Leadership


Considering climate costs

Let’s be frank about climate costs

Within the cut and thrust of the federal election campaign, there’s been a lot of debate about the costs of tackling climate change. Unfortunately, the focus on costs diverts people’s attention from the real issues and leaves them feeling anxious and uncertain – perhaps by design. A little clear thinking offers an approach that’s more constructive. Governments should reveal their investment logic Government investment in...

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Engineer tackling climate change

Engineering a change in climate

Australians have much to lose from inaction on climate change. But there’s also much to gain by acting. A shortage of practical solutions that are scalable, affordable and easy to embrace is an impediment. This is where engineers can play a transformative role if the challenge is approached in a clever, collaborative and contemporary way. Here is a brief whitepaper that explains why and how...

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Engaging people to profit

Engaging people to profit

For all the talk of diversity and the monitoring of pay gaps between men and women, many people remain unsure of the benefits of greater inclusion beyond equality of opportunity. What really are the benefits of diversity and inclusion? What attributes of diversity actually translate into better organisational performance? And if the benefits are real, what is impeding a quicker transition to a more diverse...

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Australian Government

Rebuilding trust, restoring progress

Who do you trust? If you’re like millions of other Australians, you don’t trust politicians, big banks or the media. In fact, mistrust of key institutions continues to grow, perpetuating a trend that started in the late 1960s [1, 2]. This lack of trust continues to gain attention, and there’s good reason why it should. Trust is a key indicator of the health and potential...

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Unleash passion or get run over

Tap into your people’s passion, or get run over

What are your people passionate about? Do you know? What might be possible if you unleashed their latent talents? Indeed, what might be the cost if you don’t? For many years, I worked with one of Australia’s great businesses. SKM, a professional services firm with some 10,000 people around the world, was a global leader. It’s position in the top companies of its type in...

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Moving in circles - weak problem solving skills impose a public price

What’s the public price of ill-defined problems?

How do you normally solve problems? What methods do you use? It’s a question I’ve asked numerous policy and program leaders across all levels of government. That’s because governments are routinely asked to solve some of society’s toughest problems – the ones where the issues are complicated, dynamic, constantly changing and involve many stakeholders, often pulling in different directions. So what are the dominant responses?...

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Problem solving

Smart people doing dumb things – are you one of them?

Humans are amazing. We’re capable of orchestrating moving music, creating beautiful structures and deconstructing the human genome. Why then, when we possess such constructive capabilities, do governments find themselves grasping for answers, businesses struggling to grow, and communities feeling insecure and mistrustful of public and private sector leaders alike? In May, I worked with senior government executives from Australia and New Zealand to build their...

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Engineering practical energy

Engineering a politically-practical energy plan

Practical engineering solutions may be the key to transcending the political gridlock that confounds the energy-climate crisis. Several days ago, Matthew Warren, chief executive of the Australian Energy Council, warned “We now risk rolling into a second decade of energy policy uncertainty. This could be catastrophic for the cost and reliability of energy in Australia… yet there is no respite in sight” [1]. It’s a...

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Man in crisis

Crisis – a leader’s friend in disguise

“How did I get here?” asked the reluctantly departing CEO. “How did we get here?” question citizens in a Brexit-Trump world. “What now?” is their coupled question. A growing suite of societal crises threaten to fracture governments, businesses and communities. Yet perhaps this is a natural part of our collective evolution which, with wise leadership, can unleash a new and productive phase of individual, corporate...

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Your organising stories

Leading change? You’ll need shared, organising stories.

From infancy we’ve learnt values, ideas and social rules through stories. This schooling has occurred for millennia. Today, some of these stories are being questioned. Leaders need to understand this dynamic and just how important stories are to sustaining success. In 2011, history professor Yuval Noah Harari published his book Sapiens – A brief history of human kind. It promptly became an international best seller....

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