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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Anything published on this site is fair comment.
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.
'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.
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.’”
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.
'Your responsibilities will include but not be limited to: Coordinate the exiting operational requirements for employee off-boarding.' From SEEK. Thanks to Jenny.
US Central Command: Command Narrative
Our USCENTCOM Culture
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.
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 services. 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
Capabilities for recovery-oriented mental health practice
Recovery-oriented mental health practice refers to the application of sets of capabilities
that 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.
A Multiplicity of Multiples
Rolf Bueskens asks can there be too many multiples: 'Until recently, the word ‘multiple’ tended to have a specific usage: multiple births, multiple choice etc., whereas these days it is used in instances where one would expect words/expressions like several, many, a number of, a lot of etc. How does this happen?' Below are examples found by Rolf.
'In contrast, the ACT government has required an Energy Efficiency Rating for the sale or rent of residential properties since 1999, with multiple reports showing the benefits to property value and to reduced running costs.'
'However, she fails to mention that youth offenders on remand will have received multiple prior opportunities such as cautions, corrections orders, community orders and bail before a magistrate is finally left with no choice but to remand the youth.'
'Revised cash flow projections and capital requirements modelled for multiple operating scenarios.'
'Multiple production scaling paths exist to extend production beyond the capacity...'
'Installers have deployed systems in multiple states and for a variety of end-customer applications.'
'Small sales of further ZBM2 products have also been delivered and deployed (from production during the last quarter) in multiple European countries.'
'The Redflow sales team is working diligently to establish a recurrent order flow from our existing integration partners in multiple countries...'
'Travelling from Adelaide to Darwin, The Ghan makes multiple stops.'
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.
You may be an unlawful non-citizen.
'If you do not lodge an application within 30 days of the date of this letter, any status resolution support services payments you are receiving through the Department of Human Services may be ceased and you may lose access to financial hardship payment and other support services. Payments and services may only be restored if you lodge an application...
'If you do not lodge an application within 30 days of the date of this letter we may not grant you another bridging visa. This will mean you may be an unlawful non-citizen. You will lose access to Medicare and permission to work in Australia. The minister has the power to revoke his decision allowing you to lodge a visa application.' 'Thousands of asylum seekers given days to lodge complex applications or face loss of rights'. The Guardian, 27 February, 2017.
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.
Activate your scenarios and leverage private sector investment
Implementation of the master plan, to achieve the aspired vision ...includes:
1. Design and development parameters to ensure the conservation and appropriate adaptive reuse of the park’s heritage buildings.
2. Activation scenarios for investment at the park’s Quarantine Station and modelling of different activation scenarios.
3. Cost planning, outlining by category and priority the master plan’s key initiatives.
4. Catalyst projects: identifying projects that can achieve significant social return and can leverage private sector investment in support facilities and services.
5. A cost and benefit analysis of the master plan’s key initiatives, including economic and employment opportunities, Traditional Owner benefits and environmental and social outcomes.
6. Governance criteria for the Quarantine Station’s future management arrangement.
Point Nepean National Park Draft Master Plan Summary Document, Parks Victoria. Thanks to Brian Simpson.
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.
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.
'Planning authorities and responsible authorities should endeavour to integrate the range of policies relevant to the issues to be determined and balance conflicting objectives in favour of net community benefit and sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations’ ([Victorian] State Planning Policy Framework Clause 10.04).' 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)
Consultation, sort of, maybe, in a broad sense ...
'In the end, he [Australian Attorney General George Brandis] told a Senate inquiry the dispute between the two officers turned on a narrow definition of the word "consultation" (Gleeson's) compared with a broader definition of the word (his).' Mark Kenny, Fairfax Media, 25 October, 2016. The other officer was the Solicitor-General, Justin Gleeson, who is the first Australian solicitor-general to resign in 100 years. Thanks to Ric Sandblom.
'... corporate jargon about values has absolutely no relationship with firm performance.'
'Most companies have mission and vision statements, but those tend to communicate very little about a company’s purpose ...They all use the same words, such as ‘respect’, ‘teamwork’ and ‘innovation’ but … a recent study found that corporate jargon about values has absolutely no relationship with firm performance.' Researchers George Serafeim and Claudine Gartenberg at Harvard Business Review in 'Drive your company’s ‘purpose’ to boost business', HC Online, 25 October, 2016. And what led to '... superior accounting and stock market performance'? - management having 'a clear view of where the organisation is going and how to get there'. Quelle suprise!
'I know we’ve been experiencing some pain points with some of our systems...' Vice Chancellor, La Trobe University in an address to staff. Thanks to anonymous.
'Here’s an introduction to the state of play for millennials, their perils and pain points, and how brands can use this insight to reposition their marketing ... Brands need to leverage the millennial mindset – and do it authentically.' The Mongrel.
XERA Pain Point Eliminator TM.
The goal was to start an initial conversation around framing the key issues facing COAG going forward.
Quote from Acting PMC Secretary Andrew Tongue's all staff message titled Tongue in cheek, 9 September, 2016. In reference to the first COAG Senior Officials meeting held on 2 September. Thanks to anonymous.
Pipeline of accelerator-ready social enterprises
'Social Traders will deliver 16 Social Enterprise Ideation [their italics] events ... Designed to strengthen the pipeline of accelerator-ready social enterprises through the facilitation of idea creation and generation, Managing Director David Brookes said, “Engaging regional and metropolitan Victoria through social enterprise provides a positive opportunity to encourage local entrepreneurship to solve some of the most-hard pressed existing social problems with new solutions”.' Media release: LaunchVic funding to create employment through social enterprise, 29 August, 2016. Thanks to anonymous.
Someone on LinkedIn. Thanks to Mark.
The Quality and Communications team will now report to the Manager, Partnerships and Engagement (previously Partnerships and Campuses) ...
'(We) have undertaken a review of the position of Deputy Director, Strategy and Planning. As a result of this review, reporting lines for some of the Strategy and Planning team will change. The Quality and Communications team will now report to the Manager, Partnerships and Engagement (previously Partnerships and Campuses), with a title change for this position to recognise the broader community and industry engagement strategies of the university. The Manager, Partnerships and Engagement will now report to the Deputy Director, Learning and Engagement (previously Deputy Director, Learning and Teaching). The Digital Experience team will also report to the Deputy Director, Learning and Engagement, and the Copyright Advisor will report to the Deputy Director, Research and Collections. A new position will be established: Manager, Library Business Services. This position will have responsibility for coordinating the Library's budget preparation and day to day management of the budget; overseeing the integration of relevant University activities and projects into the Library via the Finance, ICT, Infrastructure and Operations and Human Resources business partners; leading the implementation of the Library's space planning strategy and facilities standards at all campuses, including sponsorship of facilities projects; developing best practice human resource management practices and workforce planning for the library; and providing strategic advice on risk management in the Library, including business continuity planning and OHS. The Facilities team and the Administration team will report to the Manager, Library Business Services, along with a new part-time Executive Officer position.' Email from the La Trobe University Librarian to library staff. Thanks to anonymous.
A MORE INNOVATIVE AND AGILE AUSTRALIA
'New ideas in innovation and science will be major drivers of Australia’s future economic prosperity. We are working with other government agencies ... as they develop and implement initiatives that encourage innovation and increase our nation’s productivity and competitiveness...
Solution Consultant - can you translate your system functionality?
'The Solution Consultant is an integral part of the Business Technology Partner team, and will work closely with the Business Technology Partner, Business Analyst and Consulting Architect to build trusted business relationships and deliver innovative technology solutions. Leading the translation of complex business requirements into technical solutions the Solution Consultant supports the Architecture & Business Roadmaps by utilising a breadth of skills covering business analysis, consulting, problem solving, solution design and basic project management in their day to day operations. Specific accountabilities include:
Leading high level business requirements identification and translation into system functionality using a range of techniques as required.' Job ad at RMIT. Thanks to Mark Eggins.
As in: 'I haven't had any visibility on that'. Replacement for 'I don't know', used in meetings at a NSW TAFE. Thanks to anonymous.
Vision, purpose, values ...
'Our Vision: Adviser of choice to the world's minerals industry
Our Purpose:To optimize the value of the world's mineral resources
Our Values: ... we are client-focused ...we act with integrity ...
AMC Consultants, 13th South Australian Exploration and Mining Conference, 2 December 2016. Thanks to John who told us he was reading Don Watson's Death Sentence on the flight to the conference and nearly fainted when this this came up on the screen.
Events and the Australian census
'The events varied in nature and severity ... the following confluence of events occurred ...At the time of these events ... Had these events occurred in isolation ... ASD are investigating these events ... Following the Census, there will be a review of events.' 2016 Census - 9 August online form outage update.
Measureable life outcomes
'New programs for the homeless link taxpayer funding to outcomes, making service providers more accountable for the impacts their programs have on those they seek to serve ... In contrast, Pay For Success means government funding is tied to measureable life outcomes.' Matthew Tyler, economist, The Drum, ABC, 4 August, 2016. Thanks to Robert Boot.
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.
What the Australian Productivity Commission calls books.
Brexit is a 'heartbreaking wake-up call' – and other meaningless political clichés used this week
'When I heard this, I reached for my trusty copy of Watson’s Dictionary of Weasel Words, Contemporary Clichés, Cant and Management Jargon, the Australian-authored manual of verbal sewage, published in Sydney 12 years ago and essential reading for all readers and listeners.
And sure enough, there is “challenge”, on page 61: supposedly a call to fight or “things to do” – like defeating Osama bin Laden or solving a crossword puzzle – but in reality a cliché of politesse and big business. As in, “fiscally challenged” (which the UK certainly is), or something to be done to meet “challenging customer requirements”.' Robert Fisk in The Independent, 30 June, 2016.
Catalysts shaking the innovation trees
'In this feature, TIME explores individuals who are truly breaking through the clutter of the next big thing and serving as catalysts in a meaningful way, on a larger scale. Sure, a start-up can embody innovation but what about the change makers within corporations who are shaking innovation trees? What does it take to sustain that spirit?'
Innovative solutions to complex multi-stakeholder problems
'Holly Ransom is the CEO of Emergent, a company specialising in the development of high performing intergenerational workforces, leadership and social outcomes. Holly is renowned for generating innovative solutions to complex multi-stakeholder problems ...
Convening relevant internal and external leaders and facilitating the development of a pragmatic organizational strategy.
Mapping macro trends and providing key market research insights to develop a critical understanding of your organisation’s operating reality.
Building the capability of leaders to navigate change and achieve personal and collective success.' Thanks to Leigh.
end-to-end student experience ... deep-dive review
'Additionally, to ensure a best in class end-to-end student experience is delivered with clarity of focus, a deep-dive review of a discrete set of student support activities will be progressed.' From a university. Thanks to Karen.
Unique improved paradigm from management consultants at PricewaterhouseCooper
'PwC’s strategy consulting team Strategy& provides a level of operations expertise unique among general management consulting providers ... We help clients across a range of service industries develop and implement an improved paradigm for managing complexity. Product architectures that maximize the commonalities and minimize the differences help describe the product or service in a way that is extremely useful in both the innovation and delivery streams. The business is simplified by facilitating alignment of the support infrastructure in the delivery stream through focused technologies and processes, and engineered through tailored business streams that segment the "process" support infrastructure typically around stability, predictability, or difficulty.' Thanks to anonymous.
'The Centre’s Professional Learning Framework, provides the basis of design for the Professional Learning program which consists of full day and half day workshops, seminars, webinars and networks delivered by highly skilled and experienced facilitators in a range of national, state and regional locations. Some learning activities are online and all have an applied learning approach, encouraging VET professionals to embed new ideas and practices in the workplace.
VET Development Centre: Building Workforce Capability
Revenue measures = tax increases?
'[Australian] Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said "revenue measures" did not equate to tax increases."That is a complete misrepresentation of what the Treasurer has actually said," Senator Cormann told RN Drive.' ABC, 14 April, 2016. Thanks to Ric Sandblom.
Socialising the document
'From reading the document, I can see that a lot of effort that has gone into this deliverable. I think we are not far away from getting this to a point where we can socialise [the document] to a wider audience however, we need to strike a balance between having a framework and something that is a lot more descriptive ...' Thanks to Sandra who says that she'd be more amendable to socialising the document by taking it to the pub for a few beers, some games of pool and then a kebab at 3 am.
Can you plagiarise this rubbish?
'... he [Anthony Hamlet] described himself as a transformational leader “charged with identifying the needed change and creating a vision to guide the change through inspiration.” That is a verbatim definition of the term “transformational leadership” provided on Wikipedia. The Wikipedia entry cites BusinessDictionary.com as the original source.' 'New Pittsburgh schools leader caught plagiarizing', TribLive, 8 June 2016. Thanks to Chris Zurawsky.
Not tax avoidance, according to Mossack Fonseca. Thanks to Ric.
