Her husband married a farmer



This image resonated with people across the world on International Rural Women’s Day. On my socials alone it had over 1000 interactions

If you have LinkedIn account the comments in this feed are fascinating

Keri Jacobs post stopped me in my tracks. She could have been writing about my family.

Below is a cut and paste of what Keri wrote

Pioneer’s ad hits a nerve.  A deep one.  A bittersweet one.  I hope my experience about who can be a farmer will help someone else. I am a farm kid.  A farmer’s daughter.  One of three.  My grandpa and grandma were farmers, my great-grandparents were farmers.  It’s a history and upbringing I am proud of.  For most of my childhood, I imagined I would one day be a farmer’s wife. I would follow my mom’s, grandmas’, aunts’ footsteps and be the behind-the-scenes support: the meal-maker, the bookkeeper, the late-night-field-runs taker, the do-everything-else-that-must-get-done-when-he-is-farming person.

Hey, wait.  Maybe I could farm?  It took a lot of years for me to figure out that I wanted at least some of my time on this earth to be spent intricately tied to the land–our family’s land–and farming like my dad and grandpa were.  It’s in my blood. 

But the decisions had been made, even before I was born.  There was nothing that anyone could do about it, not really even by the one who COULD have changed it.  I will never forget the time I challenged this.  There was one person with the ability to make or break my desire to be one of our family’s farmers.  I asked if I could one day own some of the family’s land, when it was time to pass it along.  I did not expect equal ownership with my male cousins, just a small piece of the land that I grew up on, played on, rode with Dad in the tractor on, walked bean fields on, and where we buried our family pets.  The same land that raised my Dad and grandpa.  Something to own and farm and carry on.  But it was not possible.

Why?  Because somewhere along the way, maybe even before my grandparent’s had a say, farming became about a family name.  A legacy rooted in our surname, and therefore in gender.  It broke my heart when I was told that if I wanted to farm and own land, I should marry a farmer.  I was handed a plat book so I could see who owned land in the area. I was told I would have to marry into land.

As a woman who might take another man’s name in marriage, I was a threat to the family’s legacy. I was a threat to what my grandparents and their parents built.  Because of my gender.

I hope this is changing.  I think it is. I see examples of how it is.  And I love this ad for pointing out a really big problem…and a really amazing change and opportunity.  Our collective notion and nostalgia about a way of life historically tied more to gender than to things that really matter, like desire, ability, and values is changing. 

We cannot take land with us when we die.  Who can say for sure, but we also probably cannot enjoy it after we die.  If you are a farmer wondering who will continue YOUR legacy of caring for the land, caring for animals, caring for the environment, producing the foods we eat, I hope you will evaluate your successor on the things that made YOU a great farmer.  My grandpa was a great farmer.  That fact had nothing to do with his gender or last name.

Thank you Keri beautifully expressed and this from Peyton Merriam

We move the peg as a society when we embrace diversity and inclusion as an industry, not just individually. Let’s keep challenging the status quo! 

#diversity #inclusion #WomenInAg #farmHer

The climate crisis means farmers have to be prepared for the worst day every day

After being declared the windiest place in NSW in the last 48 hours like all  our farmers across the country our local dairy farmers have to be prepared for the worst day everyday. 

With no power for more that 48 hours I was mega grateful I had purchased these two power pack to walk Larapinta a number of years ago. They kept all the devices I needed to keep me safe and warm with no electricity

What was even more rewarding was despite 130km plus winds, rain and no power the dairy was still operating 24/7  milking the cows

On a dairy farm there is nothing more important than your cows and your team and a generator that will run the dairy using the tractor in a blackout is a MUST have on every dairy farm.

Some great info here on preparing for floods

The stories you tell, struggle to tell and the ones that get locked into a box

When our farm started doing things very differently ( like milking cows three times a day in a rainforest environment ) and winning awards people were very interested in our story.

I still get asked to tell my story often. For the last seven years I have suggested journalists tell the stories of the young people I work with.

