Don Watson

In the beginning

When Don Watson wrote Death Sentence (in UK - Gobbledygook, Atlantic, in US - Death Sentences, Gotham Books) a torrent of letters and emails began from people rebelling against managerial language and in July 2004 this website was facilitated going forward. 

Since then Watson's Dictionary of Weasel WordsContemporary Clichés, Cant & Management Jargon, Bendable Learnings and Worst Words have been published. Below are some recent weasel words examples.

Send in a quote

Send in your examples of management jargon (we may edit for space). Please make sure you include your contact details as well as details about where your submission came from, the date and who was the culprit. 

Please note, unless you request confidentiality, your name will appear under your contribution. Send your weasel words to: Anything published on this site is fair comment.

Product problems and hot spots at the NAB

'In 2018 the board considered product problems or potential problems and moving proactively to ensure all NAB products remain fit for purpose. Executive and board customer committees are now examining issues such as complaint handling processes and proactive identification of product hot spots.' The National Australia Bank explains to its 'independent' auditor, EY, (recipient of $1 billion in contracts with the Big Four banks for 'independent' auditing) how it was 'still selling products that ripped off its customers and would eventually trigger compensation'.  Sydney Morning Herald, 2 August, 2019.

Unfunded empathy

Term used by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison when explaining why he was against raising Newstart allowance for job seekers from $40 a day.
'I will not go out as the Labor party did at the last election pretending they’re going to do something about Newstart but they won’t tell Australians how much they’re going to increase it by, how much is that going to cost and how are they going to pay for it”.“I won’t do that.' The Guardian, 29 July, 2019. 

'So these discussions are taking place, unfortunately, as I said before, the Labor Party, while they talk about conspicuous compassion, really what they are doing is, is engaging in, as my colleague Scott Morrison has said, unfunded empathy.' Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer, Interview, 14 March, 2015.

When 'care recipients' don't receive care

'The home is unable to demonstrate care recipients consistently receive adequate nutrition and hydration,” the report states.“Care recipients are experiencing ongoing episodes of bruising, skin tears and limb oedema (swelling).' QACQSC report into nursing homes in Queensland. Thanks to George O'Farrell.

Enhancing challenging reimagined business strategies

' xxx brings a wealth of experience to the project team having formally worked public, private and government organisation specialising in enterprise development enhancing business performances primarily through the analysis of existing business challenges/opportunities and development of reimagined business strategies.'
Marketing manager's blurb in a tender. Thanks to anonymous.

Agile Methodology during iterations

'Agile is a process that helps teams provide quick and unpredictable responses to the feedback they receive on their project. It creates opportunities to assess a project’s direction during the development cycle. Teams assess the project in regular meetings called sprints or iterations. An agile is a very empowering process that helps companies design and build the right product.' Staff at the Department of Finance, services and Innovation (NSW) have been invited to Introduction to Agile Methodology training where they can learn the '12 principles of agile software development' or all about:

Crystal methodology is one of the most lightweight and adaptable approaches in developing software. It is made up of several agile processes including Clear, Crystal Yellow, Crystal Orange, and other uniquely characterized methods'
Thanks to Brent.

Five strategic pillars ... delivering outcomes

'We’ve completed the five strategic pillars after consultation with the team here and community members. Five working groups have been tasked to work on measurable outcome statements for each Strategic Pillar. These Pillars and ICARE values are the framework to guide BDHC in delivering outcomes to the community.' Shawn Lee, CEO,  Ballan District Health & Care. Moorabool News, 6 May, 2019. He's talking about aged care.

Platforming your pipeline

'...looking for warm and qualified sales leads for your pipeline which uses a platform to increase marketing-sourced  opportunities and marketing-driven revenue. Backed by smart marketing technology and proven prospecting processes'. Thanks to Mark Evans.

The Principal Consultant

'At this phase and continuing through all subsequent phases the Principal Consultant shall be responsible for providing all documentation and design to comply with all authority requirements and ensure design & documentation is of a standard that is compliant with RMIT requirements and is acceptable to obtain necessary approvals from local authorities and relevant licensing or certification bodies.' Thanks to Matthew.

Transformational journey of leadership growth for culturally diverse women at Sydney Uni

'In alignment with the Culture Strategy and the University’s commitment to accelerating the careers of women, we are pleased to advise this prestigious program will run again in 2019. This is a key initiative to support the leadership development and career advancement of our top women, knowing the strength of building a diverse group of our future leaders.

As part of a large faculty like the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences it becomes essential for you to consider how to position yourself and explore different ways to build impact and profile in your work. This program combines mentoring and leadership development to support you with this.

This program brings together Professional women at Levels HEO 9 – SGS3, and Academic women at Levels C & D who are Culturally Diverse. The program will take participants on a 10-month transformational journey of leadership growth through a series of workshops and seminars designed to challenge thinking, provide in-depth self-reflection, boost career confidence and promote leadership advancement.  Participants will also be matched with a senior leader from the University, who will provide sponsorship and guidance throughout the year long program.  Participants will also have the opportunity to meet with the Vice-Chancellor within a small group setting and have lunch with the Director of the Culture Strategy. This is a highly sort after program which will provide fantastic leadership skills and opportunities to build invaluable networks.' Vice-Chancellor’s Sponsorship Program for Culturally Diverse Women. Sydney University. Thanks to anonymous.

University of Western Australia Masterplan Conversations


Unlearning at Sydney University

'We are unlearning diet to help us live longer' and 'We are unlearning diamonds to help us fight cancer'.

Human-inspired dilemmas at machine tempo across multiple domains...

