person and making YouTube videos. He made a few viral videos and now gets recognised at the local McDonalds by Luke, one of the employees. Across various social media platforms Josh has received over 50 million views in the last year, and has a global audience of about 50,000 people over YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat etc.



Nic Bolto

Nic Bolto is an executive coach and consultant specialising in entrepreneurship, strategy execution and change. Nic assignments have included senior government, corporate and not for profit change projects including Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, The Salvation Army, Bupa and the NSW Baird government with Minister Dominello's recent value rediscovery for their social health portfolio. As a Churchill Fellow, Melbourne Business School graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Nic brings significant expertise to the acquisition of goals that are important to community and the people within them, to organisations, to charities and to their donors.


Caitlin Barrett

Caitlin is the founding CEO of Love Mercy, and has a passion for Love Mercy's women in Uganda and about bringing about real change within communities in poverty. Caitlin was committed to setting up the Love Mercy Foundation when Olympic runner and Love Mercy Founding Director Eloise Wellings came back from her first trip to Uganda after meeting Julius Achon and navigated the minefields of the not-for-profit sector. Caitlin worked in a volunteer capacity for three years until becoming the first paid full-time staff member in 2015.


James Ward

James is a Director of NBRSARCHITECTURE and a member of the Executive Leadership Team. James' strength is in understanding complex situations and developing management strategies to guide the development of improved outcomes that can change the way people think and live. With a strong background in senior executive management and strategic planning in both for-profit; fast moving consumer goods and the not-for-profit industry sectors, James has been involved with many varied commercial situations.



Ashley McKenzie

Ashley McKenzie is a social researcher and Team Leader of Communications at McCrindle. As a trends analyst she understands how organisations can 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 leaders and teams on how to communicate across generational barriers.


Bryce Davies

Bryce has been a Salvation Army Officer for 22 years. For 9 years he worked in The Salvation Army Bridge program focusingon Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation in both Adelaide and Brisbane. In recent years Bryce has headed up an inner city drop in space in Fortitude valley in Brisbane that has evolved into a dynamic and functional community with a broad and effective raft of services. Bryce is now based in Sydney heading up a new project called “Communities of Hope” Assisting Salvation Army leaders develop welcoming and authentic community life.





Topics


Purchase your early bird ticket today.

Four tips on how to structure an engaging presentation

Thursday, June 23, 2016

At McCrindle, our team of speakers are commissioned to deliver over 120 presentations to a wide range of audiences and clients, per year. These presentations consist of conference keynotes, training workshops, PD sessions, executive briefings, launch events as well as research presentations.

As expert communicators, we understand how to communicate data effectively, how to communicate a story and the art of delivering a presentation that doesn’t just inform your audience, but inspires them as well.

Throughout a presentation, it’s important to structure your content and delivery. Here are four I’s that we have developed which provide a structural overview of how to engage your audience when delivering a presentation.  

Interest

While the content of a presentation is generally the focus, creating interest in your audience before moving to the bulk of your presentation is key to engagement. Have you heard the saying, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear?” Well the same applies here. Creating interest, attention and focus from your audience prepares them to engage with the content of your presentation.

So how do you create this interest?

A strong introduction (that utilises the 4 C's) will help to create this Interest, whereby you build a Connection with your audience, establish your Credibility and provide Context for where this session fits in the overall scheme of things. Now, you are ready to move into your Content.

Instruct

After establishing interest with your audience and bringing them to a place where they are ready to listen to what you have to say, you can move to communicating the main content of your presentation. In addition to you being a presenter, consider yourself to be an instructor.

Involve

With attention spans being shorter than they have ever been before, when presenting we need to not just instruct but involve our audiences - particuarly the younger generations who are used to interacting with everything around them. Incorporating multi-modal delivery, discussions and activities within your presentation will help to involve your audience and keep them engaged with the material you are presenting.

