Blog

15 May, 2017
Eating an elephant

Culture is a cruel mistress

By John Preston 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 […]
15 May, 2017

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 […]
8 May, 2017

Keeping the important stuff in mind: a tip for annual reports

It’s time to start that piece of writing no one wants to hear about: annual reports. Generally, their mention makes people sob and horses bolt. True enough, the worst sort of annual report is stupefyingly dull. But these reports are required […]
5 May, 2017

What makes a great editor?

By Robert Garran, A few weeks ago, my twitter feed lit up with tweets praising, of all people, an editor who had just died. I could have let them pass by—like so many tweets—but these tweets had great passion. So in […]
1 May, 2017

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 […]
24 April, 2017
Commonly confused words

Commonly confused words

From the Ethos CRS Editing Team If you want to discover words you’ve never heard of and never thought you’d use, bureaucracies—both government and corporate—can be the place to go. New terms, jargon, acronyms and euphemisms bombard you every day. […]
24 April, 2017

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 […]
19 April, 2017

Learning by numbers—Maslow and Bloom suggest not

By John Preston Maslow hierarchy of needs and Bloom’s taxonomy of learning 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 […]
19 April, 2017

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 […]
5 April, 2017

-ise vs -ize

Using an ‘s’ over a ‘z’ is one of the most obvious differences between Australian English and American English. It’s an area of huge debate—when are grammar rules of opposing English-speaking countries ever not?—but also of huge confusion. Everyday grammarians […]
3 April, 2017

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 […]
3 April, 2017

Sticky tales—Tell a story to make ideas memorable

By Robert Garran  ‘A storm is brewing over spectacular Katherine Gorge about Aboriginal land rights.’ Back when I was a rookie journalist on the Age in the 1980s, I wrote an article that began something like that. I’ve forgotten the […]
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