'We will leverage these strengths to cognitively overwhelm our competitors by imposing human-inspired dilemmas at machine tempo across multiple domains.’ Royal Australian Air Force chief Leo Davies talking about RAAF staff and equipment, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, also in a  lift-out in The Australian newspaper, on 26 Feb 2019. Thanks to Red Webb.

Boutique facility -  local pool

'The Sawtell Swimming Pool is a boutique facility providing valuable community services to “Inspire Community Activity”.' Coffs Harbour Pools website  (their quotation marks). Thanks to Mike Robertson.

Impactful Leader

'An AIM Impactful Leader credential builds the foundational knowledge of great management.' From a course at the Australian Institute of Management where 'Every credential allows you to personalise your learning journey.' Thanks to Graham Sinclair.

Customer solution specialist

'it is common for retailers to offer "acquisition" rates to new customers in order to entice people to sign up. The rates are then subject to change at any time. This can occur soon after sign up, or after several months'. How a 'customer solution specialist' at Sumo energy retailer explained a rate increase. The Age, 28 December, 2018.

Externally focussed content

'The department has recently formalised a plain English policy, which is currently applied to externally focussed content.' The Australian Department of Human Services. South Australian Sunday Mail,, 6 January 2019. Thanks to Myrana & Lester Wahlqvist.

Have you got an intuitive grasp of the social paradigms that underpin customer interfacing?

'As we find ourselves in an industry intrinsically predicated on the successful execution of customer service, the ideal candidate will have an intuitive grasp of the social paradigms that underpin customer interfacing. Interpersonal qualities like confidence and decorum will become professional assets in your day-to-day operations. 

The ideal candidate will also have a penchant for creativity, problem solving and time management. The applicant should additionally enjoy learning about nutrition as well as harbour a passion for assembling and crafting wholesome foods and beverages. 

The ability to work independently as well as part of a team will be crucial to success in this position. If you have that proverbial internal standard for doing the best you can amongst a general willingness to strive for excellence, we want to hear from you ...' Ad on Gumtree for a waitperson where they are 'a youthful team, and as such, we seek to promote a kind of cultural vibrancy.' Thanks to Jessica Alexander.

Bed blockers

Elderly people in acute hospital beds

Enhancing a clear story

'To enhance fund disclosures, Ms. Blass encouraged funds to “tell a clear story” with a “reliable roadmap of the fund’s strategies and key risks" ... Ms. Blass also called for simplicity and clarity in fund disclosures...' Dalia Blass, Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, The National Law Review, 12 December, 2018.

Interrogate the content

'Scope of services: to produce a discussion paper which undertakes the ... Interrogation of content (literature, data, technical specialist input etc.)'. From a local council brief. Thanks to Matthew McFall.

Global thinking ... best outcomes ... meeting challenges ... in South East Queensland

'SEQ’s ongoing success will be based on global thinking, and new ways of becoming more active and visible in the global community. The best outcomes will be achieved if all levels of government think and act as one to identify and capitalise on the strengths and advantages offered in all corners of SEQ and beyond. By working together to grow the regional economy, the whole region will benefit from a greater share of prosperity. This approach will ensure SEQ’s strengths and advantages are realised more fully, and challenges met more effectively, to improve our lifestyle, economy and biodiversity into the future.' From the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017., Thanks to Michael O'Keeffe who says these are 'Four sentences that are related only insofar as they appear together. Four sentences that do not express anything in particular.'

Alternative to school-teaching and unemployment. What the dejobbed, rightsized and decruited become. Something to do after politics or sport. Lifestyle incorporated. The plague-rats of managerialism.

'So that said, you can get consulting work knowing very little, as long as you can do what the client is paying you to do, and do it well.'

- The Consultant's Consultant

(Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, Contemporary Clichés, Cant & Management Jargon, page 84.)

Impacting ability to solution request

' ...the initial scope of this request is changing and a number of stakeholders are becoming involved, which is impacting my teams ability to be able to solution this request.' From an email anonymous received from a manager of a government data system. Translation: 'Yet again I’m blocking your change request.'

National Risk Assessment, National Security Risk Assessment, National Resilience Planning Assumptions and National Risk Register

'In the National Risks role you will be at the forefront of innovative thinking on risk assessment and ensuring that the National Risk Assessment, National Security Risk Assessment, National Resilience Planning Assumptions and National Risk Register deliver real risk management impacts. Together these documents provide an overview of the most significant risks to the UK and our interests overseas, using a coherent and robust methodology that enables government and other parties to compare and prioritise different risks and inform mitigation activity.' From a UK job advertisement. for a National Risks Policy Advisor who would 'drive work forward in a challenging and complex role'. Thanks to anon.

Gender specific lobbying

What Australian PM Scott Morrison calls bullying of female MPs. Which he is absolutely satisfied didn't happen.

Scalable capacity enhancement

'A new App, a policy, a PD session, and even a ‘call to arms’ in and by themselves are not going to be anywhere near effective enough to address the sheer magnitude and convolution of the issue of broad, scalable capacity enhancement.

However, by starting with small incremental changes in our own learning practices (behaviours and beliefs), coaches, teachers and education leaders can be the catalyst for a broader cultural shift in their organisations and systems in which they work.' Huddle (we empower the individual, develop leadership and coach high performance) Learning Systems. Thanks to anonymous.

Mainfreight navigating the event

Mainfreight will retain our commitment to strip away all remaining portions of the surcharge which are attributed to the infrastructure and auxiliary services employed to navigate this event, leaving unforeseen linehaul increases. From Mainfreight explaining a road diversion, October 2018. Thanks to John Wilson 

The brief is simple...

