Monthly Archives: April 2015
Very few people will disagree that politics needs to be more representative of the community – if we were truly choosing candidates on merit we would see more women politicians, more indigenous Australians, more migrants and their descendants, and proportionately fewer middle-aged, heterosexual, anglo men*.
Plus, Queensland has a woman Premier, a woman Deputy Premier, and eight out of 14 Cabinet members are women. Overall, this is a world record: as far as I can find, never before in the history of Parliamentary democracy have elections thrown up a Government in which women are so strongly represented.
When Finland formed its 73rd Government eight months before the Palaszczuk Government took office, they had a majority of women in Cabinet. I’m claiming a win for Queensland and Australia on the strength of women holding the two most senior positions*** while in Finland the Prime Minister and Deputy are men.
(The Bolivian Legislative Assembly is 49% women, Rwanda has 64%, Andorra has 50.0 %, Cuba 49% and Seychelles 44%: http://www.idea.int/americas/bolivia/bolivia-49-percent-women-parliament.cfm)
So why isn’t the Queensland Government, at least, championing the current extraordinary crew of women role models in State Parliament, to encourage more diverse involvement in civic issues?
* Such as me. We need less of me. I’m over-represented in politics.
** If I’m wrong, tell me now, OK – my research resources are good, but not unlimited.
*** Finnophiles might argue that theirs is a national Government and Queensland’s is but a state, but my point is about the capacity of the democratic system to elect women leaders.
The new Northern Territory Labor Shadow Cabinet announced today by Territory Opposition Leader Michael Gunner includes a new portfolio of Open and Transparent Government*, to be held by the Opposition Leader himself.
Michael might be a bit unknown to those outside the Territory, even though he has a very good chance to be the next Chief Minister. You can learn a bit about him here: www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-15/who-is-nt-labor-politician-michael-gunner/6392026 and here http://territorylabor.com.au/Our-Team/Michael-Gunner.
Leader of the Opposition
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
* It is unclear how the Opposition Leader’s portfolio of Open and Transparent Government and Nicole Manison’s portfolio of Government Accountability will interact.
One problem with Australian politics – and most UK and US politics too – is most Party leaders* are sales staff, not business development managers.
They’re after the quick business/quick sales so that their sales cycle numbers – the next election – look good, but it is at the expense of long-term customer acquisition:
- current marginal seat campaigning tactics,
- small target “leadership”,
- technocratic fiddling around the edges of policy differences,
- and similar practices
all work to ensure there can be NO growing of a solid base of voters, inspired by a leader’s vision.
When was the last time you saw an Australian political leader grab a big, bold, forward-looking, new, idea or agenda, and then try to get the community broadly on board with it? Gough Whitlam in 1972? John Hewson in 1993? Does Tony Abbott’s “Stop The Boats” count?**
Most are satisfied to claim a mandate for something even when voters have been clearly opposed, when they survive in spite of its advocacy – Mike Baird’s unpopular commitment to asset sales come to mind.
There’s so many important issues out there begging for a long-term perspective, matched with solutions capable of inspiring Australians, but there’s an unwillingness to put in any kind of a concerted effort to explain and persuade – so until we have political leaders prepared to put an effort into business development rather than sales, we seem locked forever into two things:
- a downward spiral of lowest-common-denominator policies that pander to existing prejudices and demons rather than voters’ better angels, and
- a cowardly concealment of real intentions, behind ambiguous platitudes.
* Party officials, Members of Parliament, political advisors … they’re all leaders, though many don’t act like it.
** I don’t think it does, because I don’t believe it was bold or new – it was mostly pandering to prejudices already in voters’ minds. Feel free to disagree!
There’s a new book coming out in June, called Your Strategy Needs a Strategy: How to Choose and Execute the Right Approach. In anticipation, one of the authors has been laying out some of the book’s core propositions in a series of LinkedIn articles.
At the heart of what they are saying is the perfectly logical proposition that different business environments should drive you to different strategic approaches. They identify five kinds of business environment and the related strategic response:
|The Environment / The Future||Strategic Response|
|I can predict it, but I can’t change it||Classical|
|I can’t predict it, and I can’t change it||Adaptive|
|I can predict it, and I can change it||Visionary|
|I can’t predict it, but I can change it||Shaping|
|My resources are severely constrained||Renewal|
Articles summarising the book so far:
Martin Reeves seems to be posting a new update each week – stay tuned.
It looks like a must-buy for those who offer strategy advice, and strategy development services.