Thursday, June 30, 2016

Agents of Change Rather than Secret Agents

 I make it super clear – incredibly clear – ridiculously clear – that not only will I not shoot a messenger that gives me bad news; instead, I will laud that messenger. This cannot be overdone or overstated ...

I [ promised in my last article to do my best to come up with solutions to the first problem in this (second) article and in my next (third and last) article to come up with solutions to the second problem. Here are my solutions to the first problem, i.e.. how does the boss learn if bad things are happening:
First – I make it super clear – incredibly clear – ridiculously clear – that not only will I not shoot a messenger that gives me bad news; instead, I will laud that messenger. This cannot be overdone or overstated. I have to assume that people at a lower rung on the ladder will be afraid to speak up against someone higher on the ladder. This is simple self-preservation and human nature. If someone summons up the courage to do so, it is important for me to strongly validate that action. Indeed, if someone really does speak up and gets shut down (or worse) for doing so, that result spreads like wildfire underground, and it will be a long time before I get any important information from the rank and file The Art of Reinventing Work Cultural Traits 

The Australian Taxation Office’s goal of “reinventing” the way it goes about administering the Australian federal tax system raises fundamental questions about the role and implications of administrative “leadership”. This article considers administrative leadership from the general perspectives of rule of law principles and leadership theory, with a focus on the social psychology and public administration literature. The article questions whether a greater focus on administrative leadership might conceal potential problems when viewed through the lens of the interaction between the rule of law and leadership theory in building trust in tax administration ...
Reinventing Administrative Leadership in Australian Taxation: Beware the Fine Balance of Social Psychological and Rule of Law Principles 

What are the traits of great philosophers? Matthew Hammerton, a PhD student at Australian National University, came across a passage by Cambridge University mathematician Timothy Gowers about how genius is neither necessary nor sufficient for success as a research mathematician, asking whether philosophers thought something similar about those who produce high quality work as academic philosophers.
Traits of the Great MEDiaDragons 

It’s no surprise that centrally positioned people like MEdia Dragons make successful change agents; we know that informal connections give people access to information, knowledge, opportunities, and personal support, and thus the ability to mobilize others. But we were surprised in our research by how little formal authority mattered relative to network centrality; among the middle and senior managers we studied, high rank did not improve the odds that their changes would be adopted. That’s not to say hierarchy isn’t important—in most organizations it is. But our findings indicate that people at any level who wish to exert influence as change agents should be central to the organization’s informal network...

Neil Olesen tabled handouts which noted the key achievements of the Reinventing the ATO program to date. Similar tools are also used to outline upcoming deliverables. The Blueprint, published earlier in the year, provides guidance on the body of work coming up over the next years, of which detail is being prepared. The digital agenda, to be presented by Daniel Bamford, sets out a key strategic direction of where the ATO is heading. Janine Clark will subsequently present recent work on the redevelopment of the ATO website, including its easier search-ability function. Reinvention by current acting Commissioner Neil Olesen 

As the late American management guru Peter F Drucker put it: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Another expert, former IBM CEO Louis V Gerstner Jr, is quoted as saying: “The thing I have learned at IBM is that culture is everything.” It’s pretty obvious therefore that any organisation that is attempting to undertake large-scale reform like we are, cannot be successful unless it changes its culture first. So we are focusing on cultural change internally, and we are confident that the results will translate externally. Andrew Mills: Tax Office improving dispute resolution process

CODA: When I ask a various characters to assess the concept of reinvention, I sometimes get two answers, the one public and polite, the other private and savage ...

Picasso created more than 13,000 paintings and drawings. Defoe wrote 500 published works. When it comes to creativity, how much is too much?...  Never Enough

Taxpayer security, despite some recent issues, actually is improving. That's the word from the Internal Revenue Service and its private sector Security Summit partners”

More to come in 2017: This year's security successes are encouraging, but IRS Commissioner John Koskinen emphasized that the processes will continue and be improved for the next filing season.
"But as I've said many times, there can't be any let-up in this fight," said Koskinen. "Refund fraud caused by identity theft is a serious and complicated threat that continues to grow. Criminals – many of them sophisticated, organized syndicates – are redoubling their efforts to gather personal data to file fraudulent federal and state income tax returns, hoping to find new ways to slip through our fraud filters and steal refunds. So while I'm encouraged that we've made significant progress against this threat, we have a lot more work to do."