Key focus areas include:

  • Pursuit strategy and development; providing independent and objective advice that influences decision-makers;
  • Coach stakeholders on complex pursuits within the scope of the agreed firm strategy including go/no go decisions, win strategy, value-proposition development and proposal roadmaps;
  • Manage key partner relationships across each geography to get early insight into pipeline and opportunities;
  • Proposal presentations - consult across teams to plan and develop winning approaches to key presentations;
  • Coach teams in preparation of oral presentations and important client conversations;
  • Conduct debriefs on win/loss outcomes to ensure lessons are learnt and knowledge distilled and leveraged;
  • Coaching and development of the Bid Management team on a formal and informal basis;
  • Review of value proposition/messaging on live bids including facilitating, test and improve/strategy sessions for key pursuits;
  • Champion PwC's brand by leveraging the visual and verbal expression;
  • Drive the PwC Experience through the Three Client Principles: understanding value, seeking client feedback and agreeing value exchanged.

Job ad for Pursuits Coach (Proposals Coach) with Price Waterhouse Coopers. Thanks to Michelle Harris.

Commence dialogue with the ICN with reference to the VIPP

'The CPAS provider is required to verify whether the VSBA'  is using the 'iTWOcx web based project delivery system maintained by DET ... 'the Principal Consultant must contact the ICN, the VMC and obtain an IRN that commences dialogue with the ICN with reference to the VIPP….. The VSBA must be contacted and ….. be registered with the ICN.'  The Victorian Education Department. Thanks to Matthew.


More than colleagues, we are family.

Working here is more than a job, with endless opportunities for employees to develop, professionally and personally. If you’re a kitchen hand who dreams of being a chef, a waiter eager to learn about venue management, marketing or HR — let’s talk.

'Last year the company introduced new company values, using the acronym LIFE. F stands for family. Well, you wouldn't treat your family like this.' Aidan Carter, who asked for back pay after working at a MAdE restaurant for five years. He's still not sure if he has been paid the correct amount. ABC News,14 July 2018.

Queen Street Mall Public Realm Improvements

Council is upgrading the Queen Street Mall, an economic hub in the city centre that is uniquely Brisbane.

Project outcomes: Provide open, free flowing, vibrant, flexible and green mall...

During March and April 2015, Council conducted Queen Street Mall visioning consultation with more than 1000 people. Since then, Council has analysed the results and in consultation with key stakeholders, has developed three key attributes to ensure the ongoing success of the mall:

  • a mall for all
  • an economic hub
  • uniquely Brisbane.
    Thanks to George O'Farrell

Technology Agnostic

Malcolm Turnbull's latest update of 'Technology Neutral' in not ruling out more coal-fired power stations. Thanks to Ric Sandblom.

In our efforts to passionately pursue new technologies, capabilities and approaches to drive tangible value for our customers we are relocating our Finance Team to our Head Office location.

Emerson Automation Solutions Final Control Sales Australia 

Telstra's Four Key Pillars (announced at the same time they said they were sacking 8000 people).

The strategy, named Telstra2022, has four key pillars:

  • Radically simplify our product offerings, eliminate customer pain points and create all digital experiences

  • Establish a standalone infrastructure business to drive performance and set up optionality post the nbn rollout

  • Greatly simplify our structure and ways of working to empower our people and serve our customers

  • Industry leading cost reduction programme and portfolio management

The changes form a three-year plan building on the strategic investments Telstra announced in 2016. Thanks to Paul who describes Telstra's latest media release as'Two thousand seven hundred and twenty-five words. Long sentences. Hard to read. Jargon-laden.'

Customer Happiness Champion

Job title at private postage company Sendle.

word cloud.png

From Understanding the Priorities of Australian Secondary Schools Through an Analysis of Their Mission and Vision Statements, an academic article. 
Implications: Australian schools are seemingly adopting a dual purpose: to be academic institutions and well-being enhancing institutions.
Thanks to Yana.

We’re firing on all cylinders and on a clear impact trajectory.

At the end of the message from the CEO of the CSIRO in their Corporate Plan. Thanks to Mark.

'When asked why the department had failed to do anything about the Awassi Express earlier when it knew 2000 sheep had died on board, the officer in charge of the relevant area claimed “the basic requirements of the voyage had been met”. This prompted the following Kafkaesque exchange between Labor senator Malarndirri McCarthy and bureaucrat Narelle Clegg: 

Senator M. McCarthy: 2400 animals perished on that voyage — how did the department conclude that no breach of standard 5.7 occurred?

Ms Clegg (Dept. of Agriculture): Because it was a heat-stress event

That is, even though they made mortality the guide to welfare, when thousands of sheep died, they decided there was no problem because it was a “heat stress event”. Even though later, they acknowledged that the temperatures in which the sheep died were within the expected range the ship’s owners could have been expected to encounter — not some freak heatwave for which no preparation could have been made.' Bernard Keane in Crikey 25 May, 2018.

Branding the event culture

'As a brand, we look to create this culture of going out and having a good time, and when people have these great moments and memories at festivals, good feelings towards our brand directly occurs ... we see a spike in sales when there are events, and the event culture is booming.' Glenn Coleman, founder of Nana Judy. The Age, 7 Jan 2018.

Selected adjacency offerings

'“BT will also create new revenue streams in selected adjacency offerings to add new high-margin revenues,” blathered Gavin Patterson, BT’s chief executive officer.

Perhaps he could save a few bob for the company by not buying so many management jargon books so we would not have to work out what he means by “selected adjacency offerings”.

This might mean moving into markets that are a bit similar to ones it is already in and where it can use its existing skills and knowledge to good effect.

To put it another way – Patterson’s way – it means, “For example, by leveraging our leading security proposition and utilising the Internet of Things where we have transformed our own business to reduce costs and the environmental impact of our operations.”

