I use to procrastinate – managed to change

I use to procrastinate, but now I am not so sure.  Whenever a new urgent task comes up are you like so many others we talk to find it difficult to say no?  Keeping your focus can be difficult and it gets even harder if you are reaching levels of achievement and you want that to continue your story as your priority.  However, as all project managers will know the problem is change, it is the only constant. If you are an achiever the problem is you risk being called ‘one who procrastinates’ if you seek advice and it seem predicable patterns of behaviour are preferred from us. It is suggested the human brain is hardwired to be predicable, and where groups of people gather there will be change and that can be difficult to manage.

Being a carbon manager requires many skills to be effective and one such skill is change management and to be accredited you must complete units of competency that deal with change.  According to the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) www.aipm.com.au ‘the only constant is change’ and pages 13 to 15 of the Project Manager periodical for October/November 2012, runs the story as such.

The AIPM quotes Prosci (2009) and refers to the Best Practices in Change management where it is said you are six times more likely to achieve your original objectives successfully where you implement change efficiently and effectively, and change management is the structural underpinning of every strategy in every business.

Carbon Management is also about changing cultures and dealing with resistance. To be successful, it needs you to have the team working together. Any other way as an individual will not bring about the necessary change. You also need to be an innovator. Why? Because change must be accepted as an inevitable and as an essential for health and survival and that point needs to be better communicated.

The AIPM also quotes Kotter and Schlesinger (1979) and Trice and Beyer (1993) on ways to change cultures and deal with resistance. The former names – talk of education and communication, participation and involvement, facilitation and support, negotiation and agreement, manipulation and co-optation, explicit and implicit coercion. They even discuss forced change as a last resort and at times essential where speed of action is required. The later authors – name 8 essential considerations for implementing change to an organisational culture.  They refer to the need to find and cultivate innovative leadership.

Contained in the Carbon Management Certificate IV course material run by Carbon Training International (CTI), www.co2ti.com  is an entire unit devoted to organisational based change. They refer to organisational change as defined by Meyer and Bother (2000) as “the movement of people from a current state to a defined state”, and they talk of why change as a concept is relevant. As did the AIPM article refer to Kotter’s resistance to change so do they, only in more detail including the approaches to deal with the resistance to change.  Basic change management strategies quoted by CTI are referenced from Bennis, Benne and Chin (1969) and Nickols (2006) where there are four strategies, namely: Empirical-Rational; Normative-Reductive; Power-Coercive; and, Environmental-Adaptive.

CO2Land org also notes that the key success factors of change management can be determined through 12 critical factors from within. These include: Leadership, Management support, the need for change, participation, defining roles, planning, goal setting, monitoring and control, training, communication, motivation, embedding change. In conclusion the art of project management is as important to the carbon manager as any other strategic discipline, and it takes a strong will and a professional attitude to bring home the importance of the concept of change management.

On reflection, I did procrastinate, but it was more to do with the fear of potential negative consequences, the lack of clear deadlines, and a feeling making a difference was a task that was overwhelming. What changed? There are consequences for delay, the climate and economic situation is escalating and the frequency of change is more evident. Writing this post is an example of the need to change and in part delegating appropriately to someone else, as it is more worrying to do nothing then to act on ensuring the future.


Simplicity, Obviousness and Human Factors with Windows

Why take the chance of alienating the faithful? It is possible that Microsoft must take a chance, to reach the new wave of technophiles. After being the masters of obviousness since 1987 “Microsoft Corp.’s net income fell 22 percent in the latest quarter as it deferred revenue from the sale of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system to PC makers”. It also comes at a time PC sales in general took a dive. You could argue taking the chance is about the need to improve the bottom line and the magic metric is the ability to scale beyond its own organisation as we know it. Windows 8 is aimed to be the magic system that will perform better for the company in the long term.

However as well redesigned this system is and planned as truly elegant, indicators are they could be affected by black swan events (improbable happenings – left field whams – disasters). Critics are saying in the quest for simplicity, they sacrificed obviousness for the joy of technophiles. But, alas thus rejoice may be the ultimate human factors conundrum: The relationships among windows users and the machines and processes they operate – lost.

