News at Cranlana
Read recent news about our organisation, along with published articles written by our staff and alumni interviews
A new study has revealed countries with male leaders who have prioritised the economy in their COVID-19 response have seen many more deaths from the virus than countries with female leaders who have focused on public health.
In their report, the authors argue there are “both contingent and structural reasons that may explain these stark differences”.
Vanessa Pigrum, CEO of Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, has some thoughts on why this might be the case.
“These women have, like all leaders, had to make difficult decisions quickly, in an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation,” says Pigrum. “These decisions have had enormous consequences. They’ve slowed the spread of the virus and saved lives, but in doing so have economically impacted millions of people. Acknowledging these hardships with emotional courage, communicating with clarity and empathy, and calmly engaging in an authentic way with their constituents engenders public confidence.”
While an ability to maintain integrity throughout turmoil is certainly not unique to female leadership, Pigrum suggests how these female leaders got to be where they are may have affected their leadership style. “The traits of ethical leadership are the same regardless of gender or age, but the expression of those traits might be affected by whether those leaders followed a traditional path to authority,” she says.
via MindFood, 21 July 2020
The Lowitja Institute has named leading Aboriginal academic Professor Roianne West as the winner of the 2020 Lowitja Institute Cranlana Award for outstanding research leadership.
The national award honours excellence from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers whose contributions to their academic field are recognised nationally and internationally, and who have contributed significantly to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Congratulations Professor West, we look forward to welcoming you to the Executive Colloquium.
In a poll last month 45% of Australians said the main purpose of our democracy is ensuring all people are treated fairly and equally, including the most vulnerable. Which is why, says Travers McLeod, CEO Centre for Policy Development and Cranlana moderator, Australians are uneasy about outsourcing essential services.
Recent history hasn’t been good for outsourced services, from quarantine hotels to the aged care sector, so as we face the biggest labour market disruption in a generation government needs to be an active player in service delivery.
via The Australian, 13 July 2020
Alumnus Peter McMullin, a successful lawyer, businessman and philanthropist, knows the impact a Cranlana program can have on participants. During his participation in an Executive Colloquium he had something of an epiphany which pointed him “in a direction I ultimately would have gone on one day anyway, but it really spurred me into action.” With an interest in global human rights and the arts, Peter was active in philanthropy at the time, but the Cranlana program was a turning point and a trigger for his future philanthropy.
via Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine, 15 July 2020
Lead Moderator Peter Mares talks with alumnus Romlie Mokak about the new strategy being developed by the Productivity Commission for evaluating policies and programs affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
via Inside Story, 2 July 2020
“A crisis can…tempt people to suspend or apply different values in response to the changed circumstances, but the innovation and nimbleness required should be based on a constant moral framework. In a crisis your values are your strength.” CEO Vanessa Pigrum talks about how to address ethical dilemmas in the workplace, particularly during times of crisis and uncertainty.
via news.com.au, 2 July 2020
The pandemic has brought grey-zone dilemmas into focus, but in truth they are always with us. Thankfully, rules, guidelines and codes of conduct make many everyday choices clear— I don’t have to think about what side of the road to drive on or what speed to drive at. But it is impossible to devise a rule to cover every situation, nor would it be desirable to do so.
Doing a good job of being human requires us to develop the capacity to make good judgements, both in our work and in our personal life. It is a capacity that is enhanced by being open to new information and to different points of view. It is a capacity that requires us to be alert to our tendency to make decisions that benefit us personally, even when we are convinced that we are being entirely objective.
via Profile magazine, June 2020
Uncertainty is often twinned with speed, and the product can sometimes be poor decisions. Yet organisations seeking to make consistent and coherent decisions face a veritable flood of ethical decision-making models to choose from.
Authors Marc Thompson, Academic Director, Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change, and Peter Collins, Program Director, Vincent Fairfax Fellowship at Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, suggest when making ethical decisions in times of crisis, leaders consider three things: ethical fading; how to test your quandary; and the lessons of behavioural ethics.
Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership CEO Vanessa Pigrum, talks to host Alex Proimos in this episode of Market Narratives, a podcast series that features unorthodox conversations with thought leaders influencing the world of fiduciary investors.
Business leaders, including Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership CEO Vanessa Pigrum, talk about effective leadership strategies and approaches, particularly during the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. What are the strategies they and their teams are using to move forward? These twelve leaders from different sectors canvas themes of transparency, clear communication, innovation, collaboration and compassion.
via Dynamic Business, 10 June 2020
This year eighteen Cranlana Centre alumni were awarded Queen’s Birthday Honours, recognising their contribution to building a just, prosperous and sustainable society. We offer our warmest congratulations to each on these well deserved awards.
We at Cranlana stand alongside the indigenous community of Australia and the Black Lives Matter movement. Like millions of others, we have watched the events triggered by George Floyd’s death with grief, but alarmingly not with surprise. George Floyd’s asphyxiation was a shocking and despicable event, underscored by systemic problems which underpin the societies we live in. Here at home, more than 400 indigenous Australians have died in custody since 1991. Government enquiries and royal commissions have followed. And yet, seemingly nothing changes. The global reactions to George Floyd’s death have highlighted how pervasive systemic biases are. They’re built into the fabric of how we operate – into our economies, our laws and our philosophies. Cranlana Centre commits to using our position to challenge and change these systems; to seek out, learn from and amplify voices which haven’t had access to power; not to let this moment be yet another brief flare of emotion which precedes a return to normal; and to work alongside the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to turn good intentions about change into sustained action. We have always had a commitment to bringing about positive change. Yet we know we can do more. This moment is a wake-up call for all of us who can influence systemic change to do so, however you can.