Always beware of anyone who uses the word “utilises” when they mean “uses” …' John Harrington, Proactive Investors UK, 11 May, 2018.

Reimagining the (La Trobe Uni) Library Strategy Theme in a small desktop "tent" in order to reflect on Uni values and reinforce the University cultural qualities

'In order to realise the Library Strategy theme of The Library environment - reimagined, Library Leadership Team are encouraging staff to take an hour a week to reimagine the Library environment by:Reading: Reading, watching, listening to resources that engage and enable learning, to be shared within and across teams 

Reflecting: Reflecting on University values, and how to embed them into the Library environment. Reflecting on clever spaces, ideas and resources that inspire and excite.

Imagining: Imagining new exciting spaces and services to transform how the Library is experienced and reinforces the University cultural qualities.

Small desktop ‘tents’ are being developed so that staff can show they are taking time out to read an article, watch a video clip, read a presentation etc. that is related to any aspect of the Library environment. These signs will be distributed by managers in the next week or so. In the meantime, investigations are underway to provide options for spaces at all campuses that staff could use away from their usual work environment.' An email to library staff. Thanks to Dennis.

AMP is about integrity and helping

'This strong sense of social purpose drives the AMP culture and all that we do ... Three core elements underpin our culture - integrity, help and performance. Integrity ensures we use our expertise to do the right thing; help is at the core of how we support our customers, and we're driving our performance...' AMP's chairman Catherine Brenner in their latest annual report. The Age, 19 April, 2018.

From the AMP website: 'Experience has taught us what matters most

With more than 160 years’ experience managing clients’ money, we’ve learnt what matters most – that is, to build the trust of our clients. We’ve always believed that some of the best investment opportunities are created by truly understanding our clients’ needs.' AMP staff have admitted to lying to ASIC 20 times over its handling of fees at the Royal Commission into banking.

Goal Setting phase of the Career Success cycle at La Trobe University

Dear Colleagues,

The Goal Setting phase of the Career Success cycle is now underway and eligible staff will now see a new plan for the 2018-19 performance cycle in their Career Success inbox.

If you are a manager or Academic Reviewer, now is the time to meet with each of your staff to discuss performance goals, capabilities required for their role and development goals. It’s also an opportunity to discuss long term ambitions and career pathways.

Please remember that all Career Success plans must have:
·         Between two and 10 performance goals
·         Between four and six capabilities
·         At least one development goal

The following resources are also available to assist staff, managers and Academic Reviewers during the Goal Setting phase:

·         Quality Conversation Workshops (go to workshops section of page) - if you would like to attend, please email your preferred time and date to the team.  ·         Online Tools & Resources including one page tip sheets

For further assistance please contact HR on ext.1234, or log a query via Ask HR

La Trobe University Victoria. Thanks to anonymous.

 Previous organisational responses of a collective nature = personal meeting

'The specific use of the word 'again' implied previous organisational responses of a collective nature as opposed to an individual meeting between the Commissioner and the complainant.' Spokesman for Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart explaining what Stewart meant when he said: 'I'm certainly happy to talk to that lady personally again if that would help her.' The Gold Coast woman  wishes to know why a police officer was not charged for leaking her address to her allegedly abusive former husband. Once it was reported, the Commissioner changed his mind has agreed to meet with the woman. ABC, 18 April, 2018.

Group Leader Business Improvement

Over recent years council has undergone a major transformation to meet the future needs of our community. 
We have a strong focus on  continuous improvement and innovation (sacking all the old staff, constantly changing the goals) led by people with fresh ideas - just like Woolworths - across the organisation -  the new word for council. Mainly because it's better not to repeat a word in a paragraph. Unless that word is innovation.  Or sustainability. Especially that one. Sustainability. Great. 
The new business improvement group will be a key player (wield an axe) in leading this change, driving our vision (that's right, the vision thing) in the pursuit of excellence and setting the pace (railroading employees and contractors) towards a transformed sustainable future (meaning.... whatever you would like it to mean - that's what makes sustainability such a great word. Here it is again: sustainability)
If you are driven by conquering challenges (trying to persuade reluctant people just doing their job to change what they are doing in order to satisfy some nebulous goal that even the councillors themselves don't understand) and want to work with a dynamic (constantly changing) and upbeat (falsely smiling) team, then this job is for you. 
Every day will present new challenges (expect a stand-up fight with a department head every day) and you will join a like-minded (bonkers), ambitious (pig-headed and unrealistic) team. 

Thanks to anonymous who offered this interpretation for the Coffs Harbour City Council position.

'disturbingly cultish pre-season camp' for the Adelaide Crows

'Adelaide's emphatic Easter victory over Richmond took the heat out of reports that the Crows were still licking theirs wounds as a result of a disturbingly cultish pre-season camp ... serious red flags have emerged since it was revealed that the expensive, experimental and highly secretive experience had divided players, coaches and staff at the club. Last week the fragile mental state of at least one player remained a source of major concern to his family and friends.' WA Today, 6 April, 2018.

'Amon is trained in a range of coaching, assessment and training approaches, including Vertical Mindset Assessment and Coaching, Power Stage Assessment and Coaching, and more. He integrates these coaching approaches with extensive experience in the leadership field, and through a long-time involvement with the national masculinity and men’s work community.' Qualifications of Amon Woulfe when he conducted 'The Mankind Project' for the Adelaide Football Club. No longer part of, now with Collective Mind who offer Mind Training Programs:

  • 8 week self leadership program to lift performance
  • Focused on driving real behaviour change
  • Latest Mind Tech and wearables to track performance
  • Suite of 40 mind tools backed by the latest in neuroscience
  • Mind tools pressure tested in elite sport
  • Track record of success in leading organisations.

Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs) in the UK health sector

'A clear ambition of our STP partners is for this genuine partnership approach to become the norm, and for local patches within our health system to deliver our shared objectives within the resources available. Difficult decisions will need to be made and the STP will provide a mechanism for managing financial risk and a forum to help us deliver a shared control total. Given our track record as a stable and high performing patch with a strong track record of innovation, the expectation from NHS England is that [Cumbria and the North East] starts preparing to become an integrated care partnership by April 2019.' Thanks to Peter Laing

Come across something curated recently?

'"Curation” is a dressing-up intensifier, serving the same function in our current speech as the adjectival heel lift supplied by “artisanal” cheeses or “craft” coffee.

Sprinkle the fairy dust of high-sounding words over the ungainly contours of something quite ordinary, and you may be able to transform it into something special, in the way that a gentle snowfall can turn an ugly tool shed into a dreamy cottage, inhabited by elves.' Wilfred M. McClay, The Hedgehog Review: Spring 2018.

Confident Humility

'The Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton from Victoria Police sent an email to all sworn Victoria Police employees in relation to the recent assault by police on a disability pensioner.  He encouraged police to exhibit 'confident humility' when dealing with the public.' Thanks to Alan Killeen.

'It might seem paradoxical to hold a town hall meeting without a time for questions, but we’ve seen it happen. When you don’t engage with your people you look either insecure or arrogant. Insecure leaders don’t believe their own message. Arrogant leaders lack the confident humility to Channel Challengers.' Lets Grow Leaders

Monash is maximising the impact of a visit for stakeholders

'Although a key objective of the trip is to deepen alumni engagement, we are once again seeking to maximise the impact of the visit for stakeholders within the university, with ESE building a diverse program that allows the Vice-Chancellor to also meet with Australian and Indonesian government officials, industry representatives, as well as hosting a reception where the Faculty of Arts’ Global Immersion Guarantee will be officially announced. During this visit, we also hope to finalise arrangements to appoint an alumni engagement manager to be based in Jakarta.' Monash University 'Update'.

1. A marketing term for Life. ('In the midst of lifestyle we are in death' - hence Lifestyle Funerals, Geelong, Victoria. 'He had a short lifestyle but a happy one.') Something to be segmented and targetedAspirational life.
2. Anything that occurs on a patio.
3. Something to which one has a commitment, even a passionate commitmentEnhanced lifestyle, etc.'Mode of living as identified by a person's activities, interests and opinions (AIO).' Marketing textbook definition

'Personality and self-concept are reflected in lifestyle.' Marketing textbook

Living the team values

'We just won a Shield game for WA and one of our values is to celebrate success. We were as a team and a group.'  
Australian test cricketer, Cameron Bancroft, interview 27/11/17

Asset Recycling Scheme

'"What I'll be spruiking ... is the opportunity to have global brands from the US increase their footprint in NSW or set up shop to increase jobs growth,' NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian talking to ABC radio about spruiking her state's asset recycling scheme and the western Sydney airport when she travels with the Prime Minister to the US. Thanks to Elizabeth Abbott.

Customer Advocacy and Value Chain Cluster

From the cluster's intranet, 'While the interconnection of these pillars had given [our government body] “connected autonomy”, whereby the organisation was able to explore and leverage with some agility opportunities with stakeholders, partners and collaborators as they presented themselves due to the alignment of the organisation with government and national priorities.' Thanks to anonymous.

Isobel is a help point in customer centric month. Thanks to anonymous.

Accelerated business outcomes

'Probe Group delivers accelerated business outcomes backed by tested Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) capabilities and end-to-end solutions. Talk to our friendly team about the benefits of business process outsourcing in your world.'

entrepreneurship integration

' X will provide strategic leadership and support for entrepreneurship integration as a whole-of-university leadership role through student attraction and the broader student experience.' Message to staff from the Vice Chancellor at Swinburne University. Thanks to anonymous.

to conceptualise the move from norm contestation as dialogic process to norm implementation

'This presentation responds to the burgeoning norms literature in International Relations (IR) that conceptualises the norm life-cycle as a non-linear dynamic process that is open to contestation and change of ‘meanings in use’....

In this presentation I claim that in order to conceptualise the move from norm contestation as dialogic process to norm implementation as a process that weaves norms into the fabric of institutions in their day-to-day politics and routine practices, there is a need to bring IR norms theory into a fruitful engagement with sociological theory on lawmaking. Socio-legal approaches account for institutional processes that move towards the firming up of norms even if hard law status is not the formal objective. In this seminar I apply a socio-legal framework of the recursivity of lawmaking to better understand the current diversification of R2P implementation efforts across the UN and at the national level to make this argument.' A presentation on international relations at Australian National University. Thanks to Michael A. Crowe.

Burn platform that facilitates buy-in

"I’d like to tell you about our paradigm shift in strategic talent acquisition strategy which is leveraging value for all our stakeholders", one executive said. After a twenty-minute monologue, he took the final "deep dive into customer centric online interfacing", then mercifully stopped.

Before I could say a word, his colleague began. "By engaging our human capital", she said "we can create a burn-platform that facilitates buy-in". 'Insidious management speak has infected the land, from our boardrooms to our school halls, Andre Spicer, The Telegraph, 20 Sept, 2017.

The payroll function is a single point dependency

Also known as a person.

An enhanced regulatory sandbox

'The Government is introducing a world-leading legislative financial services regulatory sandbox to enable new and innovative FinTech products and services to be tested in Australia. This will further boost Australia’s position as a global FinTech hub. Australian Budget 2017. Thanks to Jamie.

Optimised non-linear trajectory

Something the Australian government has called for in relation to emissions reduction. Thanks to Ric Sandblom who doesn't know what it means, and neither do we.