To put this in perspective on June 19, 2012 co2land posted “Culture of sustainability in a cloud” and the story focused on Apple’s ability to use a robust metric to reduce risk and having a communication platform that can be maintained throughout any event. More recently, it is suggested Microsoft is trying too hard to show they can trump the software market with their own niche and make it with Windows 8, make it with simplicity. Interface and form simplicity with the operating system platform that is portable from PC to Tablet to Smart Phone.

So why is it even before the release date, reported to be 26 October 2012, that so many are critical of how they put at risk the most important following of the brand: The obvious relationship loyal users have between the machines and processes they make? They may have underestimated human factors!

A group called REALInnovation network (a voice of the network is www.triz-journal.com), says human factors is an entire arena that has become a major area of focus. As time goes on, we change and our expectation is the changes around us will make it easier to interact with machinery and how we see and interpret information. It is taken for granted that it is the ergonomic and practical need we have to aspire. There is a classical contradiction with this as we have all experienced that providing a new one size fits all is simple and appealing, and yet at the same time we must forgo access to our obvious need to be comfortable with what we currently know and use.

In the context of this discussion, you will know many professionals, stay at home people, students, and tradespeople that are comfortable with the PC and are happy with the tradition of the software – once you know the fundamentals you go from generation to generation as steps to a better place.

In Microsoft’s defence they need the innovation, and shifting to simplicity is improving practices. However, improved practices include a balance of simplicity and obviousness. In this new release they may be pushing the paradigm to simplicity in a way that will leave the traditional Windows PC user alienated and lost!

So when we use our ‘tools to communicate’ is it simplicity we crave or obviousness? “Take this example blogger Chris Pirillo posted a YouTube video of his father using a preview version of Windows 8 for the first time. As the elder Pirillo tours the operating system with no help from his son, he blunders into the old “Desktop” environment and can’t figure out how to get back to the Start tiles. (Hint: Move the mouse cursor into the top right corner of the screen, then swipe down to the “Start” button that appears, and click it. On a touch screen, swipe a finger in from the right edge of the screen to reveal the Start button.) The four-minute video has been viewed more than 1.1 million times since it was posted in March”. “There are many things that are hidden,” said Raluca Budiu, a user experience specialist with Nielsen Norman Group. “Once users discover them, they have to remember where they are. People will have to work hard and use this system on a regular basis.” In defence of obviousness “Michael Mace, the CEO of Silicon Valley software start-up Cera Technology and a former Apple employee, has used every version of Windows since version 2.0. Each one, he said, built upon the previous one. Users didn’t need to toss out their old ways of doing things when new software came along. Windows 8 ditches that tradition of continuity, he said. “Most Windows users don’t view their PCs as being broken to begin with. If you tell them ‘Oh, here’s a new version of Windows, and you have to relearn everything to use it,’ how many normal users are going to want to do that?” he asked. “I am very worried that Microsoft may be about to shoot itself in the foot spectacularly. Windows 8 is so different, he said, that many Windows users who aren’t technophiles will feel lost”. “It was very difficult to get used to,” he said. “I have an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old, and they never got used to it. They decided, and: ‘We’re just going to use Mom’s computer.” – the old one.

CO2Land org extends to Microsoft the wishes that they have made the right decision to change. However, the cold turkey approach appears odd in that they do not plan to cushion the impact of such a radical introduction, and it is further posted that computer companies have no choice but to make Windows 8 standard on practically all PCs that are sold to consumers. If we take this literally, after 26 Oct you have no choice you will go for simplicity (Windows 8).

Co2Land org source for quotes comes from “Early look at Windows 8 baffles consumers”


— Oct. 19

security and authentication skills for the new order of social communications

Knowing the shortcomings of the ‘old’ SharePoint the ‘new’ is showing Microsoft is accepting commercial developers can enhance their product range. Yes, it is reported the SharePoint 2013 will allow custom development despite previous rigid discouragement. This move means some applications will be outside SharePoint and be part of a cloud-based hosting system. Check out (NASDAQ: AMZN) AWS. It also means your application can live independently of your data centre, and you “can move SharePoint among new systems–even to the cloud–without having to change the core application server”.

How did this conversation come about?  We said our customer needs are moving us to a cloud environment and a greater social communication requirement and we note SharePoint 2010 lacks the maturity of Twitter and Facebook. If we just want enterprise collaborate such as customer records management – fine, but the lack of governance-aware tools is critical in making the decision to move forward.