Recently I have had a number of requests to tell the story about my commitment to the advancement of women and girls as it just so happens that 8 out 10 young people working with me putting their hands up to tell agriculture’s story are young women.

A recent request (and turning 65) had me thinking deeply about my journey. Looking for pictures and the process reminded me of things that had slipped my mind or things I was determined to put in a box and do my best never to open again.

Its doesn’t work that way does it?

The dark parts of your life you don’t talk about just tend to sit there and fester

As part of my deep dive into my journey I came across below. A Take Two story written by journalist Jodie Duffy for the Illawarra Mercury that morphed into a couple feature stories.

I remember the original interview. It was awkward both Michael and I were not quite sure what to share.

In 2021 it is this comment from Michael that stands out for me

Nick was always the centre of our lives and the day he started boarding school is one of our most harrowing moments.

It was the highlight of our week when he got off the train on Friday afternoons He always made sure he got home in time to help me finish in the dairy

I tell people I came back to my farming roots because Nick decided to join the business in 2001 after he finished school.

But that is not the whole story. In 2000 when Nick was completing the HSC the pharmacy I managed, which was open 14 hours a day was robbed a number of times by two masked men.

Instead of coming home to milk cows after a week at school Nick would come to the pharmacy to protect me. He turned out to be very impressive at data entry as well

I was grateful but also felt guilty that I was potentially putting my son at risk.

As it turned out it was always other people’s children who were ever only going to be at risk

When the robbers were finally caught I discovered there was a good reason they didn’t hold up the pharmacy when I was working. That was because I knew them both and they knew I would recognise their voices.

You often don’t know how much you are being impacted by traumatic events  happening around you until you reach the tipping point

One of the robbers was a long term customer of the pharmacy and he was injured in the police pursuit that eventually caught him. The hospital asked him what medication he was on. He told the hospital to ring me.

That was the day I lost it.

Those robberies fueled by the long term drug habits of two young men  impacted so many lives. The beautiful young people I worked with, everyone who worked in the pharmacy and their families and my family

My family tried so hard but we never really moved on. No matter how hard you try you cant put the bad in a box and pretend it never happened.

I am a very different person today. The confident persona is a façade.

You don’t get a second chance to rob me of my soul.

When I feel undervalued I tell you and I don’t do forgiveness.

TAKE TWO – by Jodie Duffy


I met Michael when I was 18 He came to Jamberoo with his brother to play football. The local paper did a profile on him and when I saw his picture I said “wow I’ve got to meet this guy”

A mutual acquaintance lined up a blind date for the Jamberoo Footballers Ball – the social event of the year in those days. Michael had injured his ankle @ training and spent the entire night with his foot in an esky of ice. This was probably a good thing as we didn’t realise until well into our relationship that Fred & Ginger we where not. Real life lived up to the photo and it was infatuation at first sight.  I went off to Uni and we spent every weekend together for the next 3 years. My girlfriends called Michael – HT. He is still my heartthrob 30 years later.

We got engaged when I was 21 and married as soon as I finished Uni

When we first got married Michael had a 7am -3pm job. When he was approached to manage the farm @ Clover Hill we both drifted into doing 14 hours shifts

When our son Nick was born 5 years later; he spent the greater part of his younger years with Michael on the farm. We had four sisters living next to us and they became his pseudo grandmothers. I still worked 14 hour shifts and was pretty much an absentee mum. When Nick went to boarding school we grew much closer

Whilst Nick was a boarding school Michael and I ensured we had as many weekends off as possible. Nick played a lot of sport and it was great to watch & support him @ weekends.