INSPIRE

Lastly, and if not most importantly, an effective and engaging presenter will Inspire their audience. Inspiring is about motivation and application, about moving your audience from the rational to the emotional. Connecting not just with their head but with their heart as well. What do you want to send them out with?


About our Communication Skills Workshops

In our message-saturated society, getting effective cut-through, engagement and response is a critical challenge. This session will teach and model effective communication based on an understanding of the influence patterns of today’s audiences and strategies to best connect. This session covers:

  • Understanding workplace presentations
  • Preparing your presentation
  • Delivering your presentation
  • Mastering professional presentation techniques
  • Presenting complex data in engaging ways


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.

Top 5 Speaking Trends

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Each year the McCrindle Speakers are called on to deliver more than 150 keynote speeches, research presentations, and workshops across Australia and internationally.

Some of these are small executive sessions while others are national conferences, sometimes it is a short 30 minute address and other engagements are half-day interactive workshops.

This volume and varied contexts gives us a great perspective on the trends in audience engagement and what works best when it comes to speaking and presentations.

So here are our top 5 speaking trends:

1. Less is more

The trend is for shorter sessions but more of them to provide a better event. The pressure is on conference organisers to deliver more from events. Not only is it harder to get delegates to attend and stay at longer events, but the sit and listen approach is giving way to snappier sessions to accommodate shorter attention spans, busier lives and more distractions. Over the last decade the one-hour standard presentation has been replaced by the 45-minute session being the norm- and indeed the rise of the 30-minute keynote session.


2. Make it visual

It's called a presentation for a reason- what is seen and heard has more impact than a speech alone. The best communicators deliver great content in an engaging way- reinforcing their message through easily consumed visual cues. The power of a story, the cut through of an image, the cross-cultural connection of a picture, the speed of understanding an infographic and the retention power of a symbol are why visuals work.


3. Reinforce the message

Communication is more impacting when the presentation is supported with handouts or follow up materials. We find that professionally printed infographic cards, visual summaries, or industry report cards are very useful when attendees have such handouts for a presentation. Additionally more in-depth industry reports, research papers and the presentation slides can be made available electronically after the session to add more depth and impact.


4. Maximise the value

Corporate budgets are being kept tight and when an event cost can provide benefits beyond the one-off session, it is more likely to get the green light. The investment in a speaker can be also assisted with an additional workshop, participation in a Q and A panel, and providing new and specific content for social media and mainstream media to help create interest and activity around an event. However the impact can begin even before the event. As researchers, we often provide a survey for delegates or industry representatives to complete before the conference so that a “snapshot” of the organisation or industry can be presented. Such surveys not only provide valuable data and a big-picture overview, but the very process of surveying builds anticipation of the upcoming events and encourages registrations in the knowledge that the results will be presented at the event.


5. Keep it real

Speakers need to be engaging and dynamic but they must also ensure that they deliver solid content which is real-world. There has been a strong trend over the last decade to move from motivational sessions to practical, applicable presentations. The best communicators are not theorists but experts who are equipped not with ideas or anecdotes as much as relevant research and findings and so are able to deliver actionable insights.


TOP 5 TOPICS

From our terrain in the trends and change space we have analysed the Top 5 Topics in demand by business leaders and event organisers at the moment:

1. Changing Times, Emerging Trends: An overview of the megatrends transforming the business and consumer landscape from social change to transitioning technology, from population shifts to global trends.

2. Managing Change and Leading Innovation: Assisting teams through unprecedented change, managing a workforce of growing diversity and moving from a structured style to a collaborative environment are key skills for today’s leaders.

3. Effective Communication-: Bringing data to life: In a world of big data and information overload we need visual data and engaging communication. This session showcases how to find and tell the story behind the numbers.

4. Demographic Trends, Emerging Consumers:A snapshot of the ever-changing customer and the new consumer segments.

5. Understanding the New Generations: From Boomers and Xers to Generations Y and Z, the generational landscape is changing and engaging with diverse generations at work or as clients is essential.