Agile and innovative educational programs changing lives and [tomorrow] the world!

'The new Colleges are creating opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations in both research and teaching that will transform outcomes. Students will benefit from enhanced support alongside agile and innovative educational programs. Our staff will benefit from improved access to executive decision-making and a reduction in “red-tape”.

The change will also transform professional staff support structures to maximise their capacity to enhance the core academic activities of the University.' Colin J Stirling
President and Vice-Chancellor, Flinders University, 3 July 2017. Thanks to Carleen. More from Mr Stirling in the strategic plan Making A Difference – The 2025 Agenda.

'Productive Engagement will be required across a range of networks for us to create the Impact that is core to our mission of changing lives and changing the world. We will celebrate diversity, strengthen community and government relationships, and expand our global reach through high quality international partnerships. Closer to home we will embrace our role as a catalyst in the knowledge economy, adding value through collaborations with business, industry and entrepreneurs to stimulate economic growth and bring about positive societal change.' [Their italics].

Grenfell tower deaths and 'perceived failings'

'The Tory leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, Nick Paget-Brown, has resigned in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, saying he accepts a "share of responsibility" for the "perceived failings".' The UK Independent, 1 July, 2017. Thanks to Maria who says: 'I am incredibly angry about this comment, which is, in my view, an attempt to weasel away an atrocity not an accident.'

Cultural externalities

What the Australian Productivity Commission calls books.

'Words chosen to withstand the scrutinies of inquest, investigation and enquiry.'

'The work and pensions secretary, David Gauke, gave an interview to Channel 4 News on Friday evening. As he tried to step deftly between ‘regulations’ and ‘guidance’ while saying nothing that would implicate him or his government in anything at all, it was almost inevitable that Gauke would slip. The speed at which he self-corrected ‘simplify the regulations’ to ‘simplify the guidance’ was remarkable. There was a startling lack of concrete nouns in Gauke’s language, and had it not been for the interviewer, Cathy Newman, you would hardly have known what events Gauke was talking about. He used the word ‘fire’ only twice in the six-minute interview, and despite Newman’s repeatedly asking whether the residents of Britain’s 4000 tower blocks could feel safe, Gaufe avoided using the words ‘safe’ or ‘safety’. He wasn’t speaking to the moment but to a probable future; his words had been chosen to withstand the scrutinies of inquest, investigation and enquiry. He said nothing that attributed responsibility to anyone or anything.' 'Nothing but feeling',  

Cascading principle

"It's a principle that we'll be cascading through the company." NAB insider, 'NAB launches staff simplification program', The Australian, 7 Dec, 2017.

Management speak: Part of neoliberalism which can make bullying invisible.

'Egregious behaviours are justified using a range of management-speak (“operational reasons”, “management prerogative”, or “operational efficiency”)...

If you are unhappy about what is going on in your workplace, if you claim you are being bullied, then clearly you do not understand, and the solution to your unhappiness is for you to go to the relevant training courses so that you will learn to manage change better, so that you will improve your personal resilience and learn to manage your stress levels better.' Class Act: The bullies from above in the workplace', Margaret Sims, 3 May, The Northern Daily Leader.

Harnessing the emotional aspects and place making

'This is place making that actively celebrates the tangible, cultural aspects of the site ...We believe we need to harness the emotional aspects of this venue and apply it through a filter of what it means to live harmoniously in order to create and (sic) apartment building that embodies the principles of well-being.' Architectural vision statement (aka planning application) for the Festival Hall site in Melbourne. Thanks to Tony Healy.


One of the Values of the newly formed Snowy Monaro Regional Council in NSW. Thanks to Kath.

Community facilities relationships and partnerships position

'The council would establish a community facilities relationships and partnerships position and establish a fund for feasibility studies and business cases ... “This is about strategising a way forward.”' GDC put pools to top of list, Gisborne Herald, 3 Feb, 2018.

Key messages from the Nursing Workforce Governance Group

'The Nursing Workforce Governance Group (the Governance Group) met on 16 May 2017 and agreed the following key messages: 

  • The Governance Group agrees the current model of vocational training is not fit for purpose for meeting future needs. The model requires change to better suit the future needs of the community and should have greater transparency. The group is less certain contestability is an effective process for delivering the desired changes. A clear workforce strategy to guide decisions around disinvestment and reinvestment will be essential. 
  • The Governance Group continues to explore barriers to the effective utilization of primary health care nurses and to Nurse Practitioner employment. Research being conducted by Ian Axford fellow Amy Downes was instructive in coming to understand useful strategies for change.  
  • The Governance Group reviewed the findings from the 20 April 2017 Nursing Strategic planning day. The findings will give clear direction to the ongoing work of both the NNO group and the NWGG itself.  
  • The Governance Group is pleased that HWNZ is committed to putting more resource behind activating the decisions and directions of the taskforce.'

Email from Professor Jenny Carryer, Executive Director to the College of Nurses-Member Services. Thanks to Brian.

Innovation bootcamp

'Public sector organisations aspire to deliver greater value through continual innovation of service delivery models. This practical workshop will examine key insights from the recent report 'Hacking the Bureaucracy' on what tools and techniques can be practically applied to drive change in your work practice. 

Share and learn practical innovation practices through specific skill-sharing sessions which provide insights and examples of how to drive change in your day to day role.

IPAA Victoria Public Sector Week

Unlocking value at Dreamworld

'Ardent said the review was “considering a number of important factors” including the “impact of recent events at Dreamworld”... and “analysis of the existing Dreamworld footprint to identify potential opportunities for unlocking value”.', 24 May, 2017. Thanks to John Williams.