Nick skied competitively and we went to Canada every Christmas holidays so Nick could train. This was a wonderful time in our lives. In 2000 the deregulation of the dairy industry had a huge impact on our dairying business. This was the defining moment that bought us all back to the farm. It works really well, we complement each others skills. Nick has been managing the business for the last 4 years and became a partner in June. Nick is a 7th generation dairy farmer. My family has been dairying in Australia since 1831 and Michael’s since the 1860’s

My father was a reluctant dairy farmer and always said- Lynne whatever you do never learn to milk a cow. I have followed his instructions implicitly. There is so much more to do on a dairy farm than milk cows. The role that gives me the most satisfaction is looking after the calves. You are working every day with between 30 to 40 living breathing little things that rely on you totally. I recently had to get the vet to euthanize one of my calves. It was almost as heartbreaking for him as it was for me

Michael is the family’s quiet achiever. He is crazy about his cows. His great passion is watching them compete in the show ring. He lives from show to show. At the moment an accident he had in December has kept him out of the ring and this part of his life has been put on hold. You can tell he misses it desperately

I see my role in the industry differently to Michael. I feel it is critical that agriculture has high profile. It is important to constantly remind people we produce the food of life.


I really cherish the moments Lynne & I had together when we first met. As I get older I am constantly reminded how much she means to me.  When Nick was little I was able to fit my work schedule around the important moments in his life. I took him to school every-morning He would spend his afternoons with our next door neighbours who lived adjacent to the dairy and he would sneak across to the dairy whenever he could

When he started to play football I started the afternoon milking earlier so I could coach his team

Nick was always the centre of our lives and the day he started boarding school is one of our most harrowing moments.

It was the highlight of our week when he got off the train on Friday afternoons He always made sure he got home in time to help me finish in the dairy

Lynne always organised her days off so she could help me show our stud cattle As a girl she had shown horses and was a deft hand at putting the finishing touches on the cows as they went into ring. Nick shares our passion for showing. It is truly rewarding to watch your child follow in your footsteps

As a family we have shared all the highlights and watched our show team grow to a point where they are nationally competitive

Life on the land is a roller coaster. We reinvent our business (and sometimes our selves) every year – whatever it takes to make it successful The business plan is definitely a dynamic document

Deregulation was the turning point in our lives. The big positive is we get to work together as a family every day doing something we all think makes a difference

Now that Barnaby is back in charge of the pork barrel what does that say about us

I believe Catherine Marriott

I believe all the women whose names are not in a public space

Extraordinary isn’t it we have two unresolved sexual harassment allegations against two sitting federal politicians and both the women have the same first name C/Katherine?

Extraordinary isn’t it both these men seem bullet proof?

One of them is now sitting on the special cabinet taskforce for the status of women.

“When good men and women do nothing” comes to mind

Why don’t good men and women speak up

Life is a balance.

Everyday we make choices

We think about our high-profile government appointments

The impact on the organisations we advocate for

The impact on our businesses

The impact on our mental health

The impact on our families and friends

The list goes on

We all learn to live with our choices in different ways

For me it’s the impact on the young – what message are we sending the young people who make up 20% of the population but are 100% of the future.

These are the values of the young people I work with. This is why I cant sleep at night when their future is threatened by the choices others are making

What the journalists are saying

None of this caper – the behaviour, the leadership spills, the dodgy standards – serves rural people. Source

Five reasons why Barnaby Joyce is a terrible, horrible, no good choice for the Nationals Source

So what has Mr Joyce’s re-appointment taught us? That any transient focus on women is now over. Shade’s been called on our time in the sun. Source

As always Annabel Crabb tells it in a way that makes me smile despite my heavy heart

Helluva Week To Give Up Sniffing Glue

If the Second Coming of Barnaby Joyce (now reinstated as Deputy Prime Minister after a National Party coup against serial Elvis-impersonator Michael McCormack ) seemed like a weird development to you on Monday, have some pity for the quarantined Prime Minister, who effectively viewed the event helplessly through plate glass like Dustin Hoffman in the concluding scenes of The Graduate, unable to intervene as Barnaby made off with his Coalition bride.

“It’s not about me,” said Mr Joyce in his inaugural press conference after his restoration to the leadership, struggling at times, one imagines, to make himself heard over the hysterical laughter of anyone who’s ever met him.

So it’s goodbye McCormack. Less than a week after encouraging regional mice to relocate to the apartments of inner-city activists and scratch their children, he’s now National Party history and will record no more raps like this one.

