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.
Q: Minister, is there a boat in trouble off Christmas Island?
A: It is our standard practice as you know, under Operation Sovereign Borders, to report on any significant events regarding maritime operations at sea, particularly where there are safety of life at sea issues associated, and I am advised I have no such reports to provide.
Q: Is there a boat?
A: Well, I have answered the question.
Q: … So are you saying that boats are not leaving (for Australia)?
A: We are always ready for boats that may arrive and we always anticipate that they may seek to come and we are always ready. We are ready today, we were ready yesterday and we will be ready tomorrow and the government’s policies will continue to prevail.
Q: So Mr Morrison, you are not even going to confirm there is a boat, you are not going to say what is happening if people are in the water? Their boat is leaking, we are told – leaking oil – and you are not going to say anything about that situation?
A: What I have said is that it is our practice to report on significant events at sea, particularly when they involve safety of life at sea. Now there is no such report for me to provide to you today. If there was a significant event happening then I would be reporting on it.
Q: So what does that mean?
A: You are a bright journalist. I’m sure you can work it out.
Q: No, we are asking you, Sir. You are the minister.
A: And I have given you my response.
Q: So could you clarify, Sir, for us – at what point does an event become a significant event involving a boat on the water?
A: When you see me here standing and reporting on it.
Q: And you are standing here reporting.
A: I am not. I am saying there is no such report for me to provide to you today.
Q: Are you saying that it could be a hoax that people are saying they are in trouble?
A: I am not saying anything of that at all. I am not confirming any of these matters. This should come as no surprise to you. This has been our practice now for the entire period of this operation. This is another day at the office for Operation Sovereign Borders.
'Scott Morrison interview takes on Pythonesque proportions' by Annabel Crabb, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 July, 2014.
Last month it was revealed Scott Morrison’s departments employ more than 95 communications staff and spin doctors, costing at least $8million a year.
Brands and their Influence
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I don't understand my children's school reports
“His concrete understanding of number and place value allows him to effectively implement a range of strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems”
When I take away the bullshit from this, I guess he can add and subtract. Apparently he has an “ability to model inclusion to his peers”
So he’s inclusive? Or a psychopath who is able to “model” inclusion but really not give a rat’s?
“He is learning to stay focused and engaged on his tasks so he can fulfill his potential and complete them within the set time frame.”
Leaving aside the bad grammar, we actually found out he was being kept behind at recess because his hand-writing was so slow. From him.' Paul Chai, Daily Life, 3 June, 2014.
Lost in translation: the impact of medical jargon on patient-centred care
'On the managerial side, it's no secret that the NHS has a healthy (or otherwise) liking for waffly jargon. Whether touting vague initiatives such as the now-defunct world-class commissioning or talking offline about negative uplifts (eg funding cuts), NHS managers are notorious for their mastery of nonsensespeak.
Perhaps it was inevitable that the world's fifth largest employer should develop its own particular way of abusing the English language. Fortunately, there is a light-hearted side to it all, with NHS staff and others posting lists of their most-despised terms. It's less amusing, though, when considered as a symptom of a managerial, target-driven culture that, by undermining patient-focused care, has contributed significantly to major disasters...' Conor Farrington, Guardian Professional,1 July 2014
The CBC report is, shall we say, unwieldy in its use of jargon
'Report: “Local service is at the heart of the public broadcaster’s role and remains a top priority for audiences. Local news, in particular, is prized by Canadians. A space for us all reaffirms the importance of a regional presence across the country and commits to being even more local than today, but at less cost.”
Translation: We plan to produce just as much local news with fewer staff, for less money. A job posting will soon go up for shamans, alchemists, magicians and grifters who have ideas on how this might be accomplished. (These are non-union positions.)
Report: “CBC/Radio-Canada will identify important target segments, and be intentional about the specific purpose of each service for the respective segment. The focus is to engage target segments intensely with some, but not all, services; to engage Canadians in the public space in a way that is meaningful and personal to the individual.”
Translation: Okay, I was stumped by this for a bit, but I think it means that news about birds and books and other things of interest to old people will continue to be found on radio at 6 a.m., while the rest of you can play the latest game about Drake’s pants on your iPhones. Could be wrong, though.' Elizabeth Renzetti, The Globe and Mail, 28 June 2014.
Underpinning environmental impacts
'LCA is a method to calculate environmental burden of a whole system, for example, poultry production, and so far there has been no consistency globally in the way that assessments have been conducted. The FAO project has significant benefits. Firstly it provides guidelines that will underpin future research and allow harmonisation within the poultry sector in terms of how environmental impacts are conducted. Secondly, these guidelines provide a framework that can underpin possible future product environmental footprinting of food products, and for monitoring improvements in industry performance in terms of its environmental impacts.' Stephen Wiedemann, an agricultural scientist with FSA Consulting. In a press release: 'Australian Chicken Meat Industry Participates in the Development of Global Environmental Guidelines for Poultry'.
