Webinar – Australia’s Shrinking Job Market, Corona Proof Careers and The Future of Work

This video is from a webinar by Morris Miselowski and Shireen DuPreez.

Ideas explored during the webinar include:

  • Collective uncertainty, grief and the death of who we thought we would be.
  • How employers and employees are adapting to constantly changing conditions.
  • Tasks vs job descriptions.
  • Portfolio careers.
  • Which industries might thrive, which industries to avoid?
  • We are currently in a black hole (to use a science fiction analogy) and will emerge 10 years ahead of where we were. What you can do to maximise the upside and come out stronger.

Morris Miselowski is a Global Business Futurist, Strategist, Presenter and Media Broadcaster. Adjunct Industry Fellow – Griffith University. Participant G100 Global Future Think Tank. Morris is a visionary futurist pioneer and strategist.


Shireen DuPreez is an Executive Recruiter, Career Coach, Author and Optimist.

Shireen and Morris met at the 2018 Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) trade mission to Israel with other Australian business leaders.


Shireen and Morris met at the 2018 Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) trade mission to Israel with other Australian business leaders.

Special thanks to Julian.

Julian Keys is a Director, Board Director and Remuneration Consultant.





Welcome everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today.  I’m sheltering in my home office as we speak, and I’d like to welcome Morris.

Morris: [00:00:13]

Hello again.

Very, very good. Even in these times, technology doesn’t always work perfectly, I’m hunkering down in beautiful Melbourne.

Shireen: [00:00:27]

How’s the weather there today?

Morris: [00:00:30]

It’s very good. I’m looking at my window to blue skies and just wisps of clouds.

Shireen: [00:00:36]

Similar in Perth, although it’s quite warm in Perth.

I’m looking forward to a walk on the beach later today.

Morris: [00:00:30]

That could be contentious. Hopefully no towel in sight. No lying down or sitting.

Shireen: [00:00:34]

Absolutely. I shall not break the rules.

Morris: [00:00:36]

Never do. That’s what I like too.

Shireen: [00:00:44]

Thanks everybody for joining us today for a webinar, and we have 20 to 30 minutes of discussion between  Morris and myself, and then we’ll be going into Q&A.

We do have Julian Keys assisting us with administration on the call.   We’ll kick off today’s webinar on Australia’s  shrinking job market, corona proof careers and the future of work. And I might start with a question straight up to Morris, if that’s all right?

And that is, what are your observations of what’s been going on in the job market in Australia in the last few weeks?

Morris: [00:01:16]

Seems to have gone to hell in a hand-basket doesn’t it, to put it a blunt way. So really what’s happening is, as we all know, without going back over everything that we’ve all lived through in the last three or four weeks, the job market really has changed. What’s changed. Predominantly apart from people, of course, losing work and there’s nothing good to be said about that whatsoever, is that it has fundamentally changed at its core.

Everything that we thought we weren’t able to do, everything that was impossible to do, we’re now doing. In other words, we’re working from home, we have distributed workforces, we’re allowing people to manage themselves. We’re finding that we are moving away from job descriptions, moving away from careers.

We’ll talk more about that in a couple of moments to into a more prolific space, which is about the job itself. So really there’s been fundamental changes for those that have been able to continue to work. And for those that haven’t, of course, they can more fundamental changes. And we’ll come to discuss that too.

Shireen: [00:02:21]

Yes. That’s a great opening. And you know, I’m seeing a lot of employers in survival mode, they have feeling that they have no choice but to cut costs. So notwithstanding the ongoing work the government is doing to try to keep people in jobs and employers have a great deal of fear. In some circumstances, their revenue has gone off the cliff and they feel that they really must act sooner rather than later to reduce their costs in order to survive – what is an undetermined period. So I’m seeing a great deal of movement of people generally out of the job market.

Unfortunately, just yesterday I had two phone calls when people that had been unexpectedly made redundant, and unfortunately, some of it is not handled well at the moment, and I can understand that, but I think there’s going to be a period of time where it needs to be some forgiveness potentially, and some realization that perhaps things have not been handled well in the last few weeks.

Morris: [00:03:08]

I would agree. The one thing I would ask everyone that’s listening is the, can we stop reacting. Can we stop reacting and overreacting to everything that we’re hearing? It’s a very human trait, and I know that. I know it’s what we do as a default, but in business we’re really gonna start responding or over responding to it.

The first is an emotional response and it makes perfect sense. It’s valid, but it often doesn’t take us to a strategic answer. It often doesn’t take us where we need to. Honestly. Even with the avalanche of information that we’re hearing, let’s count to 10 literally before we choose to react. And I’m finding that with my clients as well, that they are beginning to cost cut.

They’re beginning to do things, which soon to make sense, but they don’t really, it’s an overreaction. I talk about the necessity of not just cutting the bottom line, but really looking at everything that is happening in an organization and wondering if there’s a better way to do it. And I would like, and again, we’ll share more of this as we talk our way through the next little while.

I would like us to look at not just responding. To what’s happening now, but over responding, taking into account what we think our workforce might need to be at the other side of this. There’s a lot of guessing about that and lots of conversations that have, there’s no surety about that, but let’s see if we can over-responsive we’re actually building our workforce, our capacity in our businesses so that when we come out of it and we will, that we can respond to that marketplace really quickly.

The greatest tragedy we can do to our business is to react and right now to do what needs to be done right now and then to find when we begin to see some sunlight that we’ve got to rebuild again. You really putting yourself through your own tragedy a second time for no purpose whatsoever.

Shireen: [00:05:21]

Look I agree with you. I would challenge you on one point though, Morris, is that what I’m seeing and hearing is that even the people with the best of intentions, their business mind is overriding some of their human skills right now.

For example, one large engineering and construction firm I know of, headquartered in Perth has gone from an order book of $118 million to 20 million.

They have had no choice, but to cut a workforce of 6,000 to 7,000. So the only way that they can survive is to do those drastic cuts. Now, I think we’re all going through a period of tremendous learning. I love your optimism and only in retrospect where we go, okay, I could’ve handled that conversation better.

I should have had a longer-term view on that. This is the first time in my experience that we’re actually not only fighting for our lives as well as our jobs. So one of the things I really like about your Morris is your ongoing optimism and your vision into the future. That the outcomes of what we’re going through now are going to impact us.