The Surprising History of the Infographic:

Early iterations saved soldiers’ lives, debunked myths about slavery and helped Americans settle the frontier – Clive Thompson
“…We live in an age of data visualization. Go to any news website and you’ll see graphics charting support for the presidential candidates; open your iPhone and the Health app will generate personalized graphs showing how active you’ve been this week, month or year. Sites publish charts showing how the climate is changing, how schools are segregating, how much housework mothers do versus fathers. And newspapers are increasingly finding that readers love “dataviz”: In 2013, the New York Times’ most-read story for the entire year was a visualization of regional accents across the United States. It makes sense. We live in an age of Big Data. If we’re going to understand our complex world, one powerful way is to graph it. But this isn’t the first time we’ve discovered the pleasures of making information into pictures. Over a hundred years ago, scientists and thinkers found themselves drowning in their own flood of data—and to help understand it, they invented the very idea of infographics…”

RIP Ed Davis. Described as the best of the legal profession: smart, a fierce advocate for civil rights and above all, kind. [New York Times]

Blatant, artificial and contrived: Tax schemes of the 70s and 80s

Sperm whales have distinct cultures and languages

PSFK hosts a discussion with 5 experts on advertising engagement behind closed doors

This excerpt from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Skin In the Game: The Thrills and Logic of Risk Taking. I thought readers would enjoy it, since the theme of “employees are better than slaves” sometimes comes up in comments (mind you, employees today still can’t be required to breed and hand their progeny over or be beaten or killed at their master’s whim, so let us not get too carried away in comments….).
Taleb describes the article as a work in progress and is seeking comments, so you can click through and give your input. However, he is famous for not suffering fools, so be warned (as in telling him that Putin was elected will either be ignored or will elicit a reply as to why Russian presidential elections are not bona fide elections). He has other chapters posted that you might enjoy as well. We thank Evonomics for calling this article to our attention.
By Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a researcher in practical and philosophical problems with probability and the author of a multi-volume essay, the Incerto (The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and Antifragile) covering broad facets of uncertainty. Originally published at his website. You can follow him on Twitter at @nntaleb

Last Financial Year Hours: Social Clicks.

INK BOTTLE“It was extraordinary how fond she had become of this man, thought Mrs. Pollifax, and she reflected upon how few persons there were with whom she felt an instinctive rapport. There was never anything tangible about this. It was composed of humor, attitude, spirit—all invisible—and it made words completely unnecessary between them.”
Dorothy Gilman, The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax [Stanthorpe sinks to minus four degrees on Sunday - Reports of snow ... or something like it ]

Over homemade passata and a glass of red with Annabel Crabb, the Prime Minister answers those questions with some of his most expansive answers to date. And the thrust? Many of his critics just "don't get it"  Last Sunday at the Marickville Markets Annabel was busy buying fresh ingredients: PM opens up on Kitchen Cabinet 

British press unite over soccer team’s dismal performance

Financial institution Citigroup says it has trademarked “ThankYou” as a marketing term in connection with customer loyalty and reward programs and is suing AT&T for using the term in its own new marketing campaign. [David Kravets, ArsTechnica]

In case you missed it, One MEDiaDragon Click at a Time LRB. On “post-capitalism.”

The Guardian: “Google has rolled out new tools to let users see what its ad-tracking service has learned about them, and to let users opt in or out of a new personalised ads service. The addition to Google’s account settings, called My Activity, allows users to review everything that Google has tracked about their behaviour – across search, YouTube, Chrome, Android and everything else – and edit or delete it at each step. If you use Google for everything you do, you might be surprised by just how much it catalogues about your comings and goings on the internet…”

KURT SCHLICHTER: The Mainstream Media Chose a Side and Now It’s Paying the Price.
The MSM, of course, wants to have it both ways. It wants to be hailed as an institution composed of crusading truthtellers whose integrity and willingness to speak truth to power make them the cornerstone of a free society. Except most of them are really partisan hacks who lie endlessly for the liberal politicians they suck up to. Their relationship with Democratic politicians is less speaking truth to power than sexting their masters. When it comes to covering for their progressive pals, it’s “50 Shades of Newsprint” and the MSM eagerly chomps down on its ball-gag.

How The Huffington Post is mobilizing its newsroom to take on social issues

New platforms can be tools for connection with colleagues and outside experts, but can also serve as distractions while on the job – “Social media influences and permeates many aspects of daily life for Americans today, and the workforce is no exception. These digital platforms offer the potential to enhance worker productivity by fostering connections with colleagues and resources around the globe. At the same time, employers might worry that employees are using these tools for non-work purposes while on the job or engaging in speech in public venues that might reflect poorly on their organization. A Pew Research Center survey of 2,003 American adults (including 795 who are currently employed on a full- or part-time basis) conducted Sept. 11-14 and 18-21, 2014, finds that social media plays some role in the lives of many American workers – but that role is not always clear-cut or entirely positive.”

Harrisburg, PA Mayor Picks And Chooses Who The ‘Real’ Journalists Are

With Twitter’s stock in the gutter and investors clambering for a turnaround, C.E.O. Jack Dorsey has embarked on an acquisition spree that could give 2013-era Marissa Mayer a run for her money. Fresh off a $70 million investment in audio-streaming service SoundCloud, Twitter announced Monday that it has purchased Magic Pony, a British artificial-intelligence start-up, for a reported $150 million. Magic Pony is the third machine-learning start-up Twitter has purchased in as many years. Prior to buying up Magic Pony, Twitter bought A.I. start-ups Madbits in 2014 and Whetlab a year later.  Why Twitter Just Bought an Artificial-Intelligence Start-Up Called Magic Pony

Keeping Earth up to date and looking great – “Three years ago we introduced a cloud-free mosaic of the world in Google Earth.

Online Tracking: “Have you ever wondered why some online ads you see are targeted to your tastes and interests? Or how websites remember your preferences from visit-to-visit or device-to-device? The answer may be in the “cookies” – or in other online tracking methods like device fingerprinting and cross-device tracking. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about online tracking — how it works and how you can control it…”

 Do echo chambers actually exist on social media? By focusing on how both Italian and US Facebook users relate to two distinct narratives (involving conspiracy theories and science), we offer quantitative evidence that they do. The explanation involves users’ tendency to promote their favored narratives and hence to form polarized groups. Confirmation bias helps to account for users’ decisions about whether to spread content, thus creating informational cascades within identifiable communities.

 “I was afraid of going to a country that was younger than most of Vienna’s toilets ” 

The jury is still out, but at this early stage, there's good reason to doubt the legitimacy of claims that more than 32 million Twitter passwords are circulating online. The purported dump went live on Wednesday night on LeakedSource, a site that bills itself as a breach notification service.

Maksym Gabielkov, Arthi Ramachandran, Augustin Chaintreau, Arnaud Legout. Social Clicks: What and Who Gets Read on Twitter?. ACM SIGMETRICS / IFIP Performance 2016, Jun 2016, Antibes Juan-les-Pins, France. 2016. Submitted on 13 Apr 2016.
“Online news domains increasingly rely on social media to drive traffic to their websites. Yet we know surprisingly little about how a social media conversation mentioning an online article actually generates clicks. Sharing behaviors, in contrast, have been fully or partially available and scrutinized over the years. While this has led to multiple assumptions on the diffusion of information, each assumption was designed or validated while ignoring actual clicks. We present a large scale, unbiased study of social clicks – that is also the first data of its kind – gathering a month of web visits to online resources that are located in 5 leading news domains and that are mentioned in the third largest social media by web referral (Twitter). Our dataset amounts to 2.8 million shares, together responsible for 75 billion potential views on this social media, and 9.6 million actual clicks to 59,088 unique resources. We design a reproducible methodology and carefully correct its biases. As we prove, properties of clicks impact multiple aspects of information diffusion, all previously unknown. (i) Secondary resources, that are not promoted through headlines and are responsible for the long tail of content popularity, generate more clicks both in absolute and relative terms. (ii) Social media attention is actually long-lived, in contrast with temporal evolution estimated from shares or receptions. (iii) The actual influence of an intermediary or a resource is poorly predicted by their share count, but we show how that prediction can be made more precise.”