Did PowerPoint Ruin GM?
'Here’s one way General Motors Co.Chief Executive Mary Barra can start fixing her company’s management culture: Ban PowerPoint ...What if someone had simply stood up, without a visual prop, and said: “People are dying.”' Joseph B White, Wall Street Journal, 6 June 2014.
'We will ultimately need a cup redesign but the short term action is manage perceptions.' Paul Berman, DePuy's director of hip marketing, April 2008. From the ABC Four Corners Report: 'The DePuy ASR hip replacement - a metal on metal device which was implanted in almost 100,000 patients worldwide, including 5,500 here in Australia. The device failed thousands, some of them poisoned by cobalt and chromium. Most have needed further painful, and often unsuccessful, surgery.'
...the Taxpayer's payroll function was a single point dependency...
In other words, there is only one person who works on the payroll. Thanks to Andrew whose client asked for this amendment in a letter to the Australian Tax Office.
In terms of
'We must get more out of the department in terms of productivity and in terms of numbers, more efficient numbers.' David Johnstone, Minister for Defence, Age 23 May, 2014.
'Being an educator, I am no stranger to business-speak. Indeed, things can become so turgid and dull sitting in some meetings, most of which have admirable aims and intentions, that I resort to playing buzzword bingo, hoping and praying that, in some way, I can relieve the tedium by standing up, A4 paper in the air, shouting “house” because I have successfully ticked off all 24 of the items of gobbledygook that people at work seem to spew forth with seemingly gay abandon.' Jonny Mitchell, 'Chief Educational Solutions Practitioner - Deliverables Section', Halifax Courier, 19 May, 2014.
Not a tax?
'Budget repair levy'. Australian Federal Government.
The growing pandemic of political speak
John Kerry, America's ever-more-pontifical secretary of state, recently began an answer about Middle East peace negotiations by declaring, as he often does: "I want to make this crystal clear." He then went on to do the opposite, blathering on about "facilitation," building eventually to this howler: "The president is desirous of trying to see how we can make our best efforts in order to find a way to facilitate."
Listening, I marvelled. Why would such an accomplished, educated man gum up an answer so thoroughly? Surely it would have been simpler to say the president wants to help...
In this book, he [Steven Pinker] shines a pitiless light on our love of words like "framework," "process," and "model." (I could easily add another 20 or 30). These, he says, are meta-concepts, or "concepts about concepts." He compares them to the layers of packaging material a customer has to hack through to get at the product.
And of course there's our over-hedging — the use of qualifiers like "apparently," "evidently," "rather," "comparatively" and "presumably." Editors call that journalistic caution. Pinker calls it "wads of fluff that imply [writers] are not willing to stand behind what they are saying." 'Why politicians and academics don't just say what they mean', Neil MacDonald, CBS News, 23 April, 2014.
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.
Communications tool box
'Those who know Mr Abbott – and have seen him operate up close over many years – also note he is a prolific winker. It's a technique he uses to draw others in and put them at ease – a part of his communications tool box.' Matthew Knott, The Age online, 21 May, 2014.
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.
'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.
Driving a core set
'Driving exciting innovation with a focus on our core business sets.' Lego website. Thanks to Steve Grant.
Two In One For A Successful Lifestyle Outcome
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our vision - Enhancing Life and Liveability
'Our Strategic Direction formalises our vision of ‘enhancing life and liveability’ for our region. It establishes our commitment to achieve this by working with others to overcome the challenges we face.
To deliver successful outcomes we're focussing on our approach to doing things, as well as what we do.' Melbourne Water. Thanks to Andrew Orr.
Managed grand capture
'He has published 4 books with Palgrave in the last 4 years focusing on global health governance, public private partnerships and philanthropy, generic production in LMICS, and access to medicines. He has also steered numerous funding bids and managed grand capture at a faculty level.' A speaker at an upcoming seminar at The University of Queensland. Thanks to Luke.
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.'
Quality play experiences
'Coordinator of the playgroup program, Mrs ‘X’ says “being able to spend an extended period of time coaching the playgroup teams has meant that the leaders are confident in planning good quality play experiences, and have a good understanding of how playgroup plays an important role in enabling positive and supportive relationships for the children, the parents and carers and the church community".' Thanks to Queenscliff Ben.
Decision Accelerator Parking?
'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.