So let’s look ahead instead of just being in the moment. It’s a challenge is very real.

Morris: [00:08:18]

And I get that. I absolutely get it. I mean, we’re all human, as we said a few times, and we’ll continue to say in our conversation, but as best as we can. Let’s keep an eye on what we want the business to be. I talk about a notion of really working into three stages.

As a futurist. I’ve worked out to 50 and a hundred years, literally for clients, and had those conversations as a futurist, literally sitting here on the 8th of April, 2020 I’m talking minutes and days now, so I’ve shrunk my strategy look forward to now, which is a conversation between now and three weeks.

And then next, which is a conversation of three to five weeks. What do we do? Who are we in the rest of it? And then five weeks plus. But the biggest change in all of that is a mindset that I’ve always wanted people to have inclined to have. And that is to be able to reset to now as soon as something occurs.

And that’s what you need to do now. So again, three stages of thinking. But be prepared that there is much more ahead that we don’t know about. There are things that we will have to respond to, and if we can keep going down that strategy road and keep going down that strategy road and coming back to it, I think we’ll make better decisions.

We will get things wrong. No two ways about it, and that’s human. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re making the best responses we can with what we know and what we have and the time that we have. Oh, please. If at all possible, leave at least 10-20% bandwidth to just think about the implications down the road, even though they’re not as clear as I would have once been.

Shireen [00:09:18]

Yeah. I hear you. I mean, at a personal level with my own business, my projects were all frozen. It was a felt like a flashback to the global financial crisis. I guess part of me also having been through the global financial crisis, is recalls that after wave, after wave of redundancies for a considerable period of time.

Actually hiring again was really hard for employers because they were shell shocked and worried about the revenues and even though we want people to bounce back quickly and have the V-shaped recovery that’s being talked about, in reality, hiring my take longer than certainly the layoffs to get going again.

Morris [00:09:00]

Yeah, I think it will. The other reality for me, and again, we don’t know this for sure, but I’m fairly confident this is the reality. I don’t like this at all. I for once, hope I’m absolutely wrong, but this is not a V shape recovery. This is about, this is a bounce and are going to bounce and we’re going to bounce.

I would be, I am fairly certain and certainly counseling people that this is not the only time we will ever have to do this in our lives. It’s likely not putting a time window. I’m just putting nominal dates, it’s likely we’ll have to do this in six months or in 18 months or in 12 months that there will be a version of what we’re going through again.

And even if there isn’t, there will always be that niggling doubt. They’ll always be us sitting there and strategy wondering, is this covert proof? Will this be actually be able to run the business in the way that we did it before? And the reason that I say that there must probably will be bounces along the way.

Is that. There is not enough conversation that this is a lowest common denominator rights until the last person on this planet is Covid-19 free. There is an opportunity for this to keep coming back to us and we’re going to have to investigate and we’re going to have to invent and innovate what the world looks like until then, because that’s our reality.

When we think we have it under control, and again, I hope I’m wrong, but when we think that we have the sum, the control. It must probably will come back to bite us in some way or other. So that’s why I go back to that zero to, you know, that whole strategy I talked about before, the three stage one we’ve really got to be thinking about that.

So to your point,  I think the hiring will be difficult afterwards because. It will be based on that kind of thought process of, do we really need these people? Can we sustain them in work for a period of time? And of course the answer has to be yes, it has to be because we have to continue. But then also we’ve got to be prepared for what happens if this happens again.

And I, I believe, as I’ve said, the world.

Shireen: [00:10:23]

So if we can look at the job market ahead and let’s go in incremental steps, what is your view of how the job market will shake out? We bear in mind there may be further redundancy waves, but after they start to ease, what is your view.

Morris: [00:10:36]

So I’ve got a couple of horrific views.

I mean, this is just so not me, but this is the pragmatism. And in fact, I had a conversation only an hour ago with some politicians who thought that I was in fact being too lenient, shout nine who they are.

But yeah, so. I believe that 12% of businesses will not come out of the car with 19 will never see the light of day again, which is 276,000 businesses in Australia that will never open their doors again.

We have 13 million people employed, give or take as a February this year. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, 13 million. I am seeing that we will have 30% unemployment. In the next year or so. Now I’m not talking about poll, I’m not talking about the bottom line. That 5% figure that we have, now I’m talking about underemployment, underutilization, lumpy stuff.

People who are not really doing what they want to be doing, all those sorts of things is what I’m saying. By 30 I’m not being sensationalist. I’m not saying 30% of the population will sit home and do nothing. It just won’t be what they want. It won’t be the world that they had dreamed for themselves is what I’m coming up with is that figure, and that’s the world.

That’s the pragmatic world I think that we’re headed into for the next year, year and a half, maybe two years.

Okay. I agree with you and certainly the statistics out of the US of course, they have had a higher health impact than we have in Australia, but they might also bounce back quicker than we do, is 30% unemployment, which is a really scary statistic.

And I want to just ask you for a minute before you give some advice on what others should do. What are you doing yourself as an individual? Well, a couple of things. Firstly, I’ve gifted myself something that I wanted to do for a very long time. I’m growing hair back on my head and that sounds silly, but really at this time I’m trying, I’m trying to find personal things that gives me joy.

I mean, I’m stuck home like everybody else. My mind takes me everywhere, so I’m kind of lucky. I’m also kind of lucky cause my world’s always about change, so I’m really comfortable. As strange as, as extraordinary as that sounds. I’m kind of comfortable with this kind of are these, I do silly things. I mean, you know, I’ve changed the, I’ve changed the front of my phone.

My home is now a series of wallpapers of the favorite places I used to love to travel. So I’m looking at them anyway. I’m allowing myself to indulge at least virtually spiritually and being places I want to be, and I’m also strangely enough, enjoying having the family home. It really is a great period of time in that sense.

I have two children, they’re much older. And I’ve now have set up a Coke, a coworking space at my home. There was my wife and I, and this home was far too large for us all of a sudden to become small. So we have a business up the front, which is my daughter and my son in law who run their business out of the front of the house upstairs.

We have a very large consulting firm. In other words, my other daughter in law was sitting upstairs working from home. My son is doing the same. My wife is lecturing. So I’m really enjoying seeing all of those things happening around me and the way that we’re changing the world. So on a really personal level, I take joy wherever I can.