His colleagues, having just rissoled Mr McCormack, observed the lovely tradition of listing all the things they respected and loved about him as he dragged his carcass from the chamber. Politics, eh? Full of adorable people.

Building A New Cabinet: Weatherboard And Iron Required

Mr Joyce, in his not-about-Barnaby way, is widely expected to use his new position to boot non-signatories to the Barnaby Fan Club out of his way, most notably Veterans Affairs Minister Darren Chester who has long proved immune to Mr Joyce’s musky charms. There is some consternation within the ranks of veterans’ families at the thought of a SIXTH minister in the portfolio at this highly sensitive time. No doubt this will prove central to the decision.

Mr Joyce’s swearing-in, which featured two men and a flat-screen TV (a nightmare family-values scenario I’m sure I dimly recall from an Eric Abetz speech) also provided what is believed to be the first TV footage of his son Sebastian not to cost the Seven Network $150,000.

Why Do We Care?

For a PM attempting to undertake a certain degree of fancy footwork around his government’s position on climate and its yellowing fortunes with women, the return of Mr Joyce is like Rodney Dangerfield turning up in a leaded-petrol monster truck.

Brett Worthington summarises the new challenges facing the locked-down PM here, while Insiders host David Speers says we need to read the National Party tea leaves.

Not everyone restrained themselves to tea while celebrating the Joyce victory, it seems, but equally there were women in the party profoundly unhappy. Indeed, the party’s WA leader has had it up to pussy’s bow with the Joyce shenanigans.

The Joyce Redux emboldened various chaps in the Coalition party room to complain about the budget’s spending on child care (outsourcing the care of children, which should be done for free by our wives as nature intended) while Senate leader “Adventures With” Bridget McKenzie judged this an opportune moment to blow up the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Elsewhere, a forensic investigation commenced into how many of Barnaby’s backbench fulminations would survive into the Not-About-Barnaby new age; would he continue to support residency for the Biloela family, for instance? There have been no signs of that yet but the family has received a three-month bridging visa to work and study in Perth.

What is the call to action do you think here?

Are we supporting the whistleblowers enough?

What does that support look like?

Whatever we are doing its not enough YET.

Building trust requires building relationships not slick marketing campaigns

In a world where your message can go global agriculture is spending a lot of money wishing and hoping we can build trust and belief through slick marketing campaigns

Things we know:

  1. People trust people in preference to things – Marketing campaigns may contain people but they are still things
  2. Building trust requires building relationships and that takes time
  3. The people you chose to be your trusted voices also pivotal to success. They should be:


A prime example of a buzz word is “Sustainability” 

Sustainability is a major concern among consumers. Food producers are aware of that, but often unsure how to address it.

The notion of sustainable food production is almost shrugged off as common sense among many in agriculture. Ask a grower if they’re sustainable and you’ll likely get an answer like, “Well, if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be farming very long.”

In reality what is sustainable for one grower maybe very different for another. It is certainly a word that means different things to different segments of the market place agriculture is trying to build trust with

As an example

You ask a large group of young people between the ages of 12 and 18 from diverse socio economic backgrounds what sustainability means to them  – the top three answers are


You ask a group of tertiary educated adults between the ages of 24 and 60 the same question – the top 3 answers are

As an aside I must admit I smiled when I saw Woolworths tag line. They leave nothing to chance

Building trust starts with being curious about your target market and an intimate understanding of their wants, needs, pain points and motivations.

Its requires providing opportunities for building relationships. People want to meet and talk to the people who are asking to be trusted. Slick marketing campaigns might attract a passing interest but their chance of being memorable are very slim.

PEOPLE TRUST PEOPLE – it takes time. We have to be prepared to invest the time

Seeking Incredible Aussie Women – When you work with the best opportunity comes knocking

According to Wikipedia Woman’s Day is Australia’s highest selling weekly magazine with up to 400,000 weekly readers.

