Sunday, July 12, 2009

KRudd's management style.Does it provide the reality check he needs?

Today we find our erstwhile Prime Minister KRudd relaxing on his world tour with The Blowfly firmly ensconced on his shoulder.

The Blowfly seems to have more room to squat because as KRudd's chest has swelled at the pride he feels from leading the initiatives on climate change his shoulders seem to have miraculously increased in size too.Almost as if he is preparing to shoulder more of the burden attracted to him for his positive stance.

Never the shrinking violet, your charge has made all the right moves and you have been there to soak up some of his glory with him. Your charge seems quite a different person to the one who ran Wayne Goss's office when he was the Premier of Queensland.

You notice that as he is sipping his mineral water he is deeply engrossed in the latest issue of Vanity Fair. This is not a magazine that you have seen him read before. You suspect that his new mate Barack might've slipped it to him.

The article that has his deep attention is entitled "The Man Who Crashed The World".It's about Joseph Cassano, the former head of A.I.G.'s Financial Products unit who was at the heart of that company's move into insuring sub-prime mortgages.

Surprisingly, although the article is an expose` on how A.I.G. drifted into insuring these little beasts that are sub-prime mortgages, you see him reading a couple of paragraphs over and over again and pondering them.

KRudd is more interested in the analysis of the way that Cassano made decisions and how it impacted on the company. Cassano created an atmosphere of fear in the unit and that stifled the debate necessary to make robust decisions in a difficult and mobile environment.Cassano's predecessor was a trained mathematician who understood the models used to trade and price the risks they were running . He stimulated and enjoyed debates about these mechanisms.

But Cassano was different. He knew less about maths and was less interested in debate.At a time when this would've been very useful!Very useful indeed!

You can see your erstwhile PM blanch slightly at the reference to Cassano bullying people and then making it up to them by paying them "huge amounts of money".

He reaches for his mineral water, sips, and proceeds to dribble it as he is absorbing the sentence referring to the fear level being so high that when the traders had their regular morning meetings with Cassano they did not want to upset him.So they adopted behaviours that effectively shielded Cassano from the reality of the situation.

You see him look up at the ceiling. You know, when he does this, that there will be an advanced thought appearing shortly. Your antennae goes up to receive it.

" Shit! I hope I haven't created an atmosphere of fear.I remember reading that article recently about my early morning briefings when I'm home and how my staff turnover is high.Cripes! I hope that my minders and advisors are game to tell me the truth. What is the truth? How will I know it if I hear it?"

You see him chuckle to himself as he remembers the definition of truth he saw some years ago. "Truth is what you get from a politician who has given up all hope of being prime minister". He takes another sip of mineral water and returns to the serious stuff.

"I wonder if my minders were right when they asked me to include more vernacular in my comments? 'Fair suck of the sauce-pot' didn't roll that easily off my lips with those journos a month ago.And I'd better brush up on my Mandarin! I might need it before the the year is out trying to sort out this mess between China and Rio Tinto. I think my vernacular will be wasted on the Chinese. And I've been salivating at the opportunity to use Paul Keating's ' a souffle never rises twice' quip but my chances seem to have evaporated. I had Peter Costello lined up with that one when he was going to knock Turnbull off for the Liberal leadership but that's stuffed now."

You hear him check himself and remind himself that he is the Prime Minister and he doesn't have time for frivolous thinking---especially when there is a serious concern to ponder. He returns to his reading matter.

A thought comes into The Blowfly's head.He has just finished reading Peter Fitzsimon's book , "Tobruk". In the epilogue Fitzsimon's reviews the players in this World War 2 drama about Australian determination and heroism.Particularly poignant is his relating of Chester Wilmot's assessment of Alan Morshead, the Australian commander.Wilmot referred to Morshead's "strong insistence on discipline,his determination to retain the initiative and the offensive spirit, his attention to detail and his searching self-criticism". Your minute brain thinks that KRudd could use this statement in his thinking process and you wrap your insight around a bubble in the mineral water and hope that it is taken up by your far superior host.

KRudd takes another sip of the mineral water and you can feel the vibration as his brain cells begin to resonate with the bubbles hitting the back of his throat.

You watch him scratch his ear and pick his nose adroitly (just in case Therese is watching---- as she does at home).

"I need to make sure my minders are telling me the truth---especially about this global financial crisis! I hope Barack is telling me the truth.Maybe I need to go a bit easier on them.I'm not sure I could handle it if it got much worse. Maybe it would be a good idea to lose the next election and hand over to that champagne-drinking mongrel Turnbull?"

"I think I'd better amend my style.Maybe I should indulge in a little more searching self-criticism as Alan Morshead used to do!"

You are proud of your charge. He is really receptive to your inputs.You , a mere Blowfly! Bring on climate change baby!

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