23 May 2007

I do believe it's getting better..

..better, all the time
(It can't get no worse)

sang the Beatles.

And in all sorts of ways, it is. For example, I get the Australian Institute of Management's monthly magazine which is always chock full of useful and interesting and, dare one say it, necessary things that managers should be doing to improve productivity by improving life at work. And this month's edition is no exception, with a substantial article on how making work life as attractive as possible gets results for all concerned.

From OH&S to job design to employee participation in decision-making to two doona days a year, there are a whole of factors, mostly pretty damn simple and commonsensical, that contribute to an active and engaged workforce that's willing, in fact happy, to go the extra mile.

Now the folks at AIM don't strike me as a bunch of rabid socialists, all this is grounded in theory and practice and is aimed at, yes again, higher productivity that is likely to get managers promoted. Even BRW runs articles like this.

Except that managers are expected to do this in a legislative environment, no longer called WorkChoices except in extant legislation, that drives lowest-common-denominator behaviour. Which has guess what outcome?

Chateau VVB will manfully, personfully even, resist making a whole series of obvious cheap gibes. If you're reading here you know how it'll run already.

But reflecting a rather interesting workshop today which at one stage descended (maybe ascended in fact) into a lively debate about capitalism vs socialism with everyone in furious agreement yet starting their sentences with "...but", we all know we have do start doing things differently and better, and starting now. Keeping that enthusiasm going and spreading the word which only seems commonsensical to a minority is the challenge.

The AIM mag also has a piece of depression at work, particularly among senior managers. This is a group who, consistent with that honoured Australian culture wherein blokes, particularly senior blokes, never admit to any weakness, are suffering depression in secret and wondering what's wrong with them. The more this type of info gets around the better.

There's also a piece about
Julie Bishop that I'll pass on, thanks.

One other piece of good news at Casa VVB is that the brew of apple cider which we got going at the weekend has only now started to bubble. The can said that this mix ferments over a longer period than beer, but made no mention of being slower to start. Well it does. Should be interesting, it's starting to smell quite appley. Just as well.

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