McCrindle Speakers

Whether you are looking for a keynote address at national conference, an onsite professional development workshop, or a strategy briefing for senior leaders, our presenters have the experience to ensure your event is a success.

Our presenters not only deliver keynote addresses at national conferences but specialise in the delivery of executive level briefings, strategic retreats, executive planning days, and in-house PD sessions that provide top-level industry scans to equip teams with the latest strategies to succeed.

Market analysis briefings guide decision-makers on the latest consumer segments while industry future forums outline the current trends, implications, outcomes, and recommendations of a product or service offering.

FIND OUT MORE HERE

Bringing Research Data to Life

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Last week Mark delivered the keynote address at the Tableau Data Conference 2016 on Bringing Research Data to Life. Here is an excerpt of his presentation:

Management expert Tom Peters is well known for his phrase “What gets measured gets done.” But we could add to that: what gets visualised gets read. What gets effectively communicated gets acted upon!

That’s why research is at its best when it tells a story, when it paints a picture, when it’s visual, when it’s research you can see.

World’s-best research will only spread as far as the look of it allows. World-changing data will have no impact unless it is well designed. World-class information will remain unshared unless it is easily understood.

Here at McCrindle, we’re social researchers. But in many ways we’re all social researchers. We all observe our society, study the patterns, and draw insights and conclusions from what we see.

But more than that. We’re all visual researchers. We gather information from what we see, we gather data from what we observe. It is the research that we see that we respond to best. When making decisions, it is the visual cues which guide us. Wear marks in grass show the most popular path, a show of hands, the length of a queue- these are visual research methods we employ to make decisions.

We live in a visual world. Languages are not universal but symbols are. Pictures not statistics connect across the generations.

And so we’re moving from an information era to an infographic era. In a world of big data- we need visual data.

It’s called reSEARCH for a reason, They’re called inSIGHTS on purpose, it’s more about visuals that tables, graphics not just analytics – you’ve got to see it before you can act upon it! Inaccessible research in the form of statistical tables and lengthy explanations won’t transform organisations.

Statistics should be fun- like animation. People should be able to play with data. Research reports should not sit on shelves but be interacted with, and shared on social media, or printed on book marks or beamed onto buildings.

Big data doesn’t have to be boring data!

Data is too important to be left in the hands of statisticians alone. Research needs to get beyond the researchers. We’re in an era of the democratisation of information. For this to be realised, big data has to be set free- and research has to be made accessible to everyone.

Research methodologies matter. Quality analysis is important. But making the data visual, creating research that you can see, ensuring the information tells a story - that’s absolutely critical.

Research that makes a difference has to be seen with the eyes of your head as well as the eyes of your heart. It makes sense rationally, and connect with it viscerally.

It’s about turning tables into visuals, statistics into videos and big data into visual data.

But research can’t be applied until it’s been understood.

It needs to be seen not just studied.

And until the last excel table has been transformed there’s work to be done.

ABOUT MARK MCCRINDLE

Mark 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.

Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair.

His research firm counts amongst its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and his highly valued reports and infographics have developed his regard as a data scientist, demographer, futurist and social commentator.


WATCH MARK'S TEDX TALK ON BRINGING RESEARCH DATA TO LIFE HERE

DOWNLOAD MARK'S SPEAKING PACK HERE

Research Solutions for the Education Sector

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

We have a passion for helping schools and tertiary institutions thrive in today’s changing times. The education sector sits at the very heart of our diverse Australian communities and is also at the cross-roads of today’s biggest trends – dealing with massive technological change and engaging with the youngest generations.

21st Century students are being shaped in different times and have different characteristics, expectations, and communication styles – therefore engaging effectively with today’s students and their families requires new strategies, solutions, and approaches.

At McCrindle, we provide a range of innovative research solutions to assist schools and tertiary institutions in understanding their student, parent, and staff communities. From school satisfaction research to future of education model testing, from professional development sessions to executive strategic planning sessions, and from annual report design to infographic visualisation, we are able to assist education providers to know the times.

