Friday, November 06, 2015

In which the pond goes agile, and keeping up will require tremendous agility ... can Dame Groan and gorgeous George keep up?

(Above: David Rowe kicks off the season here).

Of course the pond is agile ...

The pond is a devotee of extreme agility. The pond deplores the unagile, the inagile, the subagile, the nonagile, the sluggish, the stiff, the rigid, the lifeless and the apathetic.

The pond is mentally nimble and deft. Adjust, tweak, agility is the key, the objective is what we’re all about. Agility in today’s world, in a world of volatility is absolutely key and that requires a very significant change to the political culture and political discourse.

Across the board, we must acquire not just the skills but the culture of agility that enables us to make volatility our friend, bearing fresh opportunities, not simply a foe brandishing threats.

Most of the companies reinventing our world would still be at school if they were humans. And the venerable elder statesmen of the digital age - Microsoft and Apple - are 40 and 39 years old respectively. Think about it.


Think about it!

So reform, since that is the topic of this blog, should not be seen as a once in a decade or two convulsion, accompanied by a hyperbolic scare campaign.

Rather it should be seen as a change of political culture that sees us like the sailor, surrounded by the uncertainty of the sea and the wind, who knows only two things for sure - where she needs to go and that she has the skill to get there.

Sometimes the sailor reaches the mark with rapid ease, her sails big bellied in a following wind; sometimes with slow and deliberate tenacity, sails close hauled, tacking into the teeth of a gale. But her vision is as clear as her destination is certain. How to get there and how quickly is the measure of her skill. As we focus on our future course, it requires us above all to be open and honest about our circumstances, understanding and explaining both the challenges and the opportunities.

Yes, it befell the pond to be tending the dishes while Captain Turnbull set course on 24, with remarkable agility, through the pounding waves of cliches and metaphors, as they frequently threatened to swamp the decks, and that is why the pond is most unwilling to reduce complex issues to slogans ... except of course for that notion of agility.

Now you can share the Captain's thoughts here, if you too were swabbing the decks and missed out on his inspirational words, but as the pond listened, it was momentarily distracted from the commentariat.

And then it dawned on the pond that this uniquely agile brand of polywaffle would be certain to send the Bolter into a state of high agitation.

So there was a usefulness and purpose to it after all ...

And sure enough there was the Bolter cobbling together some of the speech in Turnbull at sea with metaphor  (the link has the satisfying name Turnbull at sea with generalities), and concluding thusly:

It's a win win for the agile pond. There's the Bolter still in the five stages of mourning for Abbott, and there's 'agility' and the press gallery stabbing him in his dark heart ...

Of course there's a price to pay, and that's listening to waffle, but what a small price to pay.

Naturally the pond was keen to see what the reptiles of Oz made of the whole affair, and while Friday is always full of the second eleven strutting about, there seemed to be some signs of agility in the room.

There was the fearless leader himself:

Hang on, hang on, what's this? Why have the saucy wretches put a gold bar on our fearless leader? What additional insights has he scribbled exclusively for the reptiles? What further agile examples of an agile mind at work?

You've guessed it ...

The opening lines about damply glowing Melbourne give the game away. The reptiles are trying to charge for a speech freely given away by the master mariner at his home page (did you miss the link here in an inagile way?)

What else? Well there was other propaganda, exuding positivity and optimism, as the pond expects on a daily agile basis:

As for the conference itself, someone had the bright idea of getting Dame Groan to scribble down some thoughts:

Now a reader recently asked where Dame Groan had gone, and ever anxious to please, the pond made the mistake of trying to find out.

Talk about sending a dullard to a conference which requires extreme, parkour-like agility:

By the third par, the pond had nodded off. If this is agility, then the ship of state is doomed.

Please, no more Dame Groan. Life is short, and already there are many who refuse to read the pond's carefully curated gobbets, and who can blame them? The pond has banished Dame Groan to the practice team like an Australian footballer lost in the United States, and it will be a long time before we call her back off the bench.

The pond was left scouring the reptile Oz's amusement pages for a little light relief. This looked promising:

The pond could barely remember inelegant, inagile Bruce Billson - he twitters here, oh what a card he is - but surely there was much fun nearer to hand in Strewth!

Sadly this was the best the resident reptile satirist could do:

The inagile clown completely missed the most agile of jokes.

