Blog

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 […]
31 March, 2017

Structure—A crucial ingredient of successful writing

By Robert Garran I’ve started reading an insightful book by Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times—called Easternisation: War and Peace in the Asian Century—that provides a great example of the importance of structure in driving compelling writing. The book starts […]
27 March, 2017

Changing 18C—Why knowing your environment could help

For some, the debate about changing free speech provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 is a tenth-order issue. The Deputy Prime Minister, for example, has been quoted in Fairfax papers as saying, “It is definitely not the issue people are talking about […]
22 March, 2017

Focus in feedback: Don’t let feedback turn into a fight

In our courses on Giving and receiving feedback, we find that a lot of people don’t really understand the feedback process—what it is or how to do it properly. Feedback is an integral part of developing a team in an office. […]
22 March, 2017

Creating and nurturing a clear writing culture

These days everyone works as a writer. No matter their background or whether they work as a tinker, a tailor, a soldier or spy. Everyone writes as part of their job—be it emails, reports, business cases, decision briefs or proposals […]
19 February, 2017

Worst sentence ever

Ever wonder what’s behind the Ethos CRS magic? Here’s an example of how we deconstruct bad writing—and put it back together again. Take a look at this sentence: In determining the appropriate location, range and scale of suppliers to be […]
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