School Satisfaction Research

We conduct research for government, independent, and the Catholic sector and specialise in creating the context for the research by benchmarking it against demographic and national education data. Our comprehensive education research process includes the deployment of surveys to all stakeholders in the school community, gaining insights of the local community towards the school, as well as qualitative methods such as focus groups, student and staff forums, and in-depth discussions of groups such as past, current, or prospective parents.

Future of Education Modelling and Strategic Planning

While the strength of an organisation comes in part from its history and legacy, the relevance of an organisation flows from its ability to adapt, engage, and respond. Our future of education process helps organisations become future-proofed by better understanding the emerging generations of parents, the learning styles and expectations of students, and how to best recruit and retain their staff. To assist in the strategic planning process, we conduct demographic analysis, future of education modelling, and social and technological trend forecasting, and then input these insights into facilitated workshops, environmental scan reports, and boardroom strategic planning meetings.

Research Visualisation & Communication of Data

In a sector swamped with education data – we focus on visual data. As researchers we understand the research methods, but we’re also designers and know what will communicate and engage stakeholders across the entire school community. Satisfaction surveys should be about more than just compliance – the insights will not only make the organisation make improvements, but they are an important brand and communication tool in themselves. We are passionate about not just the gathering of the data but the communication of it, and in an era of social media and digital platforms, the annual reports, strategic plans, and satisfaction summaries that can be clearly communicated and quickly deployed will be those that get shared and so have an impact.

Staff, Parent, or Executive Seminars

Our key researchers have delivered professional development sessions for school leaders and teachers internationally and across every state and territory in Australia. We hold seminars for students on future-proofing their careers, for parents on parenting the i-Gen, for teachers on the future of education and engaging with today’s students, and for boards and executives on understanding the trends and recruiting, training, and retaining today’s new generations of staff.


Find out More

Download our Research Solutions for the Education Sector Pack for recent case studies and more information on our work with schools and tertiary providers.


For enquiries please contact McCrindle’s education contact:

Eliane Miles
P: 02 8824 3422
E: eliane@mccrindle.com.au

Mark McCrindle; Social Researcher and Changemaker

Monday, January 12, 2015

Originally published by The Weekend Edition. Please click here for the original article.

"WE'RE IN THE MIDST OF ONE OF THE MOST TRANSFORMATIVE PERIODS OF HISTORY ... "

It’s a staggering statistic to get our noggins around, but every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced around the world. While the raw numbers may seem irrelevant to many of us at first glance, the collected information is vital to tracking trends, identifying changes and forecasting new developments to help us understand ourselves, our pasts and our futures. What were the biggest trends of 2014? How has Australia changed over the past few decades? And how will we evolve over the next 12 months? These are just some of the questions that consume social researcher, demographer and futurist Mark McCrindle, who has dedicated his life’s work to studying and understanding our nation. As we head into the new year, The Weekend Edition thought it was perfect timing to catch up with the futurist and chat about what lies ahead.

In your 2013 TEDxCanberra talk, you said it’s rare for factors like massive technological change, rapid demographic shifts, huge social trends and ongoing generational change to all happen at the same time – meaning big changes can happen within a short period. Can you talk us through some of the major trends you observed in 2014?

I think we’re in the midst of one of the most transformative decades ever. It’s this decade that began with the tablet computer, social media becoming mainstream, the smartphone and apps – these were words that weren’t known and technologies that weren’t around when the decade began and now here we are, halfway through it in 2015 and it’s obviously going to take us through to 2020, which has always been that iconic year of ‘the future’. As you say, it’s change in terms of those broader areas, not just technology, but also generational change – this year we’ve got Baby Boomers turning 70 and the original ‘youth slackers’ Gen Xers turning 50 and the new Gen Alphas coming of age – as well as economic change – the decade began with the ripples of the GFC and that’s still having an impact. So economically, technologically, sociologically, generationally and attitudinally, there have been lots of changes. It’s rare that you do get the confluence of such change that we’re seeing at the moment.