So for me, it’s those sorts of things.


Right. That’s a great example and it reminds me of why it’s such a joy to talk to you is that, does that date optimism and you, when you first started talking, you said you’re really comfortable with change. I thought I was comfortable with change because I’m someone who does live in the future.

I love what’s coming next and I’m excited. I don’t live in the past and I’m being patient in the present to get where I want to go. I’ve always been that way. But I find it really challenging to keep the demons at bay right now. And that’s partly because I run a business. And also members of my family have been laid off.

My daughter, who’s a student in Canberra, is no longer able to work in hospitality and support herself at university. So it has had a personal impact, and I’m worried, I’m worried about people, so I feel like I’m worrying more than I would normally worry. And, at the same time, I also am going out every day for a walk and life is a lot simpler.

So I, balance this kind of, life’s pretty good with, oh my gosh, this is just not sustainable for me. It’s just a really interesting time.


The first thing is, and none of us, I have not seen a communal conversation on this. We have to understand, we really do. Every single one of us on this planet have to understand that we are going through a grieving process.

We have lost the vision of who we are. We’ve lost ourselves and we’ve lost what we thought our future would be. And it’s not that melodramatic to say that because all of us carry a vision of who we are and it was all based on none of this stuff. None of this stuff factored into it. So we have come to a screeching halt.

We have other people telling us what’s right and wrong. We’re making decisions based on very, very poor information, and we’re not quite sure of a certainty. It’s all about grieving. So to me, I have. Begged everybody honestly to sit with themselves and to take themselves as quickly as they can or whatever method, whatever length of time, and grieve.

I mean, actually say out loud that I’m not likely to be that person I was before and that’s not a bad thing. It just means I need to adjust and I need to change. And unfortunately it’s been dictated. It’s not something that’s in my control. You know, we’re not sitting and holding hands.

It’s not kumbaya at all. It’s the realism, again, of being human that we are grieving. We have lost. Something dramatic. Our sense of self. So we have to get that back in, in whatever way is possible for ourselves. And nobody else can do that for us. And the other thing is we are entitled to be modeling. We are entitled to be sad, and we are entitled to say, this is not what I want.

We have to give ourselves permission to do all of that. We don’t have to sit here and be perfect, but I’m begging everybody. But once or during, you go through that process please, every so often and when you can always look ahead, because we will get out. And so I know everybody says it and including the queen, and she was far more elegant and eloquent.

Then I can be, but we will get out of this. It doesn’t seem like it, and we just have to keep on with that vision. But allow yourself to grieve in the way cells to move forward and then rebuild a vision and a picture of who you are, who you want to be. This is an opportunity. It’s a terrible one, but it’s an opportunity to reset and reboot.

I agree in the sense that I feel as though if I don’t take this opportunity to really stop and say, okay, you wanted a chance to reevaluate, you’ve got it. If you’re going to ever reinvent yourself, what will that look like? Because now you’ve got the time to do it. There’s going to be so many people reinventing their careers over the course of the next six to 12 months out of necessity or out of choice.

And so this is that very unique time to do so you’ve actually got time to get skills. You’ve got time to talk to people, to learn from them, to share, and you’ve also got time to connect. And I find. You know, in everyday business life you might have a list of 10 people. You never get a chance to call because you’re just too focused on what needs to happen today.

Well, now we actually have the time to call and connect. And I noticed also a number of things going on in communities around, you know, community, Facebook groups or community projects and what have you, is that people’s desire and sense to be part of community and spirit and supporting doctors or whatever it is.

Calling on you now is a good time to implement that. Yeah, it absolutely is. And to sit with them, you know, as you said, we’re being forced. I mean, this is, this is forced indenture. We’re being forced to look at ours to look at ourselves in some ways, but to reimagine, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

It’s terrible the way we were being forced to do it. But then the activity itself is not necessarily a bad, you know, I, I, I always made the joke that I am trying to figure out every day of my life who I want to be when I grow up. And that’s exactly the statement I make. Who do I want to be when I grow up?

And that allows me to be childish. It allows me to dream. It allows me to imagine, and that is taking the best of who I am, the best of my skill set and pondering how I might be able to develop that further. And it’s not just not on a personal basis, on a business space. It’s also on a personal basis. So yes, there’s lots of things I want to get to in this conversation with you.

But it. If fundamentally it is a human activity, we’ve got to be able to see that there is a future. We’ve got to understand that we’re grieving for the past. Some of their past will disappear, some will come back and give us joy again. But importantly, I think this is a time where we do have to set, hit that reset and reboot button and let’s grow out of it.

I mean, let’s, let’s try and make something better.

Shireen: [00:19:47]

Yeah. I want you to just bring it back down to the immediacy of people’s need to have an income. Okay? So every day now I’m talking to people that are signed to me train.

How do I job search in this market?

And whilst my usual advice still stands, it’s with an adapted kind of view that we’re moving into a far more competitive landscape for skills unless you’re a doctor and those in the high demand, space. What is your view or advice for people on how to just get paid work.

Morris: [00:20:32]

Okay. So the first thing is that for those that still have a job, they have a career. For the rest of us, me models, it isn’t about a career for a little while.

We really have to put the career on hold. I don’t mean forget about it, just put it on hold. Because we are in survival mode. As you’ve said, this is all about jobs. And I’m finding increasingly in the last month or so, the jobs are about tasks. They are about the skill set. They’re about something that you might not have otherwise wanted to do or thought that you could even make money from.

And I’m talking about this now, period. You know the now the threat, the nought to three weeks, the trying to find a career is almost impossible now. Not impossible, but nearly trying to find a job also might not, that might not be that easy. Not impossible. Not that easy. But finding tasks is relatively. Uh, a much easier task, I should say, a much easier activity to do.

By that, I mean, there are, you know, what? 2000 jobs waiting at Woollies. I know most of the being taken and this list is something everybody knows. There are domino drivers, there are all kinds of people. If you go into Airtasker, if you go into some of those sites and see what skills you have, that might be useful to somebody else in a very, very short period of time, if you need.

Neither jumper and go into Etsy and begin to sell that sort of thing to somebody else. So for me, the advice I’ve given always now is now is absolutely more, it’s more relevant now than ever before. That is that we are on small business. Regardless of whether you worked for somebody else or not, you are your own small business.

