All cartoons © Bruce Petty. Thanks Bruce.

This site is for people who have silently wept into a crumpled copy of their workplace’s mission statement; who have been underpinned by a strategically aligned, innovative, creative, sustainable synergy.


Seven drivers of reputation

'As a key stakeholder of Origin, we are keen to seek your feedback on how we can improve our ongoing engagement with your oganisation through an independent and confidential study. This perception study, based on the internationally recognised RepTrakTM model tracks mass market and Key Opinion Leaders' views about Origin against seven drivers of reputation.' Letter to a key opinion leader from Origin Energy.

The worst workplace jargon

'The worst offenders in workplace jargon, and the ones I'd most like to ban, are words or phrases that are so amorphous and so meaningless that they can be inserted anywhere and mean anything. Or, of course, nothing at all.

Take "deliverable." What does this really mean? What's wrong with "assignment," "project," "report" or even plain old "deadline"? I guess "next steps" and "follow-ups" (as a noun, of course) got too cliched, so we needed a fancier word.' An article by Jena McGregor, The Washington Post, 26 March, 2014.

The executive university

'"You will provide innovative leadership, strategic planning, and management of liaison and research support services across the library services portfolio, including policy development, quality assurance and high level liaison with strategic partners. Other leadership responsibilities include the library's web and electronic interfaces, cultural collections and archives." No hands-on stuff with books in this one...

...calls for a deputy vice-chancellor (engagement) who 'provides strategic leadership for the external engagement and representation of the university... The role plays a pivotal part... in fostering strategic alliances with key stakeholders from industry, government, education and community groups'. 'Strategy' and 'strategic leadership' keep popping up. Devising tactics is, presumably, the lot of subordinate breeds...

The appointee will provide 'outstanding academic leadership' and 'will be committed to Deakin's premium cloud and located learning and teaching strategy, graduate employability and innovative research'. Deakin's pro vice-chancellor and friends are going to be high as kites and approaching visions of heavenly bliss...

'The opportunity now exists for a strategic and visionary leader to head this new faculty.' Enter, stage left, the executive dean who 'will develop the vision for the new faculty... and implement the strategy in order to create a cohesive and dynamic environment that takes the health disciplines forward in all domains - research, teaching and engagement'.'

From an article by Arthur O'Neill, on the University World News site, 14 March, 2104.

Visibility issues

Stewards reported that in a race on a wet track at Pakenham, Victoria, recently the jockey said he had had 'visibility issues' in the back straight.

Overall envelope

'There will be an overall envelope of resources for operating costs that will be subject to a downward trajectory over time representing efficiency. Within that envelope, there will be very broad freedom to tailor pay and conditions to the requirements of the marketplace.' UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond quoted in the article 'Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Impenetrable jargon is Defence Secretary’s most powerful weapon' by Donald Macintyre, The Independent, 21 March, 2004.

Just Listed

Two In One For A Successful Lifestyle Outcome

An asylum seeker, 23-year-old Iranian Reza Berati, was killed during violence at the Manus Island immigration detention centre late on 17 February, 2014.

'I can guarantee their safety when they remain in the centre and act co-operatively with those who are trying to provide them with support and accommodation. When people engage in violent acts and in disorderly behaviour and breach fences and get involved in that sort of behaviour and go to the other side of the fence, well they will be subject to law enforcement as applies in Papua New Guinea.' Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, 18 February, 2014, ABC.

'I have indicated over the next few months I would like to see this matter at least get to some point of knowledge on this.' Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, ABC, 21 February, 2014. Thanks to Peter Anson.

'You don’t want a wimp running border protection, you want someone who is strong, who is decent and Scott Morrison is both strong and decent.' Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, 23 February, 2014.

'I wish to confirm my statement of last night that further information provided to me yesterday indicates that the majority of the riotous behaviour that occurred on the night of February 17 at Manus Island, and the response to that behaviour to restore order in the centre, took place within the perimeter of the centre ... Information is rarely perfect soon after the event...

We are in the process now of G4S transitioning out along with the Salvation Army and Transfield transitioning in to ensure we have one system that operates across both of these centres. So the learnings and the operations of these centres can be more closely integrated. Now this was a key learning that I think came out of the Nauru fire report...

One of the issues I am confident will occur as a result of the integrating of the contractual arrangements between Nauru and Manus is I think a much more disciplined and consistent approach to messaging to people who are living in these centres. Now this is important...