The discussion (with a SharePoint developer) reached agreement that sophisticated social techniques will not be well adopted in the cloud. The increase in the number of venues like Twitter, Facebook, on-premises collaboration and multiple cloud-based document stores, will challenge and be taxing times for interface integration and/or individual patience. Although SharePoint 2010 had improved social networking, it lacks the maturity of Twitter and Facebook and this is a concern for some organizations that want to adopt SharePoint social tools as an ingredient of enterprise collaboration, in part this is due to the lack of governance-aware tools. It was further stressed by Co2Land org that SharePoint as we knew it requires skilled developers as the code is complex and poorly written code has caused some negative opinions to be prevalent and when something needs correcting and be tested it can even prove when preparing for upgrades. Added to these problems SharePoint server API requirements have meant fewer applications can be matched.

We also argued our current SharePoint developer in the conversation will need to be upgrading security and authentication skills for the new order of social communications and this in part will be caused by the rise in client extranets and hybrid cloud developments such as based on python code deployments or apples support for parallel or federated authentication beyond the traditional “Active Directory with LDAP for outside users” that is tradition in on-premises datacentre deployments.

Co2Land org was then told SharePoint 2013 will solve this, goto: 3 to get ready–SharePoint 2013 apps, servers and systems – FierceContentManagement http://www.fiercecontentmanagement.com/story/3-get-ready-sharepoint-2013-apps-servers-and-systems/2012-10-07#ixzz29b8zDyJZ

What does CO2Land org see as important? We use WordPress for our coloration tool; so it makes sense to benchmark against our future needs for social communications, cloud involvement, our governance needs and any new wave coming through. We are yet to benchmark what is coming – however as we see it:

Social communications will be more evident on more premises, it will not be universally accepted. Self-sustaining social collaboration is immature and it will be incremental increase for enterprise acceptance for it to be the normal communications interface.  Third party independent software vendors will be crucial in extending social functions and governance techniques in the cloud, the demand for users to adopt Personal Content (“PCM”) to aggregate and classify their own information will only increase, and large (e.g. SharePoint) sites need to guard against users feeling a personal voice is lost.

Direct quote “Cloud adoption will accelerate due to the escalated discussion about cloud-based solutions generated by Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) reintroduction of SharePoint Online as core element of Office 365. We’ll see more cloud adoption in both Office 365 and such third party hosting providers as Rackspace and FPWeb. However, wholesale migrations of mature SharePoint 2010 environments will not be the principal use case, partly due to restrictions on custom coded solutions and functions”. This means wholesale new thinking will be required by ‘old’ Microsoft thinkers to the ‘new’ implementations with little on-premises SharePoint history, “most likely for content migration from non-SharePoint sources (legacy ECM or file system); proofs-of-concept and pilots”. It also means a new platform for document collaboration with external partners, clients and third parties will be necessary.

Governance is what all new users onto the platform will require to exercise care, guidance and oversight. Guidance is the essential for widespread adoption, for fostering sustained growth and usage and is the how and why you need management of you communications for business intelligence, social networking and nomenclatures.

The new wave will require the ability to handle extremely large content pools, and aggregate legacy platforms and divisional rafts (SharePoint calls “islands”) into a unified application and provides a competitive cost of ownership, and be a clear framework towards enhanced scalable capacity.

Ad-hoc quotes were sourced from: Chris McNulty is a strategic product manager for SharePoint Solutions at Quest Software, and blogs at http://www.chrismcnulty.net/blog and http://www.sharepointforall.com. Our SharePoint developed was Australian based and prefers to be anonymous

Wellness for Cities – Greenings naturally

Adapting with climate change, rather than ‘to’ is proving to have multiple benefits. At the city levels the buildings can be our food sources, and can be improved to be more energy efficient, even the street can be better designed to help shield the needs for more energy.

Posted on 9 Sept 2012 Co2land.org was a story of innovation on using cities as part of our food production “Another way to design for food production” this story is also a must read for it also tackles the city problems and the innovation needed to prepare for the future. Featured: Stockolm’s purpose build highrise gardens and a Melbourne Hatch System enterprise.

