Human Capital forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Australia falling behind in work/life balance

Notify me of new replies via email
HC Online | 14 Jan 2014, 11:25 AM Agree 0
Australia is falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to work/life balance, a new study demonstrates.
  • Thomas | 17 Jan 2014, 11:23 AM Agree 0
    That's not the only area where the country is falling or failing rather.Australia is a country that has lost out in many areas and will continue to do so due to 3 main reasons-innovation, technical skills and education (all way behind). Retail and manufacturing aren’t the only industries that have faced challenges due to these 3 reasons; other sectors too. Add the niche strategy that Australia has used for decades via agriculture, mining, etc and that would be the 4th failure-putting all its eggs into 1 basket for decades instead of using the diversification strategy.

    Let’s start with the tertiary education sector which few years back was Australia’s 3rd largest export sector (now 4th). How does it survive? Foreign students especially from China and India though lately South Americans, North Americans and Europeans too. How many Australians have a university qualification? Australia population represents 0.3% of the world population and just 25% of that have a university qualification. How many have a Masters qualification? Not many. Some to most firms in Australia consider Masters overqualified. Well, sad news for 90 to 99% of the businesses in Australia that represent small to medium sized ones – rest of the world have people who have either 2 Master qualifications or PhDs and professional certifications. Unless, good at entrepreneurship, not needed to study. Sadly, for Australia, that has gone behind especially when it’s niche strategy also got busted because Australia has been behind with innovations and technologies since World War 2. Also, how many foreign exchange students from Australia land in Asia? Not many compared to ones from US, Canada, UK, etc. So, those countries are learning about Asian cultures where as most Australian foreign students land in US, UK, etc (psychically close countries instead of the psychically distant countries as well). US, UK universities are still the best in the world and most are cheaper than the Australian ones nowadays as Australia’s become expensive for that so the universities that are on the same level as Australia are now the challengers. Which are those countries? Canada, Germany, Japan, Singapore, China (mainland and HK), etc. Addition to those, there are the blended learning (online) and MOOCs that are challenging the educational landscape, starting from primary education right unto tertiary one.

    Where is Australia for innovations and technologies? The country doesn’t encourage much of both including funding which is the reason why Australian startups end up in USA. Australia gets 75% of its GDP through services as it’s a developed nation though it has come out with some innovations but not that many compared to the rest of the world even with the basic innovations. Others have gone for coopetition like Apple, Samsung, Google, etc; Netflix and Amazon;Tesla and various automobile firms and so many others where rivals don’t just work together but innovate as well. Australia has zilch there. Then there is the blue ocean strategy as well where not only low cost innovations occur but a whole new market segment comes up. Rest of the world so many while Australia hardly any. . Even New Zealand is above Australia when it comes to innovation.

    Taking marketing technology/digital marketing as the industry, this is the reality of Australian marketers/marketing sector - here are some weaknesses including reasons why Australia has failed (they’re all genuine articles that have come up in the last few weeks to couple of months):
    1) Marketer study warns of skills shortages in digital marketing in Australia
    2) Two-thirds of Aus marketers ‘aren’t effective at digital’
    3) Aussie brands failing to embrace digital real-time customer service
    4) Lack of skills a threat to projects
    5) Is Australia That Far Behind in the Digital Market?
    6) Big data policies lacking in Australian and New Zealand organisations: survey
    7) Australian firms lagging behind
    8 ) Australian retailers are digital-relationship laggards: Capgemini & Sydney University study reveals
    9) Australian SMEs not meeting consumers on social media: statistics from Yellow Pages report
    10) PayPal: Only 14 Percent of Australian SMEs Are Taking Advantage of Online
    11) Latest ABS statistics: many Australian businesses still not engaging online
    12) Australian businesses struggling with cross-channel marketing
    13) Australian manufacturers are failing to invest in productivity raising IT: study
    14) Average of 44 small businesses closing their doors each day, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data
    15) Experts say Australian business being left behind
    16) Small Business Left Behind As Australian Business Confidence Lifts: NAB
    17) Australian small businesses are late to the online marketing party
    18) Too little, too late: Is Australia losing the online retail game?