At the end of the day as I explained on Friday, I outlined the governance arrangements for the centre and I would refer you to my statements on that. We are in that transition now from the former services providers to the new service providers under Transfield and what will come with that is I think a more integrated and applied focus to managing these issues which will give me greater confidence.' Manus Island incident, review into Nauru riot, Sydney press conference, 23 February, 2014. Scott Morrison.

'These are my principles. My vision for Australia is for a nation that is strong, prosperous and generous: strong in our values and our freedoms, strong in our family and community life, strong in our sense of nationhood and in the institutions that protect and preserve our democracy; prosperous in our enterprise and the careful stewardship of our opportunities, our natural environment and our resources; and, above all, generous in spirit, to share our good fortune with others, both at home and overseas, out of compassion and a desire for justice.' Scott Morrison's maiden speech in parliament.

Who's the weasel?

... He [Defence Minister David Johnston] said the navy had been "maliciously maligned" by the ABC's coverage of the matter, dismissing the public broadcaster's apology as "weasel words" by it's senior management. '' I have not said much because, I have to confess, I was extremely angry. I required some time to cool off,'' he said.

When asked why his department had not answered a detailed list of questions by Fairfax Media based on a detailed eyewitness account, Senator Johnston said it was a matter for Mr Morrison because it was a ''civil public policy issue''. ''When you give me something to act upon that is more than just hearsay, innuendo and rumour, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it,'' he said.

Asked to respond to specific claims the navy boats turned off lights at night, allegedly to avoid detection in Indonesian waters, Senator Johnston said ''I'm not aware of operation matters''. ''You need to put that to border protection command.''

Nor could Senator Johnston explain the circumstances surrounding the asylum seeker's injuries.''They're on water matters that are not my responsibility because it is civil public policy matter,'' he said.' The Age, 7 February, 2014.

impacting the impacts
'We sincerely apologise to those drivers and riders impacted by this error, and we will be doing everything we can to minimise the impacts as much as possible' Executive director of VicRoads registration and licensing, Peter Welling. Up to 15,000 Victorian drivers whose licences expire between February 5 and February 11 did not receive renewal notices and are at risk of having invalid licences. The Age, 5 February, 2014.

The Entrepreneur Brand Accelerator
'From how to better PITCH your business, right through to creating valuable PRODUCTS and establishing powerful PARTNERSHIPS, this conference presents the 5 essential soft skills for gaining influence, building a brand and doing what you love.'

Engagement and connectivity
'The University of Limerick (UL), Ireland with over 13,000 students and 1,300 staff is an energetic and enterprising institution with a proud record of innovation and excellence in education, research and scholarship. The dynamic, entrepreneurial and pioneering values which drive UL’s mission and strategy ensures that we capitalise on local, national and international engagement and connectivity. We are renowned for providing an outstanding student experience and conducting leading edge research. Our commitment is to make a difference by shaping the future through educating and empowering our students.' In a job advertisement from the University of Limerick in Ireland. Thanks to Matthias Maiwald.


Thanks to Pamela Thorne.

Earned Value Technique

'Earned Value Technique which refers specifically to the specific technique in which the actual values of the work related performance is measured for any and all particular work components and of schedule activities, control accounts, and projects ... The term apportioned effort refers to energies put forth for application into project-related work that is incapable of being easily and readily divisible into discrete efforts for those tasks but rather, in fact, is related in a direct proportion to measurable discrete work efforts.' From the site Project Management Knowledge. Thanks to Dey Alexander who says, 'No wonder so many projects fail.'

Decision Accelerator Parking?


Thanks to Jesse Penny who took this photo in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Jesse comments: 'When I was leaving the parking lot, I couldn't help but notice that they have a designated area for decision accelerators, whatever that means.'

Customer-centric insights

'I believe customer-centric insights are our future, treat them well and let them lead the way Show them all the beauty they possess inside.
Give them a sense of pride to made it easier.
Let the customer-centric insights' laughter remind us how we used to be."

Jargon-filled nonsense special: the signs of MWC, Tim Green, Mobile Entertainment, 27 February, 2014.

Creativity, dynamism, innovation, capability, best practice, impact...

'The vouchers will facilitate greater design collaboration between Victorian firms and design researchers to work together to produce more innovative and sophisticated products and services for specific markets ... Victoria is home to some of the world’s most talented designers, with design businesses recognised globally for their creativity, dynamism and innovation ... Government’s Victorian Design Initiatives 2012-15 ... a $10 million commitment to support best-practice design in Victoria, grow awareness of design, build design business capability...