This week there is a 4 page spread titled “Real Life – Incredible Aussie Women – Ladies of the Land”  featuring four Young Farming Champions  Emma Ayliffe, Anika Molesworth, Jasmine Green and Bronwyn Roberts ( and what a pleasure it was to read about Kate Andison)

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Yesterday I attended a workshop on Elite Teams and I was stoked to have our organisation listed as an example of having a high performance culture.

Being impact driven and focused on measuring the ripple effect of what we do, I have been giving a lot of thought to the impact these young women’s stories will have on the readers of the Woman’s Day.

How do we measure that?

I look forward to my readers sharing their thoughts

Its an important question because this media cost agriculture zero $

It involved:

  •  my time ( the journalist identified me as the go to person)
  • the time of the interviewees
  • Interviewees capacity to share with the journalist high quality photos

In comparison say to agriculture paying for TV time or Billboard space 

Are there other important questions to ask?

  • Why was I identified as the go to person?
  • Why were these young women confident they would do agriculture proud?
  • Why did they have high quality photos they could send to the journalist?

These are questions I am very happy to give my perspective on if asked

What I would like to do is give a big shout out to our journalist Mandy McKeesick. It is because she writes high quality content for us that these young women are highly visible and easy to find when journalists from the Woman’s Day and any other main stream media are looking for talent

Lets all choose to challenge – Raise your hand high to show you’re in and that you commit to call out inequality.

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Today I am celebrating a group of young women that epitomise

MOXIE {noun} North American informal
force of character, determination, or nerve.

Anyone who is stepping up and being a force for change knows its hard … and it’s exhilarating, and it’s important.

These young women have walked this path and collected scars and trophies along the way.

Future generations will look back at this period in our history and see marketing and spin, and a complete absence of political leadership and  coherent policy

These young women are taking a leading role in being the force that changes this for future generations.

They are role models advocating for agency and voice for young people

They are shining examples of what success looks like when we invest in our young people

They are choosing to challenge

They are making things better for everyone .

I very proud to walk along side them

#ChooseToChallenge #WomeninStem #YouthinAg #SDG5 #GenderEquality


On International Women’s Day lets all ask ourselves how can we best support women to feel safe?

The day is today… The moment is now…

We are no longer at the age where we can afford to postpone what needs to be done right away.

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day

I am currently being asked by #GoodMen how do we support women to feel safe. Very often when you have the deeper conversation they will say I am not surrounded by “men like this”, aka men who are unsafe for women to be around .

And you ask yourself what “men like this” look like to men. For everyone to feel safe we all need to be prepared to have difficult conversations. This is so important for all cultural issues we must change

This concept of putting people in boxes doesn’t fly anymore. Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus and now according to The Australian men are right wing and women are left wing is pathetic in the extreme.

If culture change means some books written in another era that don’t pass the culture pub test today aren’t printed any more so bit it.  That means somebody is doing something. Its sending a message

In the last ten years behaviour change has become my area of expertise. Not because I am an expert, its because I surround myself with experts who help others become experts

and we have become extraordinarily successful at it together. This year we were declared world class. 

If this can be achieved in 6 months in a school classroom how long will it take in the community.

What are the barriers?

How do we bring the right people together?

How can we support them?

So many questions?

Yes it starts with asking questions and genuinely listening?

The principles for behaviour change are universal and we can all be role models.


Time for agriculture to move from awareness to action to ensure we are workforce ready now and in the future  

Its was wonderful to read that Australian universities are reporting a significant increase in young people studying agriculture careers.

If the agriculture sector is going to effectively leverage this increase in workforce talent and increase growth we must integrate workforce planning into our core strategic planning processes and establish a clear action plan that covers us now and well into the future.

Over the next six weeks Picture You in Agriculture will be posting their “Crafting Careers” series written by journalist Mandy McKeesick.

