Here is a syndrome of sinful synonyms and an anthem of antacid antonyms for literally, and figuratively, a handful of management terms … and conditions. The writing is in Q&A format, to emphasise the assertion that many manager have in mind the answer prior to asking the question.

throughput

  1. What actually happens in the process of creating a service or product. Senior managers do not know how things are manufactured or created, so this useful wastepaper basket word can be applied to make them look knowledgeable
  2. The process between input and output
  3. Transformation, often on a transcendental level

Answer: 4. What you put through something.

synergy

  1. Two + two = five
  2. Marketing + finance = operations
  3. Company a + Company b = you lose your job
  4. Coal + solar = wind

Answer: 5. Only venture capitalists and lawyers make money through mergers.

customer

  1. An annoying individual or group entity whose sole aim is to interfere with perfectly good processes, systems, products and services

Answer: 1. There is no other experience.

direction

  1. Where we’re heading, as determined by the straight line from where we’ve been, through where we are now, and into the infinite future
  2. Something that you give, but never receive
  3. An excuse for a conference ever since some Roman said Quo vadis?

Answer: 4. Management consultants’ raison d’être … the reason for our debt.

expert

  1. A well-credentialed and expensive person from somewhere prestigious, who says the obvious eloquently, and at great length
  2. Someone better paid than you
  3. Someone who stayed at university one degree longer than you
  4. Someone who claims to be

Answer: 4. which is self-explanatory.

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