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In The News: Leadership merry-go-round has lessons for corporate Australia

Published on 28 Aug 2018


Shaun McCarthy had his opinion piece "Canberra's leadership merry-go-round has lessons for corporate Australia" published in The Australian Financial Review, following the recent revolving doors of Prime Ministers and why corporate Australia should take observation of this display. 

"Kevin Rudd to Julia Gillard, Gillard to Rudd, Rudd to Tony Abbott, Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull and now Turnbull to Scott Morrison.


Not one of these leaders has completed a full term in office as prime minister since 2007, and Australia is on to its sixth prime minister in 11 years.

What people crave from their leaders is stability. Stability creates confidence.

Corporate Australia should take heed of the volatility and short-sightedness on display in Canberra. 

Short-termism has plagued the private and public sectors for some time. With complex social systems (of which an organisation is one), it is almost a given that decisions made to meet short-term objectives will inevitably have longer-term unintended, usually negative, consequences. For example, while prohibition in 1920s America reduced social dependency on alcohol, it gave rise to organised crime and the mafia, which still afflict the country.

The Global Financial Crisis was another example of the negative impacts of short-termism. Short-term thinking around investment returns, an emphasis on quarterly results and high incentives (million-dollar bonuses) for quick results in the financial services industry all led to market expectations of quick and high returns. This culminated in immensely volatile markets, excessive risk taking and, ultimately, the collapse of the system.

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Want to learn more?

Listen to episodes of our Culture Bites Podcast:

001: Kick Starting a Passive Team
002: Dealing with Delegation
003: Telling Someone They have a Blind Spot
004: What's Wrong with Being Competitive?
005: I have a Competitive Teammate – Help!
006: What is a Toxic Culture?
007: How Leaders Impact Culture
008: Is Culture / Climate / Engagement the same thing?
009: My Manager is Resisting Culture Change
010: How the Banks got here
011: Myth Busters: If I’m not Aggressive then I must be Passive
012: How Culture Works Pt1 – Overview
013: How Culture Works Pt2 – Mission, Philosophy, Structures
014: How Culture Works Pt3 – HR Systems
015: How Culture Works Pt4 – Job Design
016: How Culture Works Pt5 – Leadership
017: Rebecca Kardos, CEO Aurora Energy
018: Is Conflict in Teams Good or Bad?