Saturday, April 05, 2008

I had already experienced the week from heaven so I was in good spirits for reading the draft of a new memoirs. Adam Shepard's SCRATCH BEGINNINGS, originally self-published and said to have sold 10,000 copies, in which the author, in a sort of "anti-NICKEL AND DIMED" experiment to see if the American Dream is still alive, with no concrete plan and nothing but $25 and a backpack, gets off a train in Charleston, SC, and spends 70 days in a homeless shelter, with the goal of having $2,500 and a place to live by the end of a year … NOT EATING OUT IN NEW YORK: A Year of Cooking at Home

Can we change the heart of politics? SOMETHING MISSING: Leaker hunt riles Speaker
On April Fools Day - D.D. McNicoll writes INDEPENDENT Speaker of the NSW Parliament Richard Torbay is on the warpath over the Iemma Government's latest clumsy foray into information control.

Torbay was gobsmacked when he learned late last week that Parliament House closed-circuit television footage had been handed over to Treasury officials without his consent. Treasury was on the trail of a leak, following a story in The Australian last Thursday by the paper's NSW political reporter, Imre Salusinszky. The story revealed there was only $16.5billion available for transport infrastructure spending between now and 2021, $12.5 billion of which has already been committed to a metro rail system for outer northwest Sydney. Salusinszky's yarn included comments from a seminar for Treasury bigwigs held in a Parliament House theatrette last Wednesday. NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell is understood to share Torbay's concern about the precedent of using security footage to spy on public servants and journalists as they go about their business.
THE NSW parliament may have breached state and federal privacy laws by allowing its CCTV security footage to be used by Treasury officials chasing a media leak, according to a legal expert. NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell told parliament yesterday: "Clearly this issue goes to the matter of freedom of the press, but also goes to the freedom of members of parliament. Are we now going to have CCTV footage released to the Government so that they can see who's coming to visit us?
In a statement yesterday, NSW parliamentary press gallery president Simon Benson said the use of CCTV footage to trace the source of a media story was unprecedented in the history of this parliament and constitutes an unacceptable development

Footage of truth; [Trolleys of Truth]
• · Commonwealth lobbyists will have to be registered for the first time in Australian history, publicly revealing all their clients, or they will be denied access to the Rudd Government. Tough new rules for lobbyists ; John Faulkner is Kevin Rudd's minister for integrity. He has been given the task of cracking down on influence peddling - money politics. Power and dirty, sexy money
• · Chairman Russell Tate said Hawker Britton was a good fit for STW Communications Group - Spin doctors keep spinning Bruce Hawker - the managing director of the firm, was once chief of staff to former NSW premier Bob Carr. The political donations disclosure regime may be a joke, but influential Labor players in Canberra are not laughing today. That's because Bruce Hawker, widely seen as the capital's go-to persuader and a key player in the Rudd government's elite, has got himself and his party in an awkward spot. Oops! Hawker embarrasses Labor ; In Canberra's corridors there is a scramble to get in step with the Rudd Government. Katharine Murphy reports on the high-stakes contest for political influence Lobbyists and the new balance of power; Many people and organisations want the attention of the Rudd Government. They all have messages that they want to whisper in its collective ear. Tips for Rudd's ear in a lobby
• · · WHEN police, lawyers, journalists and witnesses crammed into Brisbane District Court No.29 in late July 1987, no one knew what was to come. - FAMED corruption buster Tony Fitzgerald, QC, is heading a probe into the Melbourne arm of the Australian Tax Office after concerns over links between one of its senior investigators and underworld figure Mick Gatto. Players in a vast drama ; AN OLD Victoria Police detective training manual implores fledgling officers to develop contacts across all walks of life, including those they seek to arrest. A sound knowledge of local criminals can be acquired over a period of time. Always take the opportunity of conversing with local criminals when you see them. In the course of simple conversation, valuable information often slips out The manual says But in the modern world of law enforcement and government agencies — where the process is just as important as the result — his associations with influential underworld figures proved problematic for the "old school" ex-detective Old school
• · · · There are some areas of human life that should not be trusted to the market. Childcare is one. Hard headed corporations; Why was the public service so ineffectual in the face of an aggressively ideological Howard government?Learning from the past
• · · · · Mitch McCrimmon, Ivey Business Journal, March-April 2008, 4p. It may be like asking a football coach to remain quiet on the sidelines, but today's business leader needs to ask questions and listen. How to tame the alpha male leader ; William Malek & Venkat Narayanan, Ivey Business Journal, March-April 2008, 6p. This article describes why developing clarity around outcomes is fundamental to effective strategic planning/execution and decision making. Outcomes can be at four levels: organisation, portfolio, project and at the individual level. Why smooth execution depends on clear outcomes
• · · · · · Formulating strategy is a difficult task. Making strategy work - executing or implementing it throughout the organisation is even more difficult. Making strategy work: overcoming obstacles to effective execution ; Many managers indicate that their organisations are very good at starting projects, but not so good at finishing them. It may be tough to do, but maintaining priorities rather than shifting them at will is the way to ensure that projects will get completed. The project management paradox: achieving more by doing less