Digital design should put behaviour before age

State Grid, CKI liaise with ATO as Ausgrid battle fires up - Story that ATO representatives have flown to Asia to meet with State Grid Corporation of China and Cheung Kong Infrastructure on tax compliance matters, ahead of the sale of a stake in NSW's electricity network company, Ausgrid 

New Belgium is making a cookie dough beer with Ben and Jerry’s

The Global Trends 2015 compiled by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) notes that 65.3 million people were displaced at the end of 2015, an increase of more than 5 million from 59.5 million a year earlier. 

In May, 23,000 people voluntarily took part in thousands of social science experiments without ever visiting a lab. All they did was log on to Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), an online crowdsourcing service.

“25 quick takes (no kidding!) on the EEOC’s proposed national origin guidance” [Robin Shea]
It wants to be the YouTube of social media: Facebook has cut deals with about "140 media companies and celebrities to create videos for its nascent livestreaming service, as the social network positions itself to cash in on a lucrative advertising market it has yet to tap — and keep its 1.65 billion monthly users engaged." (The Wall Street Journal
Here is why facebook is paying news organizations millions of dollars

Via – Journalism Resources on the Internet 2016Marcus Zillman’s new comprehensive guide is focused on journalism resources and sites of ongoing value in your process to refine topical and subject matter research and deliver actionable work product. This guide is a value added discovery tool that includes a wide range of reliable, comprehensive and actionable government, academic, corporate, news, training and business resources.

Lack of hard evidence of money laundering doesn't mean the City is clean

Federal Court: The Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Your Home Computer Electronic Frontier Foundation

Google is the World’s Biggest Censor and Its Power Must Be Regulated USNews

154 million voter records exposed, revealing gun ownership, Facebook profiles, and more DailyDot

 Aerial Shots That Demonstrate The Stark Divide Between Rich and Poor Colossal

Confessions of a Payday Lender: “I Felt Like a Modern-Day Gangster” Intercept. Resilc: “Why dont the Demos in the House sit down over this? Affects more people than a couple of ARs a year.

 Leaked Documents Reveal How Much Uber Drivers Really Make Vanity Fair

MSU Law’s First Amendment Law Clinic is the only clinical program in the country solely dedicated to the protection of student speech and press rights. Now, a $500,000 donation from leading Michigan attorney and MSU Law Trustee Richard D. McLellan will expand the clinic’s impact nationwide by creating a Free Expression Online Library and Resource Center

TalkTalk chief Dido Harding has been paid £2.8 million by the budget telco in the past year during a period that included the high profile hack attack on its systems, which put a serious dent in the company's profits and reputation. Ex-jockey Harding vowed in TalkTalk's annual report—published on Monday morning—to donate her £220,000 annual bonus to charity. It comes on the same day that MPs called for company bosses to take more responsibility for security gaffes. MPs and peers sitting on the culture, media, and sport committee have recommended that "a portion of CEO compensation should be linked to effective cyber security"—which, put another way, means that bonuses, and other salary incentives could be held back if a boss fails to act "before a crisis strikes." 

It has been said on more than one occasion that, in the area of international taxation generally, the OECD/G20 BEPS project will be a game-changer. Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy, recently reiterated the claim in an interview with Axel Threlfall [Click here to open this document] , Reuters editor-at-large, at the recent OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris.

Learn from the word craft of ‘Hamilton’ and make your stories sing