Australia's nanny state grows apace…

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The NSW Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) released a report yesterday recommending that clocks and pop up messages warning gamblers that they have been playing too long on poker machines should become compulsory.  The report also considers measures such as pre-committment such as setting a time or dollar limit prior to commencing gambling at a poker machine.  The acting chairman of the tribunal said the aim was to balance reduced problem gambling with the legitimate freedom to gamble.  Various politicians and club officials said they welcomed the news.

Source: “Warning to problem gamblers: clock off“, John Stapleton, The Australian, Sat 24 Jul 2004, p. 111

At the very least every measure like this that reduces the responsibility of an individual to make their own life choices & creates a dependent individual.  Over time this increasing regulation of personal life and action will reduce us to adults with childlike levels of capability to decide courses of action for ourselves.  Again the nanny state grows in Australia!

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Business Evolutionist: The Origins of Unengaged Employees

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The Origins of Unengaged Employees has quite an interesting take on employee engagement, but I’m not sure that I agree completely.

Engagement is all about feeling like you are a part of something bigger and more meaningful than yourself alone. When I’ve been engaged at work it has all been as a result of non-tangible things like leadership, vision and teamwork. But often this has happened as part of setting up process and procedures so we can achieve more.

Jon’s argument seems to be that process and procedures stultify vision etc. While I think in the wrong hands it can, it does not necessarily do so.

Managed properly good process and procedure can actually free you up to do more creative stuff. And that certainly helps to create an environment in which it is easier to be engaged.

Complete chaos is not conducive to creativity and positive energy. On the other hand these are also not possible without high energy and visionary people.

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Family Friendly or Punishing the Childless?

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One thing that the big focus nowadays on so-called ‘family friendly’ workplaces (including maternity/paternity/parental leave) has overlooked is that this excludes the many people who for various reasons do not have children. The question is ‘what about us’? While parents are getting time off, more ‘family friendly’ rosters are implemented (etc.) who but the childless are left holding the fort in this 24×7 world of work?

Not meaning to sound grumpy here, but what is an employer going to give me in return for coming to work every day, not leaving early, working unpaid overtime, covering so-called ‘family’ un-friendly shifts, etc?

The other annoying thing is that I’m not considered part of the ‘family friendly’ world because it only counts children not other relationships. So tough luck if your only family is another adult (like maybe a few gay or lesbian couples out there?).

In essence these ‘family friendly’ policies are rewarding those with offspring and punishing those without. The sooner employers start to see this the quicker they will stop the inevitable revolt amongst the childless. In fact, the revolt may already have begun:

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Good quote about self esteem and talent

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Found a great quote about self esteem yesterday:

“Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant.” (J. Petit-Senn, Conceits and Caprices)

This seems to encapsulate my feelings about the current obsession with building up self esteem even in the face of indubitable evidence as the individual’s incompetence in a particular area. We are so busy building up self esteem at the expense of true self knowledge.

There is no point having good self esteem if (a) it has no basis in fact, and (b) you know in your heart it is not true.

Is it not better to teach people to understand and value what they are good at and to build on and improve the other stuff?

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