Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Avoiding problems common to the major parties

Premiers Kennett and Gallop’s awareness of a very common risk with sword bearers is a beacon of hope for the country.

Depression can be nature's way of reminding us we have been heading up the creek without a paddle, up a blind alley with no way out but by recognizing the sign on the way in .The direction is fine, but distractions occur . Our leaders need to find that sign -both major parties are on the same road, singing the same silly tune that leads to depression. Cul de sac ideas like ;that efficiency leads like a beacon to effectiveness ; That industry knows best ;That what the people want is what they need.
Many leaders are in denial about whether they believe in goverenmnet at all, and that depresses those of us in the system, who do . They think they can rid the world of “ Big Nanny” . But without Nanny there is no way to deal with public governance’s biggest problem - its actual ability to be proactive in the long term interest of ' the family' , not the petty , noisy interests, or even other important noises in the household . With all the noise, coming from all directions, leaders need to know who to listen to and whose watching more carefully to what's really happening. Listen to everyone, but listen more to the voice of experience and observation of those who can stand back from the household – walking in and out from time to time . Those with the skills of observation beyond the clean cut four walls of one industry, one household, to the big picture from outside. Government is necessary, but big government can seem just like a big nuisance. Careless jabbing and jousting, like infighting, will not, however, cut it where it counts.
The big nanny will not go away. Getting the right kind of nanny is the issue, not this otherworldly nonsense about getting rid of her and the sustainable perspective she alone can bring to the situation . We need nanny’s who know , from being outside , where to cut where it counts !

Depression NOW is very common in the public service because many leadership groups have lost sight of how to be effective, but don't want to admit it. If affects both parties (Ask Mark Latham ), and that’s the key - both parties have got some serious blind spot about how to make government more efficient. Depression gets to the sword carrier after the last deaths don't make the needed difference ( see Lawrence of Arabia ) just as fickleness is the feature experienced at the battleground level by the troops when enthusiasm fails to sustain what experience used to obtain.
George Santayana knew this issue well and its relationship to the fanaticism and fickleness we see all around us. Getting to goals is like in winning in Tennis. Depends largely on how much practice and experience you have and how much you know and respect the limits of the territory -- not a matter of changing direction all the time, rather knowing what long term interest is. its risk boundaries and sticking at winning within them . .
The way out of this unnecessary nonsense involves working with the enemy in practical and sustainable ways; Getting involved at the ground level. Respect those who train and put the hard yards in and resist the flighty quick fixers and change everything often mangers now common in the court. Leaders of both parties, for example, have convinced themselves that blind competition and change is progress policies are the very swords that will cut kindly and cleanly through bureaucracies belligerence; something that is simply part of their nature. Too many leaders deny the demons they must work with and like the innocent Don Quixote, think a mere sword will kill them . Such leaders are not realistic and are heading for depression.
Much good mental health will be restored across Australia when our Don Quixote’s accept reality rather than deny it. You don't rid the world of bureaucratic belligerence - you work with it. You don’t listen just to one voice, but seek out the small one.
Churchill’s famous quote about democracies choices points to clearly to the acceptance of the reality of inefficiency in them. Now there's a realist and an effective leader. If we all model yourselves on him, much of our current depression will disappear.

Like NANNY MCPHEE, what’s looks all bad at first , may well look a lot better when you accept the critical need for her experience and wisdom. The longer view of those well educated and experienced hands on housekeeping servants who can see through the noise ; not denying any members voice or , those with a legitimately short term view, but more able to see how we can keep the diverse economia we call home together .


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