A Walk Down Memory Lane – Generational Map

I love asking audiences about the technology they remember using when they started working. It takes everyone on a ‘walk down memory lane’ as Builders’ explain how they used ‘punch cards’, Baby Boomers tell stories of needing to retype entire essays on typewriters, Gen X talk about the Commodore 64, Gen Ys (the Millennials) reflect on when they got their first email address (in the days when we chose addresses like “coolclaire9945@hotmail”), and Gen Z tend to go straight to social media. Generational theory is a helpful way of understanding the impact of social, technological and demographic influences on a group of people who grew up around the same time. Whilst it has its limitations, generational theory can help us understand the various perspectives people bring to their values and preferences around communication, socialisation, leadership, work-ethic and lifestyle preferences. Our society today is currently made up of six generations, and whilst sociologists vary on the years and nomenclature they attribute to each group, here is a simple overview of the generation map: • Builders (born pre 1945) • Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) • Generation X (born 1965-1979) • Generation Y – The Millennials (born 1980-1994) • Generation Z (born 1995-2009) • Generation Alpha (born 2010-2024)   The Builders (born pre 1945) “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.” Ross, b.1927 Born during the first four decades of the 20th century, the Builders generation has witnessed phenomenal change over their lifetime. As the name suggests, the Builders built and established much of the infrastructure and core institutions we know today. This generation experienced the Great Depression in the 1930s, and many served in World War II, which shaped their core values of home, family and [...]

By | 2018-07-24T13:35:36+00:00 July 24th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Claire Madden on The Daily Edition, Channel 7: Millennials Boomerang Back Home

Claire Madden joined Tom Williams and Sally Obermeder on Channel 7's The Daily Edition to talk about the rise of the Boomerang Generation. When it comes to major life milestones, moving out of home is right up there... or is it? According to new research from the London School of Economics, parents' wellbeing may decline when adult children return to their family home. Once the parents have become empty nesters, where all of their children have moved out, grown children returning home could have a negative impact on their wellbeing. There are a range of reasons why grown children may return to their parents' home. It can often be related to a life situation change, such as a relationship breakdown, loss of a job, a period of unemployment, or the health needs of the parents. Often, however, the key driver is finance, associated with the rising costs of living, as well as the difficulties attached to entering the property market. While societal perceptions of adulthood may place a high value on independence, and see such moves as a regression, this trend raises questions about how people can live productively and interdependently in the current age. Despite the finding that parents' wellbeing may decline with the return of "boomerang children", there are other positives to having grown children under the same roof, including a celebration of family, a sharing of financial loads and household chores, as well as emotional support and a decrease in loneliness. About Claire Madden Claire Madden ( is a social researcher, keynote speaker and media commentator interpreting social trends and implications of generational change.  As a keynote speaker, Claire is highly regarded for her dynamic and engaging presentations where she translates robust, research-based [...]

By | 2018-04-05T11:49:30+00:00 April 5th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

“Instafamous”: Gen Zs and the Rise of the Personal Brand

The rise of social media has embedded personal brand management - previously the purview of celebrities and other renowned figures - into the everyday social mores of the emerging generations. At the same time, these platforms have made "fame" seem more accessible than ever before. From celebrity bloggers to YouTube celebrities, to being ‘Instafamous’, many Gen Zs believe they have the potential to be a celebrity. As Jess (b.1999) ­– one of the 100 members of Generation Z interviewed as part of Hello Gen Z ­– noted: “My friends will go on for hours talking about YouTube celebrities – people who have just got famous on YouTube. That’s a new generation of celebrity in itself. They have their own meet and greets, merchandise, they release their own books and cosmetics…”  One of the favourite platforms of Gen Z is Instagram and its use continues to evolve. Managing your personal brand, as many Gen Zs on social media are doing on a daily basis, takes time and focus. People will intentionally develop certain themes and styles so all the photos look like they are part of the same set. Even after posting, the pictures are monitored to ensure they are performing. Images that did not generate a good response are quickly culled, and photos may be deleted after posting if they don’t fit in with the overall profile of that Gen Z. This extensive personal brand management can even affect the ways that Gen Zs relate to their friends. As Taya (b.2001) described, “I have friends who sit at school and they may have 130 likes on their photo but they go through it to see who has liked it and bring it up with you [...]

By | 2018-03-23T12:37:33+00:00 March 22nd, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

White Paper: 5 Keys to Cut-Through

We are living in an era of information saturation. The key challenge for organisations of all sizes, is for their communications to cut-through all of the noise, and inspire action in their customers, staff and partners. This 5 part article series, based on a white paper released by Hello Clarity, explores five key lessons to achieve cut-through, sourced from my interaction with leading organisations that consistently do this well. Download the white paper

By | 2018-02-22T22:06:51+00:00 February 22nd, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Hello Gen Z: Three Leadership Foundations

Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2009) has been profoundly shaped in an immersive social context, and one where they are not only consumers but contributors and co-creators, and have been from the youngest of ages. If you are in a position of leadership, chances are you are currently, or will soon be, leading Gen Zs in your teams and organisations. As such, understanding the leadership styles that these Post-Millennials best respond to and follow can help you as you seek to attract, engage and retain talented and motivated young people in your setting. While strongly hierarchical, top-down models of leadership might have worked in the past in different settings, old models and approaches that gained traction in past eras are no longer gaining currency or attaining cut through in this redefined social context with emerging generations. From interviews conducted with over 100 Gen Zs, we found that the emerging generations appreciate leaders who are able to: Relate Create Release RELATE For an immensely social generation, relationships are of the highest importance for Gen Z, and are viewed as being central to effective leadership. The function of leadership is deeply founded in relationships, being marked by vision, courage, and the capacity to inspire others to follow. Gen Z are looking for leaders who are real, authentic, relational and genuine. They are quickly disenchanted by leaders they perceive to be fake, superior, or out-of-reach. They crave an authentic connection with their leaders, rather than a distant, removed authority figure who takes no interest in them and does not ‘speak their language’. CREATE Gen Z are looking for leaders who actively create an engaging culture. Culture is the environment and lived reality that is created in an organisation; [...]

By | 2018-02-13T11:08:20+00:00 February 13th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments