Don Watson

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.

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.

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.

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.

change management
1. Managing change. Change that requires managing, including multi-tasking. 
A category of consultant. Money for jam, old rope, Magic Pudding, etc.

''Understand the process of Change Management and the skills required to successfully manage the process' (Trans. 'Learn the process of change management and learn the process of change management'?)
Melbourne University of Leadershop & Professional Development Program

'Change management is also useful in terms of one's personal lifestyle: "First realise that due to a combination of technology, travel and communicationsadvances, most of us live fast-paced, urban-minded lives that require constant multi-tasking."'
Stan Stalnaker, GQ, Spring 2003

(Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, Contemporary Clichés, Cant & Management Jargon, page 64.)


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

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.

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.

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.

'... 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!

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.

'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)

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.

1. Person or organisation with a stake, ie. a share or interest; people joined along the triple bottom lineshareholders, staff, customers/clients, etc.
People in a nursing home; people engaged in senior living (As in: 'At Easter the stakeholders all wore bonnets and those who could joined in singing "It's a long way to Tipperary".').

''Sustainablity is determined by an organisation's ability to create and deliver valuefor all stakeholders.'
Principles of Business Excellence, Gracedale Private Nursing Home

(Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, Contemporary Clichés, Cant & Management Jargon, page 305.)

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.’” 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ramping up the long run value

'Organisations seeking to ramp up the efficiency of their asset management (AM) footprint intuitively turn to enhancing their AM activities, however, new research shows that placing more structural emphasis on organisational and governance related facets of operations can bring rise to more long run value.' Organisational effectiveness can boost asset management operations,  20 July 2017

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.


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.

Products - aka weather warnings

'I think we've got some work to do [with the bureau] with some of the products.' Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, The Age, 4 December, 2017.

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

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.

Drive penetration

'However it also reveals that it expects ancillary revenue per customer will remain flat this year as it continues to ‘drive penetration with discounts’ – management jargon for getting more people used to paying for the add-ons so they can bump up the price later and people will still pay for them.' 'How can Ryanair charge £4.99 for a ticket?' by Rachel Rickard Straus,, 6 February 2018.

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.

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.

Pain points

'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.