The following is a post on Chicago and how the city is doing more to prepare for coping with climate change: The scene is set with the iconic CITY HALL building installing an impressive green roof in the city. The building has a 7010m2 (23,000 square foot) green roof and serves as a test bed for researching and measuring the impact of green roofs. This one innovation saves the city about $3600 a year in heating and cooling for the building and can reduce the external surface temperature of the building by as much as 80 degrees Fahrenheit! The roof features a spectacular rooftop garden and grows more than 100 plant species. A rainwater collection system irrigates the roof and several bee hives pollinate the many flower varieties. The plants on the rooftop soak up the sun’s heat to evaporate water, keeping both the buildings underneath and the air above it cooler. It is further claimed an expanded similar project for all roofs in Chicago could save $100 million in energy every year, and help absorb stormwater runoff.

Chicago is known for its climate extremes and residents can endure days of summer when the heat index reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit. “The city’s annual average temperature has increased by 2.5 degrees since 1945, according to this climate assessment created by a consortium of scientists and commissioned by the city”. Of even more worry is that it is no longer about peak heat, the problem extends as an increase in ambient temperature rises.

To do more the city is working to engineer that it can stay cooler using less energy even as temperatures rise by putting into place innovative ideas and concepts. The green roof is one, and another combating the ‘urban heat island effect’. Simply, concrete and pavement, which absorb and trap heat, make cities like Chicago hotter than surrounding rural areas. Buildings soak up the sun’s rays during the day and release that heat into the night. Additional research (Joseph Fernando of University of Notre Dame) shows that Chicago is about four to five degrees warmer than the neighbouring rural town because of this effect. It is also a worrying trend discovered in research that it is shown that urban sites and rural sites are warming at about the same rate (Thomas Peterson, chief climatologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). It does appear by the evidence all life styles are suffering because of climate change: You should also read: Global climate data shows the Earth has been warming increasingly over time.

Hat tip to that city’s officials for the $7 billion plan to build a “new Chicago” (source: Karen Weigert, the city’s chief sustainability officer).  That means renovating citywide infrastructure from sidewalk to rooftop. The additional innovation and steps taken by the city include:

  • Chicago already has 359 green roofs covering almost 5.5 million square feet — that’s more than any other city in North America. City planners are pushing for even more.
  • Chicago has mandated that all new buildings that require any public funds must be “LEED” Certified — designed with energy efficiency in mind — and that usually includes a green roof. Any project with a green roof in its plan gets a faster permitting process. That combined with energy savings is the kind of green that incentivizes developers.

But the city is looking beyond buildings — they’re hitting the streets too:

  • That’s why they’re designing new streetscapes that integrate technology and design elements from widened sidewalks for increased pedestrian traffic to tree and plant landscaping that provide shade. The pavements are made of a light reflecting material mix that includes recycled tire pieces and lanes coated with a microthin concrete layer that keep the street from absorbing so much heat.
  • Chicago’s 3058 klms (1,900 miles) of alleyways traditionally absorb heat and cast away potentially cooling rainwater. But new ‘green alleys’ use permeable pavement that absorb rainwater. As that underground water evaporates that also keeps the alley and air around it cool.

CO2Land org enjoys hearing these stories and in particular where cities consider they need to be looking beyond buildings and streets as just a place where we move vehicles and goods. They need to be places that integrate technology and design elements for a better place.

Major shake-up for DPI

It is goodbye to Catchment Management and the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities. They are to be eliminated in a major shake-up in the provision of agricultural and catchment management services in NSW. This means a Major shake-up for the Department of Primary Industries.

It is understood the new structure would be responsible for:

  • Agricultural advice
  • Plant and animal pest control and biosecurity
  • Natural resource management; and
  • Emergency and disaster assessment and response.

The Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson was quoted as saying “agricultural advisory services provided by Agriculture NSW (part of the Department of Primary Industries) would also be incorporated in a single new body, Local Land Services,……Farmers and landowners will be able to easily access natural resource management, agricultural advice and biosecurity functions from one organization,….The structure will free up staff to work more closely with their communities, encourage innovation and integration across the landscape and be more accountable to ratepayers”.

The Minister is also credited with saying Local Land Services would be regionally-based, semi-autonomous, statutory organisations governed by locally-elected and skills-based board members. For more information on the new structure, follow the link, as outlined by Ms Hodgkinson: media/pdf/20121004_FINAL_Local_Land_Services_fact_sheet.pdf

CO2Land org has always encouraged better practices and notes the new Local Land Services will be set up to promote innovation, improve productivity and let farmers and landholders to get on with being able to manage their land.

