By LAURIE PATTON | 19 April 2016
The other day I was talking to a friend who recently retired from the public service. After a career lifetime of studied discretion he now wears as a badge of honour his entitlement to express independent views. Many of these are critical of the processes that played a pivotal part in his rise to a very senior posting.
I have a number of colleagues who are now ex-public servants, having held extremely high level executive roles. I enjoy hearing about their work experiences more now that they are unencumbered by ambition. Continue reading “Generalists and specialists in the Australian public service. Why the ‘theory of empty spaces’ hurts public sector performance”
By LAURIE PATTON | 29 March 2016
Australia has fallen to 60th in global internet speed rankings. If we fell to 60th in the Olympics medal tally there’d be a national outcry. Just a few years ago we were 30th in terms of average peak internet speed, which is a key measurement of broadband performance.
Within our region we came eighth (even New Zealand is two places ahead of us). Singapore, with whom we are destined to be in serious competition as an Asia-Pacific innovation hub, already has internet speeds 100 times faster than ours.
Continue reading “The NBN is already out of date, but it’s not too late to change course”
By LAURIE PATTON | 10 March 2016
Two stars collided in Canberra last week, but the big bang is yet to be heard.
On Thursday, a leak from somewhere inside NBN revealed that our nation building broadband company has been secretly trialling new, thinner, cabling that will significantly reduce installation costs for the entire fibre-optic backbone, including the technically superior fibre to the premises (FTTP) solution.
On Friday, the Senate Select Committee on the NBN held a one day hearing. Continue reading “NBN stars collide — waiting for the Big Bang”
By LAURIE PATTON | 16 February 2016
In an article in The Mandarin former Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Department, Professor Peter Shergold, is quoted urging public servants to adapt and to show courage.
Shergold is spot on. But before things can change we need to be willing to accept that mistakes are made, even by the best of people. Continue reading “Utopia — the professor, the public service, and the need for change”
By LAURIE PATTON | 25 November 2015
There’s no reason why Australia cannot be a leader in the Internet-driven, industrial era.
It is unusual for our two major political parties to find themselves joined at the hip on an issue of progressive national policy. But in the case of innovation, that’s just what’s happened. For a time, Labor had this one all to itself. Then, all of a sudden, a new prime minister made innovation a personal crusade. Both sides are now fighting to show who has the best innovation policy.
Continue reading “An innovation nation — the race to the top”
By LAURIE PATTON | 20 March 2015