You need to ensure that you have a multiplicity of skills. It really is about a skills portfolio, which is how I think we’re going to make income moving forward anyway, we’ll have a core job and we’ll then sell other skills as we need them either to satisfy a women that we have to try a new muscle or activity or just because we want to make more money.

And that we’re seeing is the gig economy of tomorrow so we can have a job and go into Uber and maybe sell something else somewhere else. Air B and B. This portfolio approach is what I think we all need to have moving forward, regardless of whether we’re full time or not. This is the reason. When you go to take financial advice, and I’m not giving any, but I think the best financial advice is that you should have a mixed portfolio, a little bit of money here, and maybe in shares, a little bit of money in property and a little bit of money in money.

So regardless if one drops off, the other two are other one is still around. I’m suggesting exactly the same thing for your career. Have your main career, have your main job. Where you make most of your money or most of your enjoyment, and that’s what sustains you, but have something else in your portfolio, but you can do as an income or you can add in as a bit of enjoyment or a bit of fun or stretch some skills or do something else and have that consistently working in your life.

So it might only be an hour a month, it might be a couple of hours. Every two months, if that’s not important. But your mind takes you to the thought that yes, I have this skill, but I could also do this and if I need to, I could also do that. And we need to be prepared for that kind of a future. So my process is to find out what those skills are that you enjoy doing.

What are those transferable skills? And we talk about so often, what are the things that you can do? And you’d be surprised. The more mundane it is, I find the more often it’s necessary. People need people to answer a phone. They need people to do typing. They need people to do gardening. They need people to go and pick a parcel up for them.

Mundane and ordinary is perfect at this stage. It’s a task that you can do. It’s not a career, it’s not a job. It really is getting you through that now period so that you can then move on. So those sorts of things are where I think we can begin to lift ourselves out. Not easy. Absolutely not just a phone call away.

That’s far more possible than anything else at this stage. So you’re really asking people to go back to their roots of human nature and be fundamentally entrepreneurial. Absolutely. Regardless of whether you have a full time job or not, I think that’s where the joy is. I honestly think that’s where the joy is.

Even in full time employment, incrementally changing your job, challenging and changing the work that you do inside your job, not changing, changing the work that you do, incrementally asking yourself. With what I know now with what I’ve just done. Is there a better way to do it? That phone call I’ve just taken, I realized if I said this or phrase it that way or did this, it’s a far better experience.

I should do that again, that’s incremental change. So even in a day to day job, I would. Challenge us all to have that mindset. But increasingly for ourselves, it’s the question of yes, I am this person. This is what I want to have on my job title. But I also don’t mind doing that. And I also don’t mind doing a bit of gardening or a bit of kayaking, or I can be a tour guide or I can cook or whatever else.

So that’s what I think we can get our immediacy from. It also connects us back to a community, gives us a sense of purpose, because the one thing that we know in our society is that for many of us, and I don’t think that’s a good thing, but it’s a real thing. For many of us, our sense of self-worth is attached to our job and our job title and where are we getting that from?

Shireen: [00:25:34]

I agree. Some work is better than no work. Certainly statistics around long-term unemployed, anything after 18 months being unemployed at can it create deep emotional scarring. So I agree with you and your advice is to get out there, take a full portfolio approach.

Where can you make money in a different way?

Look, that will mean an erosion of some of our traditional work. Uh, potential potentially benefits. I’ve been running a business for 10 years, so I’m used to not having any benefits unless I bestow them on myself. However, I can see that’s going to have a significant impact on families and, and just genuinely trickled down.

I’m also concerned that with creating a massive welfare state right now, and whilst we need it, and I applaud the government’s strong support through this crisis period. The downside, of course will be, are we going to make people too reliant on the state and how many people will be working to help pay the taxes of the state for those people that just were not willing to, or able to find a portfolio approach or find any work at all.

So we’re really grappling with some massive issues here. If fundamentally the move to portfolio careers had already commenced prior to this. It’s just that it will be interesting to see the statistics in another six to 12 months is how many of those people have actually moved further into portfolio career.

It was going to be 50% of people in some sort of a different type of arrangement other than full time. I wonder if it’ll be 60% or 70% of people that have come out of this, not in a full time job.

Morris: [00:27:11]

And is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’m not quite sure because we needed to have this discussion anyway.

It would have been more orderly. It would have been slower, but the entire workforce, the way that we structure work needs to change. The reality is that we are putting enough two, 3 billion people on this planet that we’re having a rising middle class. The discussions I had before covid were really about the changing workforce.

Anyway. But behind all of this, again, pre covid, there is been a belief for a very long period of time, fostered by the abs and all kinds of other economists that by 2030 let’s not talk about this period because of course it’s changed everything, but let’s go pre. But by 2030 we were going to have a short fall in Australia, 2 million workers, a short form that we would not have enough people to do what we need to do to sustain ourselves as a country.

I still think we’re going to have that kind of a shortfall. In other words, we will need people. We will need people to be able to grow our economy. Again, I don’t think that employment is, we know it has, it will disappear totally. But I think the way we structured the way people get work, probably people receive work, the longevity of work, all of that is up for question now, where, how, why and when we work is all up for question.

And I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I think as a society, not as an individual because it’s difficult as an individual, but as a society, it’s a discussion we needed to have.

Shireen: [00:28:31]

Look, there is a grave risk around hamstringing businesses that can’t bring talent in, in Australia. So whilst a border closure may make us feel really safe and make us think that more people in Western Australia are going to get hired because we’re not having people coming from Eastern States or from overseas.

The big risk is for businesses that want to grow and kind of get the skills, they just want the able to sustain. Having a business in West Australia, which may be offshoring more businesses. So fluid movement of talent is really important for business growth and change. And I’m a bit concerned if we become too parochial and closed-borded around what will happen generally in our ability to compete on the world stage.

Morris: [00:29:16]

Well, your model talks a lot about the physical world and we have to include the digital world here. My reality is, my advice has been for a long time, is that an organization, the business should have 60% of its workforce made up of permanent people. People who carry the ethos, carry the brand, carry the knowledge and the soul of the business, and they can maintain most of the day to day efforts.

I believe the other 40 – 20% of which should be made up by technology that supports the business to do what they need to do. And the other 20% is made up by a transient or a peak workforce that comes in with specialist skills. So there’s a lot of rejigging up, I believe, that we couldn’t do and would have done.

