20 May 2008, Comments (11)

If she weighs the same as a duck…

Author: Helen

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered

I have no personal reason to defend Caroline Shahbaz, outgoing change management consultant for the City of Port Phillip. I’m prepared to believe the report that she’s much too fascinated by new-agey woo (like thousands of other people both in and out of management circles), and vastly overpaid (like thousands of other management consultants the world over.)

But. I just think the language employed by this article is… very interesting. See what you think.

Comments (11)

  • What I got from learning astrology with Stella was a simple, clear framework about what the various planetary symbols mean as well as a sense of confidence about doing readings. I can look at a chart and know what to look for with a sense of confidence. I like to go to Stella for readings as she doesn’t futz about with flowery astro description about what is aligned conjunct square etc which is mesmerisingly complex but meaningless. She speaks plainly, explaining what she sees going on in the chart in simple practical English. Its also good being able to know how to read a chart because she and I can converse about what the various transits etc mean in a more meaningful way. Getting a reading from Stella is reassuring for me, and reinforcing that what I am seeing is also affirmed and explored in more depth.

    Caroline Shahbaz, Management Consultant (Astrology Student 2000-01)

  • Helen says:

    I’ve blockquoted that for you FX. For a moment I thought it was you who had studies with Stella Starwoman.:-)

    Yes, that’s what I meant when I wrote too fascinated by new-agey woo. Whether that would make someone a worse management consultant is certainly open to debate – on many fronts.

  • Grendel says:

    I’m just appalled that a government (local or otherwise) hires a consultant with belief-based qualifications for professional development. I’d be equally appalled if they’d chosen a priest, rabbi, imam or shamen.

    I’m not surprised a lot of the staff had problems with it.

    That said the article in question could have taken a more rational approach than the good old witch hunt.

  • I’m sure when I read it yesterday there was “witch” in the title?

  • Yeah me and Stella Star woman – thats a whole nother story – we was off tha planet man, back then I had stars in my eyes.

    Ms Shahbaz has got a history – check out SENATE Official Hansard
    No. 16, 2003 TUESDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2003

  • It is entirely possible that a person with belief in Astrology may well be able to help with organisational change. As it is possible that a person who believes in the Trinity or transubstantiation or Xenu or homeopathy might also be capable. However to assert that one applies that belief to ones work is to tap on my trustworthyness meter up around the red zone on the right.

  • Oz Ozzie says:

    That’s hysterically funny. All of it. Haven’t laughed so hard for ages.
    A lesbian in a sexual relationship with a gay man? Touche.

    I’ll have to get her address and recommend her to the management of our competition 😉

  • Helen says:

    Bingo FX, you have found some actual information (not related to woo) that might have a bearing on the problems Port Phillip has experienced with her. It might have been good if the journalist had done it, instead of going for all that witchy-poo fluff.

    Fark! These change management consultants earn so much! Waaaaaaah… I want to be one too!

  • casey says:

    Helen, she herself trades on exactly this kind of essentialisation. She promotes the witch stuff from her own direct comments. She “jokingly” refers to herself as a white witch and says “You know, I can walk into a room and pick up what the nuance is,” I would call it, if you will, strategic essentialism. Mind, its not quite what Spivak had in mind when she raised it as a means by which indigenous peoples can reclaim fragmented identites – but, by trading on the alignment of woman with witchery, and intuition and shit, she earns a lot of money by the looks of it. Strategic to me.

  • matilda says:

    Speaking of ‘interesting language’, try this, from the subject’s jottings on ‘meeting Buddha on the road’, (a term itself lifted from the writings of enlightened Zen masters):
    ‘The warm air licked my body encasing it in wetness as I left the cool interior of the bus’…… and ‘My crown chakra buzzed and my spirit spiraled upwards.’ and ‘I stepped into the ultra modern steel tube that whooshed me back through the surreal underground landscape of tunnels, metal, darkness, and electricity to the Hyatt. I arrived replete and completely nourished.’
    Ah, the 5 star bliss of the spiritual tourist.

  • Helen says:

    I didn’t even know I had a crown chakra. Shit, eh. This is why I am never going to be a Highly Paid Consultant™.

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