This is a very thoughtful piece Jim - my thanks.
Some of the problems recognised in your comments are, I submit more associated with country Australia than city. There is more sense of community in country, and less transient population, making for a marketplace based on a relatively static consumer base - in my innocent opinion. There are other problems of country/rural which also don't readily translate/apply to city folk - and I'm going to move to another of those that I have been following, somewhat wistfully: dairy co-ops.
Here's the latest post from a blog I follow quite closely: A Mexican standoff as the sun sets on MG
- and to tie it back to your comments on newspapers, this is a blog I have come to trust more completely than the reportage to be found on the same subject in either metro or even rural press outlets. I think this is partly due to the "interests" represented by Marian compared to the "interests" of the media outlets. Agree?
But carry Marian's concerns one step further, and you can get back to a wider subject of direct and current concern: AMP Society and how it appears to have "lost its way" as revealed by the Banking Royal Commission.
Here's Marian's linked piece on co-operatives generally:The heart of the co-op which, I believe could as well be used as a base descriptor of our "mutuals" of the finance and banking world, because it raises the very same problem at the heart of it: the rise of a "managerial class" with objectives not completely connected to the business of its prime customers/owners.
I'd be interested to see if you can see the same connections that I can observe in the above?I will pick up some of kvd's comments via the New England media post. However, I thought that they might also provide an entry point for a Monday now Tuesday forum topic.
I agree with kvd that milkmaidmarion's blog provides excellent reporting and, like kvd, I have been following the fall of Murray Goulburn with sadness. I suspect I agree with the idea that the country and rural media no longer provides the reflective reporting that we might once have expected. In fairness, though, that type of reflection has generally appeared outside a press concerned with the day to day or week to week. Where I think a change has occurred is that the press can no longer pick up, report on, the more reflective stuff or follow the longer stories in a coherent way.
kvd suggests that the loss of way shown by the Murray-Goulburn disaster or the AMP fiasco, something I referred to in The fish rots from the head - the Financial Services Royal Commission, is due to the rise of a managerial class. I wonder if that's true, although I accept that it's part of the problem. Rather, I wonder if we have completed a system that is fundamentally conflicted.
I do not know how to express this clearly. It's a feeling that I would like to explore in discussion. Perhaps I might clarify a little by posing a few questions:
- have we lost sight of the fact that organisations are formed for different purposes and need to be judged differently in terms of those purposes? For example, a cooperative might chose to earn a lower rate of return on its accumulated capital if that maximises the benefits to its members?
- have we created a system where narrow performance measures dominate to the exclusion of other considerations?
- have we created a system where universals such as effective governance become a distraction from, an impediment to, performance, substituting rules for a focus on ethics and purpose?
- have we created a system where targets, performance measures and associated remuneration dominate at organisation level even though the aggregate targets are mathematically across sectors or the economy are mathematically unachievable? .