It would just would have been more gradual. So I do think that there’s lots of room for us to grow, to grow, and I think we can in fact grow better, stronger businesses at our covid resistant if we kind of take that 60, 20, 20 model.

Shireen: [00:30:09]

Okay. That’s really interesting. I actually hadn’t heard that before, but I can see why that would work.

And so now what you’re saying is if you’re a business in Australia and you need the skills that are offshore, you can still get the skills, you just might never meet the person.

Morris: [00:30:22]

And who cares. I mean, depending on what it is, who cares? Because we’re really about outputs. We’re not about inputs anymore. And that’s the other big shift that I’m hoping we will see out of these inputs is where we measure every minute of everybody’s activity.

And when the panted in their leader of sweat at the end of the week, we say, job well done. For me, it’s a world of outputs. We’re adults. We’re being paid because we are the best of what we do. Let’s just assume that we understand what has to be done when, where, and how, and that we are absolutely responsible for achieving that.

If we don’t, then kick us to the curb, no question about it. In that world, all of this is possible because we’re adults working to outputs.

Shireen: [00:30:57]

Yeah. Excellent. Never mind the poor graduates haven’t quite got to full adulthood, but that’s another discussion.  Now, what I’d like to just turn our attention to briefly before we go to Q&A

What would be your strategy for the recovery?

So if you were to get it, give advice to people that, are looking ahead to the recovery phase of what’s going to be, in the next six months or 12 months, 18 months. We don’t know when the recovery will actually begin.

What is your advice?

Morris: [00:31:34]

So going back to core, firstly, let’s go back to call. Let’s figure out what the business is, reset and reboot, cause this is a perfect opportunity. Figure out what it is that you want to do and what did you, what it is you should be doing. Many businesses have a lot of fat attached to it.

They’re doing things and don’t necessarily bring in money. They’re kind of legacy systems, legacy protocols and practices. I think that’s really important. Link back to the core, figuring out who and what you are, and then we can start to begin to, we can start to begin. Take the lessons from what we have just done.

The reality is that we have gone into a black hole. We all know that. What we have not realized yet is that we will come out the other end of this five if not 10 years ahead of where we otherwise might have been because we have all done the impossible for 20 years. I have heard we can’t do it. It’ll never happen.

Not a part of my life. My business council by industry can’t do it. We’re never going to do. And that we’re all sitting at home in a distributed workforce or taken out digital world, and we’ve said it’s no longer the devil. It in fact, is what allows us to continue to be human and to work. If we didn’t have this digital landscape, if we didn’t have the internet, which everybody has pilloried.

Where would we be today? Literally sitting in our homes listening to a radio and newspaper and a television and not speaking to each other. So I’m not a fanboy for technology. What I’m saying in this world moving forward, let’s just accept all of this has been agreed to now. Anything is possible. Let’s take the lessons out of what we currently do.

Look at the workforce. We have looked at how they’re working. We remodel work. Let’s reshape the work. It’s figuring out when, where, how, and why it’s best done. Let’s do that now because we started discussion by efficiencies. We started discussion by making cutbacks. To me, that’s a more beneficial, that’s a response.

Cut back by doing that, I know that we’re going to trim fat. I know that we are going to run lean. I know that we are going to achieve what we want to achieve. Let’s use the time to do this. Let’s go do that 60 2020 model because now technology is really leaning heavily into them. Most businesses are relying on their, what does that look like for you?

There are businesses and industries ahead. There is lots of upside, lots of things. We’re getting out of the health industry. For instance, the health industry. We will now see the ramifications of health in a way that I believe we will cure some cancers. We will look at disability in different ways. We will look at ailments different ways, and we are now responsible for our own health.

We’re going through a wellness phase because we’re told that. We are responsible. Take care of yourself so you don’t get sick. Let’s look at what the lessons are for every industry, and there are tons of them. I mean, I’ve, I’ve got list and I’m up to about 63 inklings, but I’m looking at that. I’ve vague things.

I think we’ll be ahead. Try and figure out how your industry’s changing. Don’t go back to what you were before. It doesn’t exist. That’s the biggest mistake. Figure out what you think your industry might be. Yell out, let’s have a chat about this. We’ve grown a community here online. Let’s keep talking to each other about what that might be.

It’s often easier for somebody outside to see it, so I’m trying to give really difficult long advice really quickly, but to me it’s those things. It’s the fundamentals because everything else is just bows and Rubens. All right, so there was a lot to that. I want to say that that old saying of trimming fat, not muscle, which I hear business owners talk about is, can really be.

Hard to hear because, I’m seeing a lot of muscle getting trimmed all the while we’re sitting at home getting fat because we can’t go to the gym. But that’s another topic. But what I want to just point out to you is whilst on a cognitive level, I get it. I hear what you’re saying. We’re going to be better off.

In medical terms, we going to have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. We can refocus weekend shift, whatever didn’t work in our life before. We can go back to basics. We can think about it, but you know, we’re not always used to asking ourselves. Who we are, and then being able to attach a value in the job market to who we are.

It’s actually not as simple. And in my career coaching, I often come against this is for someone that. Knows what their skill base is and knows what they can get paid and worked within. The parameters of that can set a target list of companies can approach, companies can use it, networks and maneuver and leverage an opportunity.

That’s great, but for the people that actually are back to 0.0 of going, well, who am I now? I thought I was up, but that whole experience was really difficult. I don’t want to go back there and now I have to ask myself again, who am I and where will my skills he paid for. Do you have any advice on that? So again, it goes back to what we said before about tasks.

For me, the question, the answer to that question is that there isn’t an answer. If we look for an answer, we’re never going to move forward. Who are we at this moment? What are we feeling at this moment? What tasks do we want to complete this moment? What can I get paid for this moment? We’re trying to make the best person we can be exactly at this minute.

Let’s not worry about tomorrow and next week or next month. We’ll work towards that. That’s a whole existential cognitive conversation. If we have 10 years to take ourselves to India and think about it really is, I’m hoping this doesn’t sound esoteric because to me it’s absolutely practical. It’s really saying that at this exact moment, what do I need to do?