Now the pond was pleased only a few days ago to celebrate some grand words - feel free to pivot back to that post - and the pond is pleased to note that not only agile, but waterfall, scrum, lean startup, minimum viable product - MVP if you will - sprint, and opportunity map are all given an outing here.

And if you want an iterative and people-centric approach, you can develop your inner Agile and learn some WAG words here. Are you xenodochial enough for the challenge?

Enough. The pond will have to look elsewhere for comedy and thank the long absent lord there's always George Brandis.

Gorgeous George came out with a humdinger the other day:

Senator Brandis, who last year defended people's "right to be bigots" amid debate over proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, has told a roundtable meeting of religious and non-religious representatives that "religious freedom is every bit as important as political freedom". 
But Senator Brandis said "members of Christian faiths, in particularly Catholic faith, are routinely the subject of mockery and insult by prominent writers and commentators". 
He said insults directed towards Catholics had prompted former High Court justice Dyson Heydon to observe, when delivering the Acton Lecture in April 2014, that anti-Catholicism in Australia now might be called the racism of the intellectuals. "Or perhaps he should have said the pseudo intellectuals," Senator Brandis said.  
"The incessant sneering and ridiculing of the former prime minister, Mr Abbott, on account of his religious faith was bigotry at its most shameless - made worse, if possible, by the added hypocrisy of the fact that many of those who engaged in that sneering were the very same people who like to pose as the enemies of bigotry."  (here, with forced video).

As the story noted, Abbott copped a savaging recently for pretending to be a Christian and a follower of Christ - well at least the watered down Catholic version of same - while denying some key tenets of Christ's message, and being ravaged by a couple of Catholic priests, with forced video for abuse and misuse of the Bible.

Now gorgeous George seems to be saying that pointing out that Abbott is a sanctimonious righteous hypocritical twit, with a dullard inagile incapacity to understand what the Bible actually says, is what passes for bigotry these days.

No, George, it's just agility ...

Naturally that got the memesters and the cartoonists going, and so the pond could end on an agile note of hope.

Such a silly man ...


  1. 'Agile' isn't even new business jargon. First coined in the '90's, I remember being highly amused by it's use at compulsory business strategy presentations. "Shoot from the hip', 'let's brainstorm this', "run it up the flagpole and see who salutes', 'big picture', and my favourite, 'even Eskimos don't have a word for this snow."

    1. An excellent list of listicles Anon, and surely what everyone at the APS needs for a little distraction while the nose is hard to the grindstone as the canary sings in the coalmine of work in Canberra ...

  2. Thanks for looking out for Dame Groaney Dot,

    I have been concerned about her because she has been missing in action at her favourite blog; she used to provide incredibly banal accounts of the terribly awfully bad things that those union thugs do, and she was so insightful about how incredibly and fantastically evil unions are, but there has been nothing for weeks now even though the TURC thingy is still going on and on and so much corruption is being revealed.

    Perhaps she is learning to be agile.

  3. That splendid Rowe has Bowen fingering the ball but ScoMo would be well advised to keep a sharp eye on Turnbull’s digit. Digital Transformation has me thinking of a certain song about a woodpecker (no need for a link, ay?).

    1. And who is that lipsticked umpire? Poor Cassandra Goldie....

  4. Here in agile Canberra, Fairfax produce an excellent lift-out throw-away supplement to the Times each month, called the Public Sector Informant. The latest issue has an article by John Lloyd, the APS Commissioner, who has obviously got the message, as he scribbles:
    "Agility might not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of the Australian Public Service. But now, more than ever, we need an APS composed of agile employees.

    Agile employees are flexible, adaptive and innovative. They work well with people and are customer-focused. They understand it is better to embrace change rather than resist it."

    Watch out for a flexible public servant innovating near you! At least the article provides all the latest buzz-words to be used by people applying for SES-level positions in the agile public service.

    1. Ah, so _that_ was the reason I retired from the APS last year! It wasn't that I'd had a gutful of so-called "Reform" and was lucky enough to hit the age at which I could access my Super - obviously I just wasn't agile enough!

    2. The pond was so inspired by this Russ that we googled your wording and like magic it popped up in a most agile way:

      It was everything you promised, and perhaps more, and the pond is now seething with agility and mobility and thought leadership ...

    3. Oh thanks Dot! As a current APS employee, I'm itching to display my agility. Having this document will demonstrate just what the technique should be.

      Thought leadership here I come!


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.