Crafting Careers is a culmination of a number of interviews with thought leaders in the agriculture and education sectors that call for us to move from awareness to action to ensure we are workforce ready now and in the future

The Crafting Careers series is an initiative of the Youth Voices Leadership Team and their commitment to

  • expose young people as early as possible to agriculture careers in schools
  • ensure there are multiple touch points along their school journey
  • equip students and job seekers with navigation resources and
  • ensure industry routinely assesses its skills and credential requirements

Over the next six weeks Rob Kaan MD of Corteva, Dr Neil Moss from SBScibus, Craig French from Australian Wool Innovation, Professor Jim Pratley and Scott Graham from Barker College will share their vision for a thriving agriculture sector that has a human centred design approach – we are all only as good as the people we surround ourselves with

As you will see from the research quoted below agriculture is not alone in being behind the eight ball in planning in advance for its workforce needs. The time has never been better to get ahead of the curve and ensure agriculture attracts, develops and retains the best and brightest

According to Ranstad half of employers fail to plan a year in advance for changes in their workforce, and only 13% plan for a two-year period. Rather than being reactionary, agriculture can commit to being an employer of choice and ahead of the curve in ensuring we have the skill sets needed to not only thrive but also grow our sector .

Skilled talent shortages are expected to persist across Australia and the wider Asia Pacific region – even in countries where growth is slowing – due to the restructuring of many economies, labour markets and large multi-national organisations.

The region faces nothing short of a corporate leadership crisis – it’s time for organisations to re-think their approach to attracting and developing leadership talent.

To predict how this will affect agriculture we have the opportunity to :

1. Assess the current strategic position of the sector  – including factors such as the size and diversity of workforce, business goals, long-term plans for expansion or diversification, and location-specific circumstances.

2. Review existing talent – including managers and employees at all levels – and flag those whose functions will be critical to future success and how they can be up-skill these vital team members.

Consider the political and economic environment our sector is likely to operate in within the next two to five years; for example, employment regulation and the number of women in senior roles are likely to increase during this time.

We should also think about what additional talent we will need and the experience, knowledge, skills and capability required.

Effective workforce planning in the coming decade means our sector will need to use a mix of enabling tools, systems and strategies to attract, develop and retain an increasingly mobile and skilled workforce.

Adapted from predicting your future employment needs | Randstad Australia

Did you know?

Agriculture graduates enjoy strong full-time employment outcomes on graduation, with a full-time employment rate of 79.5 per cent, compared to the graduate average of 72.2 per cent. Source

How do we all play our role in keeping our governments accountable?

After spending 25 years working in the for purpose- for profit space I have always been flabbergasted by the way governments spend taxpayer money

I am equally shocked that our governments lack of attention to detail around accountability seems to be so rarely questioned by taxpayers.

We live in a complex world. The challenges we confront today are many. Being future ready requires us to rethink our core processes and practices

No-one has a monopoly on good ideas. Yet our governments throw grant money around like the next quick fix is just around the corner.

Surely real break throughs come from cross sector collaboration, strategic  funding and policy making and creating enabling environments?

How do we help our politicians see success requires a human centred approach and sustainable change happens at community level?

It should go without saying that solutions must go beyond having isolated impact and deliver progress at scale.

It was heartening and enlightening to read Stacey Barr’s newsletter this week

“Stacey is a specialist in strategic performance measurement and evidence-based leadership.”

In her newsletter Stacey gives a a lot of food for thought with questions like

  1. Is the return on our taxes quantified by how much activity government does with those taxes?
  2. Where is the evidence of how it’s improved the quality of life for everyone?
  3. Isn’t that the evidence we most want them to use to spend taxes ever more wisely?
  4. Do government organisations measure their performance with activity measures, because they focus too much on what they can control, and not on what they should influence?

You will find an extract of Stacey’s newsletter below. You can find out how your organisation can work with Stacey here 

Is This Why Government’s Performance Measures Are Activity-Focused?”

The performance measurement advice that government gives its entities causes the biggest measurement problem in the public sector: trivial activity measures.

Everyone wants government organisations to perform well. Unlike the private sector, they can’t be judged by profit. But we all want to know that the tax we pay is being put to good use.

Notoriously, public sector organisations don’t measure their performance well. From my 2017 study, ‘How many organisations have meaningful KPIs‘, I found that only 6% have measures that provide direct evidence of their strategic goals.