This news should comfort organisations looking for a better relationship with levels of government without the prescriptive styles of the former authorities. While it is welcome that the work of community-based natural resource management organisations like Landcare NSW and Greening Australia will be more closely attuned to the administration it remains to be seen if harmony will prevail over funding distributions and cooperation with other co-funded organisations including the Rural Research and Development Corporations.

CO2Land org notes there is concerned over job cutting and the effects on the bush funding models. The main criticism being the election promises and moves to decentralisation is in fact becoming centralisation of DPI.  We spoke to a recent DPI employee that accepted a package from the body, and it was said – now more good than bad will follow, everyone was too comfortable before and whether the remaining staffing is permanent Government employees or contractors or just made up of volunteers it will be better than the way it was delivering. Only one real issue remains: What will be the sources of the funding for vital work?

California’s ‘carbon market mandate’

Announced is California’s Bill for funding green industries, also known as the ‘carbon market mandate’. The headline “State’s Biggest Polluters to Become Funders of Sustainable Farms posted by Takepart.com  – Sun, Oct 7, 2012” and is an intriguing insight into what they are doing and what we are tackling here in Australia in terms of the Carbon Farming Initiative.  Have we got it wrong? Too many initiatives and not enough carrots, and CO2land org has previously published that the Nuffield Australian Farming Scholars say that the long-term capacity of Australian agriculture to compete and succeed internationally will be determined by the ability of Australian farmers to recognise changing consumer preferences, adopt new technologies and production practices and maintain the sustainability of their operations by protecting their production environment  (posted on July 6, 2012 by co2land  “The most innovative Australians are Farmers”).

Looking at what the Californian’s have done: They have taken the approach that big business can be encouraged from polluting the environment, and they can be simultaneously funding green industries through an auction permit system. The move is under the California state passed Assembly Bill 1532 (AB 1532), also known as the “carbon market mandate.” It is labeled as a boon for the state, environmentally and financially. Significant fees are levied to major corporate polluters, and those fees are invested into eco-friendly businesses that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The state aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050.

The official start for the purchase of permits at auction (called “carbon pollution allowances”) starts November 2012. It obliges the state’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters― like power plants and large manufacturers to participate and “the revenue from those auctions is expected to reach into the billions of dollars in the next year, pumping some desperately needed funds back into California’s economy”, Forbes reports.

CO2Land org has noted it is intended that auction revenues channel into green businesses, this includes sustainable farming, and to be encouraging corporate polluters to find more eco-friendly methods of conducting business. In their states ‘approved list’ a green business includes sustainable agriculture and this includes farms that “sequester carbon” with methods like reducing soil tillage, practicing water and energy conservation, and reducing synthetic fertilizer use through compost, cover crops, and crop rotation.

If you are thinking California is the first state in the US to try a carbon market mandate of some sort, you might be interested to know that Grist reports “that a group of northeastern states, called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has been practicing a similar system since 2008. But in RGGI’s case, it charges carbon allowances exclusively to power plants, whereas California’s plan spans across all sectors of business, dependent on a company’s overall pollutants, not its category”.

As you would expect arguments are springing that the plan for the carbon market cap could be bad for business; it will put too high of a burden on companies, which in turn will either wither and close, or will force those costs onto their customers. It is an interesting experiment to follow and right or wrong CO2land org understands the motivation of the state of California: To not destroy its environment for the sake of boosting commerce. There is no time left to experiment with the future.


What would happen if the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) did not go ahead

What would happen if the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) did not go ahead – the faithful can take the view it is an unlikely scenario – however, the terms of what is a commitment seems to loom as a political issue.  The pros and conns of whether it should be 10, 25 or 100 years is very much part of the politics and views have been put forward in previous writings suggesting it is something that needs to be carefully evaluated and a mistake in the terms and timings could amount to a revival of feudalism for farmers (Posted on August 8, 2012 by co2landYou can’t sit on a fence, a barbed wire fence at that, and have one ear to the ground).