    Some of the reasons for the above could be seen from the following:
    1) Can Australia’s education system meet demand for digital marketers? (Even top universities of Australia are way behind compared to counterparts from US, UK, Canada, etc where students can take subjects from different schools like Arts, Engineering, Business, etc. Additionally, some Australian universities still teach traditional subjects at universities [The two university comparison examples can be University of Sydney via Commerce degree and WUSTL of US both via Marketing major]).
    2) Aussie women lag behind men in numeracy skills
    3) Aussies spend big on technology, but don’t know how to use it
    4) Small Business Nation 2013 – Around 90 to 99% of the businesses in Australia are small to medium sized ones though most are neither innovative nor have much of technology (not tech savvy)
    5) Australia is Well Behind Other OECD Countries in Pre-School Education
    6) University rankings show Asian rise and Australian slip
    7) Australian students slipping behind in maths, reading: OECD report
    8 ) If Australia Could Get Over Its ‘Fear of Failure’ Tech Startup Firms Could Contribute $109B to Economy by 2033, Create 540,000 New Jobs – Google Study
    9) Australia is no innovation leader: GE (connected to Australia lifts ranking in Global Innovation Index, but still lags behind New Zealand).
    10) Australia at risk of squandering expat expertise as brain drain hits reverse
    11) Is Australia Less Tech-Savvy than We Thought?

    (More of the marketing weaknesses in last 1 year and a bit on the logistics and supply chain in relation to Australia can be found under http://loveroftechnologyandbusiness.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/reality-of-australian-marketers-and.html . It also has the components or landscapes of Marketing Technology and Digital Marketing). As mentioned under that, Brand valuation could be seen via BrandZ of WPP as well as Interbrand of Omnicom and brandirectory.com that is part of Brand Finance. The top brand from Australia would be Woolworths ranked in the 100s way behind the ones from US, UK, Canada, India, China, etc. Woolworths and Coles duopoly in the supermarket sector though IGA, Aldi and Costco are 3 other players there ( https://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-our-grocery-market-one-of-the-most-concentrated-in-the-world-16520). Zara as well as others are knocking DJ and Myer ( http://www.fool.com.au/2013/08/14/clothing-retailers-be-afraid-very-afraid/ ). All of them have failed with innovation and technology (just like most Australian industrial sector) which can be seen under http://www.afr.com/p/australian_retailers_stumped_by_meuCL7di6LxiZG4VotdITL .

    US at least did something with 3D and 4D printing-part of disruptive innovation that could challenge emerging and developing nations;what has Australia come out with.US manufacturing also fell into recession 30 years back but came out 10 years later with innovation-Intel is 1 proof of that and that video is ‘Made in USA’ under America Revealed under PBS.org. Innovation took over 30 years back from customer centric approach started by P&G,IBM,etc that went on to Google,FB,etc and that’s world’s top firms and ones that survive depend on innovation and technologies. Also, if going to say robotics, well most jobs that exist today won’t exist in 10 years time thanks to technologies-need to adapt and change. China, Japan, etc have robot chefs. Self service revolution has existed for more than a century-ATMs, kiosks at airports, etc as well as retail sector are proof of that+3D and 4D printing +blended learning that has gone online as well as MOOCs which includes Coursera and Udacity are changing educational landscape from primary to tertiary education [US,UK and Australian top unis have their courses there and it can be done for free without certificates but if want certificates, they are cheaper than traditional education though not all courses are under the MOOCs] and so on including hybrid trade shows. DVD rentals are backward technologies that rest of the world came up with a decade or 2 ago as there are Netflix, Hulu,etc.

    Australia’s way behind in technology and innovations-both marketing and supply chain + also transportation as it’s got on to mobile payments which rest of the developed world have been on for about a decade-some of the emerging nations have been on it for 5 to 10 years also.
Post a reply