Who do I need to be? What is my journey. So I’ve got some long vision. Let’s just not run into it, so I know roughly what it is I want to do and roughly where I’m headed, even if I don’t know exactly how I’m going to get it, like the rest of the world at the moment. Let’s just start building tasks. To your point, yes, as if I’m going for a job, it’s obvious because the job is worth X number of dollars.

I’m offered it and I can marketplace compare at this stage. Maybe it’s just a compare. Maybe it’s just an automation of task payments. Look at what the hourly rate is. Look at what people are paying for those tasks that you have and a mess. Again, that portfolio income, there isn’t an easy answer. I know that’s very, very easy for me to sit here and that I’m asking people to spend hours and hours doing what might seem to be fruitless, useless tasks, but firstly, they’re not.

They’re putting money in the bank. They’re extending your skillset. They are getting you out of the house or in the house, but to do different things and at least they’re stretching the mind and taking you towards something else. I know they’re not the perfect answers. I know it’s not what we want to hear, but at this stage, there aren’t any perfect answers and we’re not hearing anything we want to hear anyway.

You are right, very good. So I would like to turn now to questions to Q&A. So if you’re ready, if there was anything else you wanted to add before we do that, Morris.

Okay, good. I will bring Julian in who’s doing a wonderful job administering for us. Julian, if you would please give us an idea of some of the questions that have been coming through and let us know any that you would like us to answer.

Julian: [00:38:37]

Thanks Shireen. Yes, we’ve got 47 people in the room and a number of questions and comments have been posted.

The first two are very similar, so I’ll put them tomorrows together.

Michelle asked, what industries do you think will thrive after this? And maybe what type of industries will struggle in the future? Steven asked, which industries are the early winners, which industries are doomed?

Morris: [00:39:05]

So the answer to that, I mean, there’s a long list and I’m happy.

If you want to, I’ll send you that long list of industries. But for me, we talk a lot about health. The moment we’re going really short term, we have a lot of native around health and we will continue to have that for the next couple of years. Now, health doesn’t mean need to be eaten. You need to be a doctor or a nurse.

Of course, wonderful skills need more of them. It can be allied health, it can be anything around there. So that sort of work is absolutely part of it. We also have what I refer to as revenge. Buying coming up, we will have a really big spike of people that go into revenge. Now, what I love by that, which is why I like using it, revenge is exactly what I’m doing, and I think most people are.

When this damn thing finishes, I’m going to. I’m going to go out to a restaurant, I’m going to buy that pair of shoes, I’m going to do that, and I’m going to do this. So there will be a spike in revenge buying or revenge activity as soon as we can do it. So figure out what it is people will want to do at the other end of this.

For immediate income, I mean for median income for you. So will it be going to a restaurant? Will it be going for a walk? Will it be going to gym? If that’s that kind of thing, then you can immediately, as soon as this thing begins to look like it’s lifting, take advantage of that straight away. So I would be looking for human to human activities because it will be strange and different.

But the thing that we crave, I think that there will be work around hospitality. It’ll be different. It’ll be lumpy. We’ll have lots of issues around that. So my thoughts are towards it. Now again, we’ve got structural things like we’ve got government funded services. There will be an increase in police.

The one thing that I’m absolutely sure of, I wish I was social about the tax numbers, is that we will have an increased police force after this is all over. Every single police force in Australia is struggling to find members struggling to find people to join them. After this, we will have lots of people that are applying, so there’s a place already government funded that will take, that will give jobs.

We have the defence, we’ve got welfare, but aged care, it’s going to be difficult to administer over the next year or two as we get our way through this. Covert that be looking for people. There are, of course, the utility companies, the telcos and those sorts of things will have to continue and we’ll have to rise.

Construction and building, especially infrastructure is another space where governments will be forced to spend money. They will be forced to spend money, so we will be able to consult and, and have jobs and work into that space. So they’re going to be there. Technology is going to be a huge increase now, especially with what you and I doing, sharing this type of stuff that’s been done at home.

This distributed type of software is new, which I mean, it’s been around forever. Zoom has been around forever, but it hasn’t been used on mass before. It hasn’t been a real appetite for it. So what we’re doing now is really using legacy systems, things that were around and opportunistic, but they were never built to do what it is that we’re doing with them now and what we would like to do.

So lots of work around that, inventing, innovating, those types of bits of software and all the technology that goes with it and the list goes on. But so happy. If you want to email me Morris@businessfutures.com I’m happy to send you a list of them. But again, I say it with a lot of energy because there is truth that there is a lot of work ahead.

We just need to get somebody to find this. The key to get us out of home.

Julian: [00:42:21]

Next question, Morris from Phil. Does Australia and New Zealand stand to be major players moving forward due to self-sufficiency, options, and what? What will be the focus in terms of manufacturing in those countries?

Morris: [00:42:36]

It’s a really fascinating question.

I’ve been asked that a few times in the last. Week or so, and I mean that because I’m still struggling with the answer. The manufacturing, of course, is something that we’re seeing going off shore at the moment. We’re seeing what’s called reassuring or remanufacturing, which means we’re bringing, we’re trying to bring it back to Australia.

That’s been a trend for the last four or five years in a small way to bring it back from overseas and to start doing it again here. I think there’ll be a small increase in manufacturing because the thing that I’m noticing now is that the conversation about retooling and existing manufacturers are very, very quickly looking at what can we do?

Can we make a respirator? Can we make masks? Even though we haven’t done it before, but we have the, we have the person power. We’ve got the square footage. We’ve got the things that seem to make it possible, so there will be an uplift if we can find those sorts of things that we can rethink our current practices or the current things that we do in our manufacturing to what might be necessary.

It’s kind of a King to the war effort. We’re in war. We had to bring it all back. We had to find local producers, so in that sense, I think that we will find an uptight. The reason I’m hesitating is because I grew up in a time when manufacturing was such a large part of Australia and so vital to us, and I don’t sense we’re going to get back to that kind of vitality completely.

And I asked which skills will be most in demand in the post pandemic world, the same ones that were before human ones. Absolutely human ones. This is a conversation we would have had before the . Our reality is that anything that’s transactionary has been pushed over to technology. So anything where I can put a one plus one equals two, I’m going to get a piece of robotics to do.

We don’t have people with checkout at supermarkets in the same way we did before. So those skills have disappeared and will increasingly disappear. Bookkeepers now often are not around because we’re using zero and MYOB and other things. What we will need to do and what we will continue to need and what this.