What can you tell us about this new generation born 2010 or later, known as Gen Alpha?

We’ve given them the label ‘Generation Glass’ because the key medium for them on which they’ll learn, interact, write and get their content isn’t paper – it’s glass. This is the first generation that has utilised glass as the mainstream form of communication and content delivery. It’s portable, it’s in their pockets or on their wrists or on their interactive desktops, it’s in showrooms as interactive touch screens – glass is everywhere. It comes to life, it’s connected to the internet and it displays content – and this is the generation that will only know that. Paper first emerged as a portable form of mass communication when Gutenberg came up with his printing press in 1439, so we’ve had to wait 600 years for a new medium.

And for 2015 you’ve also predicted that we’ll become a more reflective country?

Yes, the technologies of the internet have been around for a while now and so far it’s been fun and light – people Instagramming every meal they eat, the tweets and YouTube videos have been fun and fickle, and memes like Grumpy Cat have gone viral. But that happens when anything new emerges, it’s fun before we find the real usefulness of it. And now we’re getting a little bit more pragmatic and people are saying, ‘I want some life tools’, ‘I want connection tools that will actually help’, ‘I want relational functionality rather than random Facebook friends’ so we’re starting to see fragmentation of that, from LinkedIn through to a rise in openness for people to talk about not just the financial or physical areas of life, but also mental, emotional and spiritual. I think this reflection, the focus on work/life balance and family, as well as spirituality and emotional wellbeing is a sign that we’re a bit more transparent and open. As Australians, we’ve always been a ‘She’ll be right mate’ sort of nation, but I think we’re recognising that to be a bit more vulnerable, transparent and authentic is actually important.

What have you observed about Queensland and its capital of Brisbane?

Queensland is unique in its demographics – it’s the only state in Australia that has more than half of its population living outside of its capital. So if you look at NSW or Victoria, more than three in four people live in the capital city, but in Queensland, 4.8 million people live in the whole state and just 2.2 million people live in Brisbane. In fact, we have an infographic where we look at the largest 30 cities of Australia, and Queensland has the most with 10 cities, compared to NSW which has just five. The point is Queensland has more of a mix of the urban and rural, it has a bigger focus on the regional, it’s a big state and a big coastline, and has more of a spread of population outside of Brisbane – and that creates a different mode in itself. It’s one of the fastest-growing states, and faster than the national average. Queensland has a different attitude and way of life; it’s got some unique demographic aspects that create the culture and the mood, and continue to shape it.

Let’s rewind the clock a bit – have you always harboured such an interest in human behaviour? As a child, did you even know a job like this existed?

That’s right, social researcher, futurist and demographer aren’t often what the careers advisor has on their shortlist; they’re not mainstream pursuits. But I did always have an interest in people and when I was filling in my applications at the end of year 12 to figure out what to study at uni, it was psychology and sociology that interested me. As I moved through my psych degree, I realised that I far preferred the social psychology subjects rather than the clinical, and that’s when I transitioned towards understanding people and society, and how we think and why we as communities or groups make decisions the way we do. So I’ve always had a fascination with people and I guess that’s really what my role is to this day – observing people and communities, and analysing trends and changes.

What were the greatest challenges in launching your own research agency and advisory firm?

Well not only is it an unusual role and hard enough to find a niche as an individual social researcher and analyst, but then to start a business in the area you really need to find your strengths and carve a niche that’s going to add value.

How did you overcome these?

What’s been key is that all of the team here are generally passionate in understanding Australia and society and changes and trends and generations and people’s behaviour. Secondly, how we deploy that information has been important. I looked around when I was starting and thought there’s got to be a better way of conducting the research – it can’t just be about focus groups and surveys, there’s got to be other ways of understanding people. What we’re about is making the unknown known and making the complex clarified, and we employ whatever methodologies will help do that so people can make a difference in what they do. The second part in trying to be innovative in research approach is being innovative in the output methods, so we work hard on the visualisation of content, developing infographics and animated videos.

