Mediation Text

Industrial mediation is a specialised area of work. It involves engagement with stakeholders to resolve group conflicts, assist in negotiation of industrial agreements at the enterprise level, and generally facilitate changes in organisation and conditions for employees, managers and senior executives. It can include mentoring and coaching for individuals if needed. The intention is to assist clients to find their own solutions to difficult negotiations in the workplace. To open up new avenues for discussion, and eventual agreement. Based on collaboration, empowerment and innovation in all things.

Perhaps the best role for industrial mediation is when Enterprise Agreements are due for re-negotiation. These agreements can take many months to resolve, and often the presence of a mediator who can work between the parties can accelerate a sucessful outcome.

TALC has many years of experience in this area. Professor Daryll Hull PhD FAICD FCILT has been a successful mediator since the mid 1980s and in the 1990s and 2000s he was invited to facilitate enterprise agreements in the public and private sectors across Australia. He has also recently been a mentor to senior private sector managers, trade union officials, and public service employees. He is very familiar with industrial relations having worked in the field for many years in various industries including manufacturing, transport, government and academe.




Mediation Pic

Mediation requires careful and slow movement of actions and people. Positions are fixed and often "locked in". Unlocking such positions is slow and challenging, and needs an atmosphere of mutual respect and a minimal level of trust before movement can begin to occur. TALC's role is to design strategies to create movement, one step at a time. The delivery process is always remains in the hands of the client. Like "go" chess the idea is to build a strategy, and implement it over a longer period.

Consulting Pic

When playing "go" chess the idea is to draw your opponent into a long term strategy which culminates in victory after many moves. During the game your opponent often does not realise that the strategy is building towards capture at the distant edge of the board. In consulting TALC will create a long term strategy for the client that builds slowly over time. There is no set-piece action, no sudden and quick intervention. Each move is crafted with the client. Every step leads towards the goal.

Consulting Text

Consulting is of two kinds  - "off-the-shelf" solutions to known problems; or the crafting of customised strategies to deal with complex issues. The first approach is to adapt a known analytical framework to a real world problem. The alternative approach is to articulate the problem and then seek the right tools for the job. Both are valid as consulting techniques.

TALC does not do off-the-shelf consulting assignments. There are many mainstream consultants who are very good at designing and delivering such solutions. These include the development of training packages, business process re-engineering, HR systems analysis and more. TALC prefers to tackle "wicked problems". These are problems where there is little or no agreement on the right questions to be addressed, much less the right answers. They are invaribly issues around new forms of work organisation, new business models, seemingly intractable situations where there is no obvious engineering or HR solution. They tend to be issues that are vaguely defined, problematic, long standing and complicated.These are the kind of consulting assignments that TALC seeks and enjoys.

TALC has been in the business of wicked problems for over a decade, and continues to work with industry to identify and tackle such problems - workplace leadership, organisation change, industrial relations, management education and strategy planning. Based on collaboration, empowerment and innovation in all things.



Policy Text

TALC's primary interest in the policy arena is in policy development in matters of work organisation, skills, infrastructure and regulatory frameworks across transport and logistics. Our main focus is on intermediation as a form for policy development in government - Commonwealth, State and Local. Based on collaboration, empowerment and innovation in all things.

Governments and companies in many countries today find themselves in unchartered waters as they attempt to redefine their role, including how they relate to business strategies, shareholders and to citizens more broadly. In government there is currently serious questioning of what are the appropriate structures, institutions, processes and organisational relationships required in an environment placing much more emphasis on collaboration with partners within the public sector and also outside it.

Collaboration between governments could herald a new phase of federalism. If ‘cooperative federalism’ is about microeconomic reform and structural efficiencies, ‘collaborative federalism’ is about sharing intent, sharing goals and agreeing on delivery responsibilities. This new phase of federalism is likely to focus on social policies, national security and bio-security, the environment, infrastructure and communication. Above all, it is likely to dispense with the notion that ‘government knows best’, replacing it not just with intergovernmental agreements, but with community involvement in policy design and delivery. It could be more messy, but also more realistic and more results-based 

[Donahue, J On Collaborative Governance, Working Paper No. 2, March 2004, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University]


Policy Pic

The pieces on a "go" chess board are called "stones". Each stone links with every other stone of the same colour. As the stones connect, so does the extent of the territory covered and captured by the player. The ability of the player to see the many linkages well ahead of the game is the difference between winning and losing territory. The stones must be placed in a collective and "collaborative" manner in order to build territory.

Research Text

Research implies more than a gathering of data and the presentation of a report. It is making sense out of the situation for the client. TALC undertakes research on behalf of clients and stakeholders to assist them to better understand the environment in which they live and work. We look for patterns in the issues, and seek "weak signals" that often contain the real story. Blindingly obvious conclusions we present via a narrative around the data we collect. That is the easy part. Understanding in depth usually requires a series of conversations with the client to ensure that they have the opportunity to explore the research findings, draw their own conclusions and inform their decisions. Based on collaboration, empowerment and innovation in all things.

TALC utilises various tools and methods to gather information and intelligence for our clients. We have access to international academic and applied databases through our close connections with universities and on-line libraries. We can mobilise research associates on short notice. Our extensive network of partnerships with other research groups means that we can draw on their expertise as needed. We have such relationships in areas of business economics, strategic planning, industrial relations, legal matters, and more. Our view is that collaboration amongst various experts and the client is essential to gain a full appreciation of the topic - no one person or group can do it all by themselves.

Research Pic

"Go" chess is all about pattern recognition. Looking for and finding long term trends based on simple movements and activities. The game is won or lost via the interpretation of each move. Sometimes the obvious moves conceal a deeper strategy. Sometimes they don't. Knowing what move is important in the long term is the key to success.

Who we are

Our mandate

The Transport and Logistics Centre was established in 2000. It acts as a "think tank" for new ideas in capability building in transport and logistics. It also provides advice to the transport and logistics industry in matters of workforce planning and skills development - especially industrial mediation, mentoring, innovation and knowledge sharing. As a not-for-profit company TALC provides its services on a cost recovery basis. It is here to serve the industry. Our work is independent and driven by our values - collaboration, empowerment and innovation in all things.

Our Philosophy

Our view is that building industry capability is like the ancient game of "go"chess - played with white and black pieces or "stones" on a large board comprised of intersecting lines - you develop the game one small move at time within a long term strategy. Unlike traditional chess, there are no dramatic leaps and jumps across the board to secure the game. "Go" is a seemingly simple occupation of empty spaces by these stones, one space at a time, until the game is won. TALC likewise does not deal in dramatic moves and sweeping gestures. Complex problems require simple strategies, played out over a long period and with an eye to the ultimate outcome. The strategies become more complex as the game progresses, but the basic principles stay the same. Stick to one move at a time, keep it simple, and make each move link to the overall goal. That is TALC's approach to work.


TALC provides industrial relations, mentoring and mediation services


Page 1 of 2

Who we are

  • TALC is not-for-profit think tank and research group based in Australia. We specialise in "wicked" policy and business problems and workplace mediation. read more

Contact Us