In part it’s because public accountability is tough. To avoid the distraction of dealing with reactive public scrutiny, government leaders can resort to vanity metrics and measures of how much activity they’re doing. They will avoid measurement of the real results their organisation exists to create for the community.

But another reason why public sector organisations don’t measure performance well is likely due to the advice they get from their regulators about how and what to measure. This advice unwittingly sends them in the wrong direction:

  1. To believe that strategic objectives are too high-level to measure, rather than making strategic objectives measurable.
  2. To focus on what is within the organisation’s control, rather than the social results it exists to influence.
  3. To measure activity, rather than measuring results.

We will see this problem clearly in the advice given in the Australian Government’s Resource Management Guide 131 (RMG-131) for developing good performance information. It exists to support the PGPA Act for Australian Government entities. But the same goes for many other countries’ government advice for performance measurement.

If public sector organisations are going to truly improve and demonstrate the value they generate with taxpayer’s money, a few things need to be fixed in the advice they follow for developing performance measures.

Fix 1: Strategic objectives can be high-level and measurable.

The first fix to the advice government gives itself on how to measure performance is to provide guidance on how to measure strategic objectives. Any change we intend to make should be observable, and therefore should be measurable. Our strategic objectives describe intended changes, and can be written measurably with a little deliberate effort.

Item 15 in RMG-131 says that because an entity’s purposes (which they define in item 16 as strategic objectives) are naturally high-level, performance measurements should be based on lower-level objectives derived from it’s purposes.

The problem with this advise is that it essentially advises government organisations to not bother looking for ways to directly measure their strategic objectives, but to focus on measuring their activities.

And this leads us to the next problem: measuring only what they can control, not what they should influence.

Fix 2: Public sector organisations exist to influence, not control.

The harsh truth is that no entity can have control over everything it wants to change. Control assumes things are predictable. But our world is somewhere between predictable and unpredictable. And that’s the realm of influence, not control. The most meaningful performance measures for improvement of effectiveness and efficiency (government loves these words) are measures of influence, not control.

Item 20 in RMG-131 suggests government entities use the Logic Model to more easily measure the things they have direct control over. They allude to the notion that they have too little influence over the outcomes they contribute to, to measure their impact on those outcomes.

The problem with this advice is that government organisations will resort to measuring only what they have direct control over. And what they have direct control over is what they choose to do; how they spend their allocated budget. They assume that what they have chosen to do will, indeed, positively impact the outcomes they contribute to.

This, again, leads to another problem: measuring the doing of activity, not the achievements from activity.

Fix 3: Measuring activity means measuring the results of that activity.

In PuMP, we do measure activity. But it’s the results of activities that we design performance measures to evidence. Activities are just smaller parts of the larger organisational system of processes, functions, goals and purpose (as described in the Results Map, activities are in the outer layer).

Item 17 of RMG-131 does suggest that performance measures should focus on what the activity is intended to achieve. But the measure examples given include many actions or measures of how much action, like these:

  • “Effective administration of investment in road infrastructure”
    (what should be quantified to know how effective?)
  • “Coordinate the National Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2020 through the Council of Australian Governments’ Transport and Infrastructure Council”
    (what is the result of this that should be quantified?)
  • “Number of site visits undertaken nationally”
    (what is the result of a site visit that should be quantified?)

The problem with the advice of item 17 is that it’s not reinforced with consistent and proper examples of measures of activity results. If you take just 10 minutes to look at your own strategic plan, or that of any public sector organisation you immediately think of, chances are you’ll find too many action-oriented measures and too few results-oriented measures.

Thank you Stacey

Our politicians work for us.  They spend our money. They report to us. We can all play an active role in ensuring they are accountable and show evidence of how our money is being  spent to improve the quality of life for everyone.

There is a real opportunity here for our politicians and our governments to be leadership role models

That’s why I have signed up for the Getting Election Convention.

Join me and learn how to be politically savvy.  #BeTheChange