Scalable shared values ... catalyse an enriched future
'Partnerships will target the achievement of the key objective to Create scalable shared value partnerships that advance economic and social conditions in developing countries.' Ad for Short-Term Business Advisors for the Business Partnerships Platform, 'established to enable businesses to partner with DFAT', at Palladium who 'aim to catalyse an enriched future for all.' Thanks to George Farrell.
Core Business Improvement Program (CBIP) explained, sort of...
As you are all aware, a high performing, efficient and professional organisation is built on a culture of continuous improvement. As the Department of XXXX (System Manager and Corporate Services Bureau) grows in maturity, improvements in a range of functions are needed to build on existing capability. This means a new way of doing business – doing business smarter, to best meet client needs. To achieve this, the Core Business Improvement Program (CBIP) has been established to identify, manage, deliver and monitor improvement initiatives.
Work has already commenced to consider a range of opportunities for improvement and moving forward, these will be formalised through formal project management arrangements. The System Manager Leadership Group agreed that the following projects would be the initial priorities under CBIP:
1. Grant Management Review: identify opportunities to improve efficiencies in grants management to establish clear governance, to ensure consistency in methodologies and economies of scale.
2. Improving Procurement through Category Management Rationalisation: delivering procurement and contract improvement opportunities.
3. Revenue Collection Cost Management: maximising revenue opportunities.
We are pleased to announce that XX has commence in the role of Project Director (CBIP) as of today. It’s great to have XX back from leave; her considerable experience and expertise in policy development and program management will be invaluable in progressing CBIP and the priority projects.
Once XX has had a chance to familiarise herself with the CBIP and develop her thinking on the details of program design and implementation, she will be looking to involve many of you in discussions about the individual projects and to explore the contribution you might be able to make. Please take full advantage of any opportunity to participate in this important work, and we know that XX will appreciate your support in her new role.' Thanks to PM who works in this government department.
Lessons will be learnt
'What a mealy-mouthed statement that is. How often and with how much ease does it trip from the tongue of anyone in authority seeking to avoid blame for a scandal?
None of the usual suspects involved, be they government ministers, councillors, social workers, police officers or the heads of this or that hopeless public entity, ever says, “I” or “We have learnt our lesson.” Instead the lesson has been learnt in the abstract by person or persons unknown.
This phrase and others, in a similarly weasel-like form, has been bandied around in the newspapers quite often this past week as a number of scandals resurfaced or were dragged out into the open ...
"Dame Janet Smith’s report will be invaluable in helping us understand what happened and to help ensure that we do everything possible to avoid it happening again.” My italics.
No apologies, no real remorse.
Just 39 weasel words that add up to the same disgraceful get-out for all those who want to slide away from their responsibilities: lessons will be learnt.
A few years ago David Cameron came up with a proposal to reduce the number of time wasting and obstructive organisations: The Bonfire Of The Quangos. But it never happened because so many Establishment figures love to slope off to these well-paid and protected posts.
But it is time to revive this idea in the form of a Bonfire Of The Bureaucrats.
There are far too many of these corpulent, responsibility-shirking, buck-passing mandarins and middle-managers in every area of public life.
Clear them all out and let skilled professionals do their jobs.
Only then will the lesson have been learnt.' 'A word from the editor: No lessons have been learnt', Martin Townsend, 24 January, 2016, Sunday UK Express.
Children attempt to decipher management jargon
'Phrase: Blue-sky thinking. One child explains: 'I might feel really happy and then the sky might feel really happy but if I feel sad or something like that the sky maybe started raining.' Daily Mail, 4 April, 2016.
Spot the weaselling.
"Clearly there have been some negative stories about various players in the industry and that's really unfortunate because it does damage people's trust in the community." (Brian Hartzer, Westpac CEO).
The Australian Bankers' Association chief executive, Steven Munchenberg, defended the banks, saying they were addressing "legitimate concerns" regarding inappropriate behaviour and misconduct.
"The industry knows that ensuring the integrity of the banking system is vital for all participants, including customers and banks themselves. Banks support the core of the economy and highly value their social license to operate ... Banks will continue to work with regulators to address any legitimate concerns with inappropriate behaviour or misconduct," Mr Munchenberg said.
"Banks have shown in the past they will act when they are made aware of behaviour contrary to their values and codes of conduct," he said. The Age April 7, 2016.
© Bruce Petty.