What HR can learn from the 2015 Word of the Year

by John Hilton21 Jan 2016
Effective HR is all about having the trust and respect of colleagues, and involves creating an environment where they are encouraged to consult before an important decision is formalised.
In contrast, the term ‘captain’s call’ was used to describe Abbott’s style of decision-making where he made important decisions without consultation.
The outcome was that the decisions were generally unpopular and arguably contributed to his downfall as Prime Minister.
Indeed, Abbott made the term ‘captain’s call’ so infamous during his time as Prime Minister that it has just been named Macquarie Dictionary’s 2015 word of the year.
The term is most well-known for when Abbott was met with a storm of criticism for awarding Prince Philip a knighthood of Australia.
A committee (which included journalists, academics and the Macquarie Dictionary editor Susan Butler) came to the conclusion that Captain’s call “perfectly encapsulates what happened in Australia over the past year”.
“There has been an interesting change in usage; an infrequent item of the jargon of cricket makes the leap into politics and is now being used generally with an ironic tinge to it that is very Australian," the committee said.
Moreover, Abbott was not the only Prime Minister who has made headlines for captain’s call in the past few years.
The word was also in the spotlight when Julia Gillard personally and controversially selected Nova Peris as a Labor senate candidate. 


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