Yeah. This pandemic has proven to us is that we are humans. That what we look for is human interaction. So what we’ll sell into the future are the human to human. The communication skills, the ability to be able to make yourself known and heard. Those sorts of creativity skills where we can think differently.

Again, that incremental change they’re not. Things are technology can do. There are things that only humans can do, so the advice to me hasn’t changed pre, post and enduring. It’s the same. It’s always the human skills that are going to be the ones that are, I think are most future proof.

Julian: [00:45:20]

Next question is on a different theme.

So looking forward, what do you think the currency, the world will be and any comments on Bitcoin?

Morris: [00:45:31]

So when we talk, Karen said, because you ended in Bitcoin, I think where I keep talking about currency as in dollars. Again, this is conversation tree covert, but it might have been, you know, this might’ve pushed it forward.

I firstly have never believed will be a cashless society. I think we’ll be a less cash society. And that’s because in the city, for instance, we take for granted that we can set a car or our phone and have things paid, go out a couple of hundred kilometers. And even with the NBN, as wonderful as we’re being told to is now, it doesn’t work particularly well.

So they need cash. Some people just will not put away their cash and use credit cards. Having said that, increasingly we will use some sort of digital currency. Bitcoin is one of the brands, but Bitcoin is also one of the oldest brands. It’s one of the first ones, and the technology itself is quite dated.

Again, not financial advice, but the technology itself is quite dated. There are far better versions of a digital currency and Bitcoin around. But that’s not really what’s important either. That what we’re headed to is a world of incremental payments. Incremental payments are really small minute payments.

Literally 0.0% that we make for something that we might buy or do, and that’s how we’re going to pay for things moving forward. Our electricity will actually be paid in a raise, but based on what we actually use, our insurance will be the same way. Every time our phone or our, our piece of technology interacts with something else.

There’ll be a digital chain, a digital chain attached to that, that makes the payments some fancy words around that that we can talk about off air as well. If you want to come back to me, we can have that conversation. So digital space will definitely increase. Cash is around for the foreseeable future though.

Julian: [00:47:17]

The second last question is from the business travel sector. Do we really see much erosion in closing deals and making business without the face to face toe-to-toe people-driven engagement. You know, when the internet first came about and Skype came on just before zoom was around. Everybody thought that the event industry was finished, why will I need to go to an event if I can see people inside the screen?

Morris: [00:47:44]

I’m physically never going to travel anywhere and being part of this industry for the last 30 years. It’s what I heard towards the end of the last century, into this century. Of course, nothing can be further from the truth. We are herd animals. We’d love to be with other people, so where we can do business online, we’re being taught now.

What those parameters are. We will continue to do that because there’s efficiencies here, but where it requires us to be together with another human being, we will crave that. There will be something, especially in this period of time coming out of this period of time that we will want to do. So I’m expecting effect to see an uptake where we will see more human to human contact.

Again, transaction will be done online now. Those meetings, those documents, things that we can easily do between a bit of a bit of digital technology. We’ll take care of itself. But we will look for opportunity always to have human to human contact.

Julian: [00:48:40]

And the last question, Morris, is from Judy. She’s interested in the 63 industries you took mentioned earlier.

Can you show us some more insight on that please?

No, those weren’t industries, Julie, so I didn’t, they were 60 at this day. 63 grows every time my mind goes back to it. They are inklings. They’re things that I’m seeing around me that I believe will be either small, medium, or large changes to the way we live, love and work.

That’s what I refer to in those. I do have a list of industries and I have a list of jobs, not 63 though, a list of industries and jobs that I think  are either covid pre, post or during, and ones that I think will disappear and please again come back to me email only or come and contact. I’m happy to send those through to you, but the other one in my inklings, they’re the things that I think will have repercussions on the world ahead, and that’s another conversation for another day.

Shireen: [00:49:34]

If you’re okay with us sharing that to the people that registered for the webinar, I’ll put a link when the recording’s available too. Absolutely.

Julian: [00:49:46]

That’s the end of the questions.

Back to you Shireen.

Shireen: [00:49:48]

Okay great. Thank you very much for those questions and appreciate your thoughts, really insightful. Just when you were talking about, herd animals and getting back to the fundamentals of how humans behave, it made me think about that I have seen some tribal stuff going on in workplaces and certainly with people in survival mode.

Do you think that the move to kind of  bring back to your immediate surroundings? Because we’re all worried to stick it out. A little patch of the world. We’ll see a flourishing all of more community based travel or business or what have you. Do you think that will be a change.

Morris: [00:50:38]

Okay. I’m desperately, I’m aching to say yes.

The thing that doesn’t allow me to say this is the pragmatism, the practicality. I’m not sure how far our leash will take us for the next while that as we start this conversation, we really are a lowest common denominator at the moment. Meaning that if there is disease, if there’s, if there’s reality of infection, then we may have borders that are closed for quite a while.

I would not be surprised. If Australia becomes a true either, I know we are, but the true Island for the next year or so, and it’s difficult to go in and out without getting a note from the headmaster or your parents asking you or saying why you need to leave. So my answer to your question is really in both.

I know as humans, the answer would be absolutely. Categorically we’d all be out there making hay, you know, we’d all be out there seeing each other and moving around. But the pragmatism and the practicalities, we may not be able to. So my advice to businesses and to other people is we need to continue to.

Strategize along the notion of we most probably won’t be able to physically outreach in the way we were for at least. Because stable future next six to 12 months for sure, and hopefully I want to be wrong again, there’s so much about this period I want to be wrong about.

Shireen: [00:51:51]

So let me ask you another, put you on the spot.

What is your current timeline around how long you’re thinking you’re going to be hunkered down for at a best case and a worst case scenario?

Morris: [00:52:03]

This is the question we all ask of each other. And I have no more advice or insight than anybody else, but I’ll say this, I mean, for me, my, my thinking is that we must probably have another two months, maybe three months of doing what we have now.

I think we’ll see some loosening of shackles. I also, as much as I don’t want it to happen, I think we, well, I know we need to start to get back together, unfortunately within see rise of infection. I just don’t understand how that’s not going to happen. I do quite a lot of work now with Griffith university around hospitals, future of medicine, future of all that kinds of stuff.