Your taxes at work - at the Australian Tax Office (ATO)

'As part of our response to the recommendations in the June 2015 report of the Post implementation review of ATO consultative arrangements, the Not-for-profit Advisory Group will now be known as the Not-for-profit Stewardship Group.

The name change does not alter the purpose of the group, and we continue to support its excellent work ...

The 2013 Review applied the Australian Government Consultation Principles in assessing the effectiveness and utility of the consultative arrangements the ATO then had in place. Those principles, and now part of the Regulator performance framework, were used in this review to assess the effectiveness of the ATO’s consultative arrangements ...

The aim of the Framework is to encourage regulators to undertake their functions with the minimum impact necessary to achieve regulatory objectives and to effect positive ongoing and lasting cultural change within regulators.' Thanks to anonymous.

Tribes and scrum coaches at ANZ bank

'The bank will restructure into teams of about 10, known as "squads" that group into "tribes", replacing managers with coaches and product owners, who will be picked based on their adaptability and capacity to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams, rather than their work experience...
People who used to be managers may be included in teams, but won't retain their status as a manager. Scrum coaches will not be bosses. "That is not your boss, that's a coach, who is a peer. That product owner is not your boss, they're a product owner who defines the how, and you galvanise around that" ... 
It's not about technical skill, it's about do I have a growth mindset? Am I agile? Am I adaptable? Am I good at leading change?' 'ANZ blows up bureaucracy as Shayne Elliott takes the bank agile', Australian Financial Review, 1 May, 2017. Thanks to Jim.

Remuneration at Australia Post explained

'The  Australia Post senior executive remuneration strategy is intended to attract, motivate and retain the calibre of executives required to achieve its strategic priorities and create shareholder value, taking into consideration the increasingly competitive market for global executive talent.

The remuneration strategy links the strategic priorities of the company to a performance management scheme, which in turn influences senior executive remuneration by:

• aligning senior executive remuneration to corporate and individual performance outcomes, and ensuring approval by the Board before any bonus payments can be earned;
• considering external market remuneration when determining senior executive remuneration and reviewing on an annual basis;
• incentivising senior executives for achievement of longterm strategic outcomes and shareholder value, in addition to short-term business performance; and
• providing competitive levels of remuneration to attract and retain key talent...

In setting senior executive salary at Australia Post, the Board seeks a balance between:

• fixed annual remuneration (FAR), which aims to reward the MD & GCEO and senior executives for executing the core requirements of their role;
• short-term incentives (STI), which are at-risk and intended to reward individuals for their strategic contribution to transforming the company, separate to their core role requirements; and
• long-term incentives (LTI), which are also at-risk and can be earned upon achieving certain performance hurdles over a period of three years, at the complete discretion of the Board. Australia Post Remuneration Report 2016. ABC News, 28 February, 2017. CEO Ahmed Fahour was paid $5.6 million in 2016.

holocaust centre 

'concentration camp, death camp; Auschwitz, Buchenwald, etc. Place where several million people, mainly Jews, were killed, most by chemicals. As in reception centre, shopping centre, etc.' Scott Spicer, White House press secretary.

chemical weapons

Not napalm; not Agent Orange - 245T (Trichlorophenoxyacetic acid) or 24D (dichlorophenoxyacetic acid); not depleted uranium (uranium 238) As, “Noting the birth defects in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, [Al Jazeera reporter Dahr] Jamail says: ‘They’re extremely hard to bear witness to. But it’s something that we all need to pay attention to ... What this has generated is, from 2004 up to this day, we are seeing a rate of congenital malformations in the city of Fallujah that has surpassed even that in the wake of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that nuclear bombs were dropped on at the end of World War II.’” 

US Central Command: Command Narrative

Persistent Excellence

United States Central Command is recognized as a premier warfighting Combatant Command. We respond, we fight, we persist and we always conduct ourselves in accordance with our Service and American values. We strive to understand and help others to comprehend, with granularity and clarity, the complexities of our region. We recognize that trust cannot be surged in time of crisis and that every day, at every level, we must build confidence and reliance with all our partners. We inherently know that we must be alert, responsive and receptive to the challenges of the region and the interests of our Nation, Allies and partners. Our commitment to excellence reflects the efforts of the many dedicated military and civilian professionals - to include our coalition partners - directed towards improving security and stability in the 20-country Central Region.

Our Vision and Mission for the USCENTCOM Region
Stability - Security - Cooperation

We envision a more stable and prosperous region with increasingly effective governance, improved security, and trans-regional cooperation to counter state and non-state actors posing a threat to U.S. interests. To this end - our USCENTCOM mission is to direct and enable military operations and activities with allies and partners to increase regional security and stability in support of enduring U.S. interests.

Our Strategic Approach
Prepare - Pursue - Prevail

Our strategic approach is focused on protecting our national interests and those of our partners. It is designed to reflect our values, align our behaviors, and support the National Military Strategy. It is proactive in nature and endeavors to set in motion tangible actions in a purposeful, consistent and continuous manner. Each aspect of our approach - Prepare - Pursue - Prevail - enables the next and collectively contributes to the successful achievement of our goals, objectives and our overall mission.

Read more of the Command Narrative here.

Optimise our product suite, leverage our scale...

'Utilise our unique data and insights, empower customers through data sharing, leverage infrastructure and capabilities into new populations, measurement focused on outcomes, improved transparency, alignment of incentives.' Some of Medibank Private's Strategic Priorities Beyond FY17. Thanks to anonymous.

'Asset recycling' - privatisation

'It also follows a bitter stoush over the federal asset recycling initiative following a decision by the Commonwealth to deny Victoria the full 15 per cent incentive payment for the $9.7 billion Port of Melbourne sale.' The Age 21 November, 2016.

