Too much has been written about the current saga because the media loves nothing more than talking about itself. If you want a breakdown of the events at the ABC, the best place to read them is in the Herald.
That’s a story for another day, though. So, first thing’s first. The current drama. But let’s not rehash the same old news. Let’s aim to make our lives better through learning.
What life lessons it is teaching? There are lots. But here are three.
Keep a file
The first thing you should do when you join any organisation is create two electronic files.
One with a happy face for praise 🙂 , and one with a sad face for emails you wish you hadn’t been sent :-(.
This is the important file.
Maybe the emailer fired the email in anger. Maybe they’re venting. Maybe Cathy from HR took the last teabag and she is such a b-word. Maybe the emailer suggested you sack a subordinate after a call from a PM. Maybe. Just putting it out there. So it’s a good file to keep. You never know when it might come in handy.
Michelle Guthrie must have kept such a file.
As you might need to access it quickly, and your email access might be disabled at short notice as you are escorted from the building, make sure you send the folder’s contents to your home email address as soon as you receive them. You can bet that’s where the story about Guthrie being called “missus” came from. Maybe. The chick kept a file. Definitely. Chicks are like that. And it might be Milne’s greatest gift to journalism. Unless you like good writing, because for the next year, you can expect columns like this from the Herald about how wrong it was. So. Very. Wrong.
Takeaway lesson: keep a file.
But if you’re a serious corporate person and don’t think emojis are professional, this file could also be called ‘insurance’. Just make sure you keep it.
Be prepared and read the signs
Guthrie knew at the Mid-Winter Ball that she was living on borrowed time. This meant she had time to line her ducks all lined up in case the hammer fell. On her ducks.
She has already engaged a PR agency so she can present a positive image and save her ‘personal brand’. Don’t think this is about getting her job back. That ship has sailed. It’s about securing her next job. She had an exit strategy in play. She was strategic.
Well played. Well played, indeed.
Based on what we have seen so far, Justin Milne, an experienced corporate player, only saw the play to Guthrie’s firing. His imagination stretched as far as the door hitting her on the way out. After that he was romping through a field wearing a sheet so the flowers could tickle his underneath . He has likely imagined Guthrie’s replacement, possibly even himself, in a David Hill chairman/CEO joint role, or a compliant mate. That’s the world he operates in, after all.
Milne’s corporate experience is extensive. You’ve got to wonder why. And how.
He is apparently involved with these companies and institutions: Chairman at NetComm Wireless Ltd. and Chairman of MYOB Group Ltd., Chairman for MYOB Ltd. (a subsidiary of MYOB Group Ltd.).Milne is also on the board of Tabcorp Holdings Ltd., Members Equity Bank Ltd. and NBN Co. Ltd. and Member of Australian Institute of Co. Directors.
Milne seems not to have considered another option: he gets nothing. Oh, he gets rid of Guthrie, but he gets nothing else. Not a second term, not the CEO role. Not the flowers on this underneath. This is the most obvious consequence. But he probably hadn’t considered that.
It’s not what you know
Look at all those board position again. As the great Nina Simone would say: “Nuff said.”