Everybody I’ve spoken to, even with the most optimistic view. Says, we will not get a jab within 18 months, and the jab is something equivalent with polio or measles or something else. Have the jab. It’ll take a while for your body to get used to. So it’s not immediate anyway, but eventually that’ll work itself out.

18 months. Somebody listening to this, please explain to me. How we get seven and a half billion jabs going in a really short period of time. So I’m just not, you know, all of that worries me, which is why I think when I was probably on our own in our home, it was a little bit of loosening over the next six to eight weeks, three months, most probably a bit more loosening.

But the board is around States and around out our nation. I think we’ll take a bit longer than that for us to go beyond. Again, wanting to be wrong, absolutely want to be wrong. Mm, yeah. So we might not see you back over in Perth for a while. You see me now, let’s accept the virtual.

Shireen: [00:53:40]

That is a great saying. That’s a quote, “let’s accept the virtual”.

Morris: [00:53:46]

Yeah, and that’s what it is. I mean, I’d love to be there and I’d love to be having dinner and coffee with you, and that’s really what I want to come back and do. But gee, this is a great second or a great third.

And as you said, I’m an, I only an eternal optimist, I get that. I know that. And it’s just my quirk. But I’d much rather have this than nothing at all. Those aerograms which hardly anybody listening even knows what that means. But the old aerogram was the old blue sheet. We used to go to the post office and buy and write notes on use fold them up and send. It’s what we would be doing now if we didn’t have this internet.

So let’s, let’s work towards having the world back as we would like it to be. Let’s refashion it. Let’s see if we can take something good out of this. Take the best of who we were, what we are, what we were, and what we did.

Let’s then take the best of who we are, what we are, and what we do now, and let’s figure out what we want to be tomorrow. And let’s accept and push. Accepting doesn’t mean we have to give up, but let’s accept what we do now and push and keep pushing until we get more.

Shireen: [00:54:45]

Very good. So I’d like to call now for any closing thoughts or any closing questions.

Julian: [00:54:51]

We do have one final question from Mark. How can employers build their brand as a good employer?

Shireen: [00:54:58]

So they made stronger to attract best talent.

Okay. Yes. I think that is really long term view because what I’m seeing is a lot of reactivity and survival mode behavior, which may not translate well into good people to people communications, even with the best intentions.

People are just looking out for themselves first at the moment. With how an employer can build their brand? It’s usually a multichannel approach. So you do need to think about your marketing, how you are projecting yourself and more in a virtual way. So I would have a sort of a multipronged approach and look at how are you interacting with your current, usually your current employees are your biggest brand advocates, and the number one source of employees is through referrals.

So most companies do more of the hiring through referrals. So, treat your current people as well as possible because they will be your brand advocates and think you can do immediate tasks right now, but also thinking longer term around being ready to bring talent on. And, when you start seeing the uptick is on, is to try not to be as a delayed in your decision making and make it very painful for people to come on board just because you’re gun shy of what you’ve been through.

So I hope that’s helpful.

Morris: [00:56:41]

For me, I’d sum it up. I would say be kind, be kind to each other. I’m seeing some really great examples as horrible examples. People are working under difficult circumstances. We all are. Let’s accept that we’re all adults. I’ve said this already in this conversation. Let’s accept we’re adults. Let’s work for outputs, not inputs.

If at all possible. Try not to micromanage people, resource them as best as possible because they are the people at the front. They’re the people doing the tasks that need to be done. No one is working in a rule book anymore. Everybody is making it up. We need to be kind to each other and if we are kind to each other, and the Shireen said, if I enjoy working for you, you have been as wonderful as you possibly can be to me during this period.

I’m going to be as loyal as hell to you forever.

Shireen: [00:57:29]

That’s a good point. There will be a lot of loyalty built in this time period for existing employees, and so it may be harder to get new talent further down the track because that loyalty has been embedded now. Great. So that was a good last question thank you. And do you have any closing thoughts, Morris?

Morris: [00:57:49]

Same thing. Let’s be calm. Let’s imagine that there is a future because there is folks, there really is, I know we’re going through really difficult times. Everyone says that. I’m trying not to use those words, but. For every moment that we are seeing tragedy and we’re seeing a downfall please try and at least have one positive thought because we will come out of this. We absolutely will, and there is a very, very different world on the other side of it. It will not be perfect. It will be as bumpy and lumpy as hell and not even sure what it will be, but I am absolutely sure that just as well, just as much as there will be tragedy ahead and there will be there will also be opportunity ahead and there will be better times for all of us to have. We need to be ready to have them, because the other thing I know is that if we don’t allow ourselves to have that thought, then we want see the sun rising. We just want.

Shireen: [00:58:40]

That’s a really good wrap-up, and I would also like to add that if you need help and many people do right now, please ask for help.

This is a period of high stress, it’s not possible to have all the answers yourself, and some people actually, can’t access, for whatever reason, the support that they need – often by helping others, you’re helping yourself. So even if you’re feel that you can’t get the help you need, go out and find someone who needs help because by giving you will receive.

And, in relation to the jobstuff is, I would suggest to go to your immediate network first, go to the people that know you most, know that you’re good at whatever skill you have. And. Go to that first, rather than just click, click, click on job ads online. There’s a huge amount of competition now online.

So reach out to your network, ask for help, and, don’t be afraid to seek support if you need it.

Morris: [00:59:48]

Yeah, absolutely. Break all the rules because there aren’t any. We’ll try to break up the rules and just make it up. Do whatever you need to do, do whatever you need to do to get through this period because you are worth the effort.

I mean, you are truly worth the effort. So make the effort to help you and other people to move forward, because we will meet again in Perth physically, we will have coffee and lunch together. We just need to get ourselves through this and there’s lots of things that we can do and many of those are positive.

So I want to finish by thanking Shireen because she put this thing together. So thank you very much for organizing this. I’m looking forward to us doing it again, so thank you on my behalf for doing that.

Shireen: [01:00:25]

Oh, you’re very kind, Morris. I’m really grateful you would be available to talk with me and thank you everybody for attending today as well.

Please do feel free to reach out to us, connect with us on LinkedIn. I’ll send you a link to the recording and if there’s anything we can assist you with, please let us know. Thanks and have a good rest of the day, everybody.

See you, bye.


Note: Here is the link to the list referred to in the webinar:








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