'flywheel of reinvestment' -  privatisation

'Creating a flywheel of institutional capital participation to increase investments in infrastructure... We believe that Canada can create a flywheel of reinvestment in its infrastructure by catalyzing the participation of institutional capital in existing assets...'Advisory Council on Economic Growth (Canada)

More than one behaviour.
 are often key. For instance, 'knowing the personal drivers' and 'evaluating content of work and quality' are key behaviours.

''As members of the Department of Treasury and Finance, it is important that we all demonstrate behaviours reflective of both the organisational aspirations of the Department, and the specific work accountabilitiesdeliverables and outputs of which we are individually responsible.'
Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance

''These behaviours, generally referred to within the organisation as "The Eight Behaviours", are as follows:
1...Ruthlessly seeking to understand, through the use of dialogue...'
Leadership@City of Port Phillip

'If your behaviours don't improve, Shane, your punishments will be severe.'

(Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, Contemporary Clichés, Cant & Management Jargon, page 41.)

Growing customers at Telstra:

Telstra needs a strategic customer insights lead to help focus on enhancing customer lifetime value

'Telstra is gearing up to build a crack team of big data analysts as it prepares for what one commentator says will be the biggest year to date of NBN migration with 1.7m fixed line customers expected to be up for grabs.

The telco is advertising in Melbourne for a “strategic customer insights lead” to join a so-called “customer value creation team” that is tasked with “understanding our existing customers through quality, data-led insights and designing & delivering compelling offers that speak to our Consumer & Small Business customers in the right way, at the right time and through the right channels that achieve tangible results.”

As the Growing Our Customers Lead, you will working [sic] closely with analysts within your team in an effort to turn key customer insights into tested hypotheses which result in customer-led activity throughout our Consumer and Small Business channels,” the Telstra advertisement says.

“To achieve this, you'll work closely across Telstra (Product, Marketing, Big Data, Channels) in order to identify current and future customer value, understand need within specific customer micro-segments and capitalise on strategic market opportunities to deliver value. Working within the Growing Our Customers segments, you'll be strategically focused on specific customer episodes, such as Retention, Moves, Saves and Win Backs.”

“We've set up our Customer Value Creation team to focus on enhancing customer lifetime value through discovering quality, data-focused insights on our customer population and designing & delivering tailored offerings that benefit both sides of these relationships,” Telstra adds.' At Telstra, we believe in driving value from the core ... Thanks to David Epstein.

Recovery paradigms, framework, person with lived experience

'Bringing lived experience together with the expertise, knowledge and skills of mental health practitioners offers opportunities for profound cultural change in the way it challenges traditional notions of professional power and expertise. Given that a significant proportion of the mental health workforce has lived experience of mental health issues either in their own lives or in their close relationships, recovery paradigms help to break down the conventional demarcation between staff and people who use the service. Within recovery paradigms all people are respected for the experience, expertise and strengths they contribute...
The language of recovery
Consistent with the language of recovery, the terms ‘person’, ‘person in recovery’, ‘person with lived experience’, ‘lived expertise’ and ‘expert by experience/training’ are used wherever possible rather than the terms ‘clients’, ‘service users’ or ‘patients’, which focus on deficits or relationships to services (Recovery Devon 2012). For similar reasons, the framework uses the term ‘family and support people,’ which includes family members, partners, friends or anyone whose primary relationship with the person concerned is a personal, supportive and caring one.
Many people prefer the words ‘consumers’ and ‘carers’, and this is acknowledged in the framework...
Capabilities for recovery-oriented mental health practice
Recovery-oriented mental health practice refers to the application of sets of capabilitiesthat support people to recognise and take responsibility for their own recovery and wellbeing and to define their goals, wishes and aspirations.Capabilities for recovery-oriented practice and service delivery encompass underlying core principles, values, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, skills and abilities. Individuals, teams and organisations need these capabilities in order to support people with mental health issues to live a meaningful and contributing life in their community of choice. Attaining and strengthening these capabilities is an ongoing process that takes time and commitment from leaders, professionals, staff and volunteers in mental health service provision.' A national framework for recovery-oriented mental health services, Australian Government Department of Health. Read the whole document, if you want, here. Thanks to anonymous.

Roadmap for Reform Implementation Advisory Group 

'Last week a cross-sector working group met, and we're now working together to draft a potential protocol for Victoria, under the watch of the Roadmap for Reform Implementation Advisory Group. We're thrilled with the progress and would love if a protocol were finalised and launched this year.' Victoria Legal Aid, 25 January, 1917. Thanks to Adrian.

Never said invited, no, never ...

'Never said we were invited, just that we had 'invitations' and 'were gifted tickets' ... 'Received' an invite and 'invited' are very different things.' One Nation Senator Roberts on social media after the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed he had repeatedly sought an invitation to the ceremony through Australian officials. The Age, 19 January, 2017.

Two days 'facilitation of leadership activities' = $50,000

One of the costs at an Australian Taxation Conference 'to "reinvent its technology team just weeks before a crash brought down the agency's website and internal systems.' The Age, 17 December, 2016.

Language that

'Total focus on feeling the presence of God, if you will, however you want to language that for yourself.' Tim Ferriss, Tools of Titans: the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers.

Australian cricketers are 'internal customers'

'The suspicion lurks that CA’s board is drawn on by the vision splendid of a sleek, shiny, top-down controlled, matrix-managed corporate machine in which obedient automata meet hurdle rates of cricket return while a ­captive media yells rah-rah. Kevin Roberts apparently refers to cricketers as CA’s “internal customers” — there’s one for your next ­compendium, Don Watson.' Gideon Haigh,'Legacy of ill-will that could last a generation', The Australian, 1 July, 2017.

© Bruce Petty.