Culture is a cruel mistress

By John Preston Radio—Created by Visnezh—Freepik.com On the ABC’s Radio National’s morning program the other day, presenter Fran Kelly chided Federal member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson MP. Henderson used the interview to persistently belt her political opponents rather than debating regional rail links between Geelong and Melbourne—the issue she had been invited onto the program Read more about Culture is a cruel mistress[…]

457 visas—A horse for your communications wagon

By Emily Edmunds and John Preston The Easter long weekend was a busy one for the Prime Minister’s communications team. The Prime Minister’s polls were problematic: his party’s conservatives were restive, former prime ministers were offering unsolicited advice and Coalition voters seemed to be drifting away—many of them to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. The government had Read more about 457 visas—A horse for your communications wagon[…]

The ad hominem delusion that infects our public debate

By Susannah Bishop and John Preston We like to believe we’re a culture of tolerance and understanding. We’re in the land of ideas. Mercifully—at least in Australia—the days of being imprisoned for disagreeing with those in power are long gone. Also gone is the risk of torture and inquisition, the fear and hushed tones of dissident Read more about The ad hominem delusion that infects our public debate[…]

Learning by numbers—Maslow and Bloom suggest not

By John Preston Humans are curious creatures. On one level, we are capable of profound understanding and complex cognition. On another we are completely dependent on the most basic physiological and emotional needs being met before we can realise our higher-order potential. In the earlier part of last century, Abraham Maslow devised the Hierarchy of Read more about Learning by numbers—Maslow and Bloom suggest not[…]

Critical reasoning and strategic decision making—Analysis, values and persuasion in public policy

By John Preston In ancient Greek mythology, Theseus—the founder of Greek democracy—entered the Labyrinth on the island of Minos and conquered the Minotaur. Theseus was renowned for his great strength, courage and—above all—wit. Today’s regulatory and policy environments are a labyrinth worthy of Theseus. Public policy professionals—tasked with producing coherent and effective regulations—must display Theseus-like Read more about Critical reasoning and strategic decision making—Analysis, values and persuasion in public policy[…]

How the big players solve big problems

By Robert Garran How to solve problems like McKinsey and Company without paying a squillion dollars What are the secrets of success for McKinsey and Company and the other big business consulting firms, and can we lesser mortals hope to match them? One feature of their business model is difficult to replicate—they’re willing to pay Read more about How the big players solve big problems[…]

Ready, steady, go! – Bridging the science—influence—policy divide in public sector policy

By John Preston Let’s face it; if facts were enough, we wouldn’t still be discussing the science of climate change, would we? And yet here we are. Why is this? Could the problem lie with the fact that we don’t equip our scientists with the skills they need to influence policymakers—particularly where there are competing claims? Read more about Ready, steady, go! – Bridging the science—influence—policy divide in public sector policy[…]

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