All seven initiatives are part of the Victorian Design Initiatives 2012-15 and are now implemented. These include:
· Design to Business Integration – helps firms to build in-house design understanding and capability across their business activities to become more innovative and achieve sustained competitiveness and growth;
· Design to Business Insight – educates firms about the application and impact of design to achieve increased and sustained productivity growth...
· Design Matters – raises public awareness about the impact of design through a series of events and activities and facilitating international exposure for local designers... 
Victorian Minister for Innovation, Services and Small  Business Louise Asher, media release, 20 February, 2014.

Branding and lifestyle concepts

'The old model was about developing villas, selling them off the plan and managing them and now it's about branding and lifestyle concepts ...Since winning the award for the World's Best Apartment ... our brand strategy and business model have developed in a different direction.' Domain, Canberra Times, 20 February, 2014.

This letter was sent from the Chevron Community Outreach Team to the residents of Bobtown, Pennsylvania after an explosion which started a fire that burned for five days and appears to have killed one person.The letter and coupon were obtained by No Fracking Way. Unlike the long-term health and environment effects of fracking, this special offer expires soon.


Empowering the kids
'Our vision at Florey Primary School is to empower students to acquire, demonstrate, articulate and value knowledge and skills that will support them, as life-long learners, to participate in and contribute to the global world and practise the core values of the school: respect, tolerance & inclusion, and excellence.' The ACT's Florey Primary School's mission statement. Thanks to Rod Avery.

Values, aspirations ...

'The logo of Federation University Australia comprises design elements that acknowledge the bequest of those educational institutions that have 'come together in common purpose', and convey the ethos, values and aspirations that inspire our contemporary University.

The bold, generous 'Federation' logotype provides immediate recognition and recall value. It is a shorthand term for Australia’s newest university and a reminder of the collaborative values upon which Federation University Australia rests. The lower-case letterforms of 'Federation' are open and gently tapered, signifying originality and individuality. Stylish and welcoming, they suggest the University’s charter values of inclusion and support for Indigenous, regional and international students.' Federation University, Australia. Thanks to Dey Alexander.

Postformal leadership
'Embarking on your voyage of Postformal Leadership represents a freedom to develop as a leader at your own pace within an enhanced consciousness of your own emergence.' Earl de Blonville: 'Author. Explorer. Leadership researcher. International speaker ... Initially trained by the Institute of Executive Coaching, his evolved methodology is based on Jasperian Biographical Method and includes elements of Causal Layered Analysis, Complexity Theory, Folk Etymology Analysis and Extreme Leadership Coaching (using wilderness environments), as well as tools from NLP, Forum and hypnotherapy, and strategies from Shaolin and Tai Chi.'

Fire's out
'Riddell's Creek. This incident is finished and is no longer ongoing.' CFA Website 18 Jan, 2014

Living Our Values
'The first phase of the Living Our Values initiative is drawing to a close.
A large number of staff and students have participated in the key milestones of the initiative this year, including the Values Survey, consultative workshops, the Values Challenge and Summit – all designed to encourage dialogue on the values and behaviours that we need to support a strong culture and to ensure that our values become a genuine part of the lived experience at Curtin.
The Summit synthesised the many inputs received from staff and students throughout this initiative and went on to identify a list of preferred values. The top four values identified were Integrity, Courage, Respect and Making a Difference, with Excellence and Collaboration coming in fifth and sixth place respectively.
Last week the senior executive team took part in a two-day workshop to review and build on the output from the Summit and to reflect on the role(s) of the leadership team in modelling and embedding our shared values. The team concentrated on the top four values and sought to develop an understanding of what the behaviours around each of these values might look like.
Members of the senior executive team confirmed their commitment to living Curtin’s values more broadly and demonstrating this in day-to-day behaviour.
The next step in this process will be to engage Council later this week for their input before coming back to Council early next year for formal approval and adoption.
I look forward to keeping the Curtin community updated on progress.' Curtin University, 10 December, 2013.

Not cricket
'Brad [Haddin] ... was left out for a young guy like Matthew Wade to come in for us to build a brand that was going to be sustainable over a period of time, because at (age) 35 the brand wasn't going to be sustainable with Brad Haddin keeping wicket.' Mickey Arthur, former coach of the Australian cricket team, 3 Jan, 2014.

Bats impacted by events
'Conservation workers and vets, who have spent much of the past two days removing bodies, humanely euthanising survivors and finding homes for babies, reckon tens of thousands of bats have died because of the heatwave in Queensland. "These (hot weather) events are really impacting on them." Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland president Louise Saunders talking to the Courier Mail.