Recently, the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) in Australia made some important announcements:

  1. The case for continuing with CFI: The case can best be viewed through www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au and recent presentations include the process of eligible activities, the intention of the positive list, baseline identification (which clearly put the illustration of what will happen if the CFI did not continue as a project), examples of the methodology proposal, preparation and the approval process (which is in complete acceptance when it appears on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments).
  2. The appointment of Agrifood Skills Australia to develop the competency sets for CFI participants:  Associates of CO2Land org had previously lobbied both parties to argue the need for the competency sets and urged they should not believe they alone fully know the competency sets required. Examples were given where previous outreach attempts lacked some hard capability to influence other than a  ‘wait and see’ attitude and business as usual will continue until the audience can fully understand the partitioners voice is being heard. It is urged the associates should still be canvased to help resolve such dilemma in developing competency set faced by outreach entities.

CO2Land org also researches in an independent way and notes that according to US advances in ‘green businesses’ (previously we have also indicated CFI should not be described as a ‘carbon’ business initiative) the “Bay Area news channel KQED, by funneling auction revenues into green businesses, like sustainable farming, and encouraging corporate polluters to find more eco-friendly methods of conducting business, the state has a chance to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050″.

What exactly constitutes a green business? The news channel reports that sustainable agriculture is on the state’s approved list. This includes farms that “sequester carbon” with methods like reducing soil tillage, practicing water and energy conservation, and reducing synthetic fertilizer use through compost, cover crops, and crop rotation. Could we see a policy change here, suitable for Australia – soon!

EOI – the label of convenience at risk

Calling for an Expression of Interest (EOI) gives the impression of progressive policy, but ‘paused development’ is often the result. A high risk for innovation and innovators to participate is the loss of Intellectual Property (IP). In more recent times it is common for government to test reactions to hard issues that are deemed to be important, and there is a belief finding acceptance of ‘real’ truth of the purpose – the use of EOI to assign work to institutions that have been otherwise denied funding at the expense of genuine innovation. Legally this is acceptable, but the morals are questionable when you consider that the ideas come from innovation and the innovators and they are at risk of loss of IP. Before participating in EOI invitations, the best defence could be to better understand Intellectual Property Law – starting with 101.

CO2Land org can give numerous examples of brilliant ideas. Many of these fail to be taken up because the main need was not correctly evaluated. In short a market was either not ready or the opportunity for the market to mature was outside the timeframe to sustain a reasonable return to run a business.  The carbon market is a very good example of brilliant ideas and correct intentions and misreading the timeframes. It follows that the space is a long way from being mature and it is complex as we have green markets, carbon markets and clean markets and a lot of individuals and entities wanting to be in the place where it is seen to be happening.

When we have a commodity we are well protected by our reputation and brand and the profile of what is offered carries warnings on ethical behaviours and legislation for protection. It is acceptable for the society to do this especially where the standards are deficient or omit adequate definition of the goods or services. Despite all this, as an innovator, it is very difficult to protect yourself and your intellectual property. Why? Because most participants establish their trademark/logo believing it is not necessary to establish reputation in the right of the mark. If someone comes along and does a better job of using the trademark or borrowed a look of your trademark to show a better use of it – they have the reputation not you. Also it is important to consider a reputation is not a single dimension it can be words with the addition of pictures, sounds, smells, colours and shapes.  Another question related to trade marks is different entities in different classes of specific goods and services need to be named in the specific classes. It would be prudent to check this matter out if you are moving from one market opportunity to another!

Starting up 101 – Intellectual Property (IP) is just a label of convenience! IP is a number of things that range from subject matter to rights. IP falls into categories in order to get rights and longevity over those rights. The significance of the difference makes the difference in the context of enforcing rights. Conversely you cannot enforce rights you do not have.

In relation to EOI – it could be argued you are permitting others to use or exploit your IP. Before participating you should take the matter up with a specialist IP Lawyer.

Background of what is IP in practice (Australia):

IP Matter Process to approve IP Type Definite Time
Innovation/Inventions yes Patents Yes
Genuine confidential and trade secrets no Trade Secrets and confidential information (not trivial) no – but you must maintain secrecy/confidentiality
Plant varieties yes Plant breeders rights yes
Visual features of a product yes Registered design yes
Signs distinguishing goods or services provided yes Registered trade mark Rollover by renewal fees paid
Original works and aligned subject matter (written down ideas) no Copyrights yes
Original layouts of semiconductor circuits no Circuit layout rights yes