You can find here a list of resources for a deeper understanding of systemic injustice
9 June 2020
The COVID-19 virus has exposed the failings of Australia’s housing system like never before: rough sleeping and homelessness, the insecurity and stress of renting, especially on a low income, and a boom-bust cycle that either pushes house prices up too quickly or down too fast. Our housing mess can be measured in lost productivity, poor health, high debt and growing inequality.
Peter Mares, Cranlana’s Lead Moderator and author of No Place Like Home: Repairing Australia’s Housing Crisis, visits four capital cities, to investigate what’s gone wrong with housing in Australia, and what we might do about it.
via ABC, 30 May 2020
What do New Zealand, Germany, Taiwan, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Denmark have in common? When it comes to the coronavirus crisis, there are two things they share – their leaders have been praised for their handling of it, and those leaders are all women.
Vanessa Pigrum, CEO of Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, believes the success of these countries’ response to the pandemic highlights the benefits of diversity. “We need leaders drawn from a wider field than has traditionally been the case, to bring with them a new perspective and fresh approach to persistent issues, and brand-new challenges,” she says. “The pandemic has swept away many assumptions about entrenched systems and challenged accepted thinking in a range of spheres. It’s also shown us that what people need in a crisis can be met by a range of leadership styles which offer more than we’ve been offered to date.”
via Mindfood, 2 June 2020
Whistleblowing expert Sally McDow and Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership Lead Moderator Peter Mares talk about the potential pitfalls created by the temporary relaxation of rules which allow organisations to be nimble in their response to the crisis, the importance of a strong and effective whistleblowing process, and how to avoid hearing about your problems for the first time in the media.
via The Mandarin, 31 May 2020
Organisations’ responses during the current crisis are being closely watched by stakeholders, as will be their choices moving forward. Whether your current focus is on risk management, crisis management or imagining what the future looks like for your organisations, a strong shared ethical base going forward is vital.
“The need for leadership development has never been more urgent. Companies of all sorts realize that to survive in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment, they need leadership skills and organizational capabilities different from those that helped them succeed in the past.….” The Future of Leadership Harvard Business Review.
Online learning can support the development of those capacities.
According to LinkedIn’s new Workforce Confidence Index 91% of people working from home say their time spent learning online will stay the same or increase in the next two weeks.
This enthusiastic embrace of online learning is great news for organisations aware of the critical importance of maintaining professional development for their teams as they prepare for a resilient future.
Monash University and the Myer Foundation are pleased to announce the appointment of Gail Hambly as the new Chair of Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership.
25 May 2020
2020 has tested all of our assumptions. Cranlana’s online tailored programs can assist you and your team as you turn your mind towards recovery and rebuilding. Develop shared clarity and a pathway built on relevant, practical ethical foundations for the challenges ahead.
Lead Moderator Peter Mares responds to Kristina Kenneally’s recent article on the need to addresses Australia’s migration rules.
“In one sense, Kristina Keneally’s article in Sunday’s Age and Sydney Morning Herald is a timely reminder that Australia’s migration rules need to be reassessed — just as the pandemic should prompt a review of the tax system, welfare arrangements and our fragmented approach to housing and homelessness.
However, says Peter, Labor can’t claim to be encouraging a reasoned discussion about a sensitive and divisive topic while framing the issue in simplistic, binary terms.
Inside Story, 6 May 2020
Like it or not, says our Lead Moderator Peter Mares, the virus has brought government back into vogue: it is government that subsidises wages and extends credit, it is public hospitals on the front line of the pandemic, it is tax dollars fuelling research into a vaccine. While businesses and community groups contribute to tackling the virus, we look first to government for solutions.
This puts public officials under immense pressure. They must make quick judgements, aware that any misstep will have profound repercussions. A pandemic has made morality the subject of everyday conversations and thrown the ethics of decision making into stark relief.
Canberra Times, 5 May 2020
Lead Moderator Peter Mares considers what Covid-19 is teaching us about equality and its alternative.
When this is over, what lessons will we have learned?
“If insecurity is new and unwelcome in our lives, then we can assume that its pervasive presence was never welcome in the lives of others. It should give us pause to consider the levels of inequality and disadvantage that we allowed to build up during Australia’s long boom.”
Perhaps during this time we can lay the foundation for a stronger, more caring community after the threat from the virus recedes.
Crikey, 3 April 2020
Alumnus Jerome Reid, Australian Department of Defence – Joint Capabilities Group – talks about the power of ethical thinking and how the Cranlana program “completely deconstructed the entire fabric” of his thinking. “I realised I needed to rethink my decision-making, shed my biases and rethink my world view.”
“An ethical leader is at pains to question how they live with the contradictions and tensions of leading in a modern organisation and how to do that in an ethically rigorous way. It’s about building a better society.”
Qantas Magazine, April 2020
‘Soft skills’ in leadership refer to a host of skills such as empathy, teamwork, flexibility, positivity, and adaptability. They may be harder to measure but are invaluable in shaping leaders’ abilities to communicate, manage change and build workplace culture.
In this article a number of business leaders, including Cranlana Centre’s CEO Vanessa Pigrum, were asked whether soft skills are more important than ever in leadership.
via Dynamic Business, 1 April 2020