And what have been the greatest rewards – what do you love about your job?

I love that the craft is so interesting. To be presented with a challenge where an organisation says, ‘We want to connect with and understand this new generation or emerging segment, or we want to find out if this concept will work’, and help them understand and prepare for what isn’t yet certain, is quite fun. To help these organisations, government agencies and not-for-profits really be equipped and empowered in what they do, to do it more efficiently and future-proof themselves, is fun to do but also very rewarding and a privilege.

What inspires you to keep doing what you’re doing?

It’s exciting to see the difference that we can make and we have a view that if people take a broader perspective of what they do, they’ll do it more effectively. We tend to focus on our business or our role or our community – the micro-view – but what we need to do is understand the context in which we’re operating and look outside the walls of our home or organisation, and look at the broader winds of change – the demographics, the social trends, the attitudes, the shift in international demographics. When we understand that, it helps us to be a bit more effective in positioning ourselves to surf the waves of change and remain relevant to the future. The other lens change we need to make isn’t just looking at the now, but looking to the future so we can prepare for that. We tend to focus on the immediate term but the times are changing so quickly we almost need to look ahead a few years to see where things might be headed and position ourselves now to thrive in these times of change.

Originally published by The Weekend Edition, Lauren Barker on 08 Jan 2015.


For more on Mark McCrindle, visit his website here.

For more about McCrindle Research, please click here.


Mark McCrindle Speaking Pack Update

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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.

Mark’s highly valued research and reports, presented through infographics, data visualisations, videos, media input, resources, and blogs, have developed his regard as an expert demographer, futurist and social commentator.

Mark brings a fresh approach to his research based boardroom briefings, executive workshops, strategy sessions and keynotes. Armed with the latest findings and presented in a customised and innovative way, Mark is an in-demand communicator.

Mark McCrindle, BSc (Psychology), MA, is the author of three books on emerging trends and social change. The ABC of XYZ: Understanding the Global Generations, Word Up: A Lexicon and Guide to Communication in the 21st Century and The Power of Good.

Visit Mark's website to find out more

Download Mark's updated speaking pack, pictured below, or check out some case studies.

Top 5 Tips and Trends for Conference Presentations

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
  1. Conferences are going TED-style:
    • a. Speak to the audience not at the audience (free yourself from the lectern)
    • b. Present your message not your outline (minimise your notes)
    • c. Don’t give a long speech, craft an engaging presentation (shorter can be more impacting than longer).
  2. Keep it visual:
    • a. It’s a presentation to be seen not a podcast to be downloaded
    • b. Use slides as visual reinforcing of your point not a written summary of your content.
    • c. Think images not just words. (for more visual tips go to researchvisualisation.com).
  3. Ensure it’s evidence-based:
    • a. The average business audience has twice as many university graduates today as 1990
    • b. Statistics are great- but so are case studies
    • c. In a world of hype- keep it real, relevant and responsive.

    (for an example of communicating data in a visual form watch our acclaimed Australia Street video or Know the Times animation)

  4. Deliver current, contextual and customised content:
    • a. In a world of emerging trends- make sure it is now
    • b. In a world of ideas- keep it practical
    • c. In a world of global ideas- apply it to the local.

    (Here is Mark McCrindle’s TEDx talk on presenting research in an engaging way)

  5. Motivate even if you’re not a motivational speaker:
    • a. A positive message will always be better received than a negative one
    • b. Sure- be provocative and challenging but deliver it with warmth and encouragement
    • c. Ensure you both equip the head and engage the heart of your listener.

For a fresh approach to your next event, engage one of McCrindle's speakers by contacting us on 02 8824 3422 or via email info@mccrindle.com.au.

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