Here we go from a to b in the episodic publication of The Management Contradictionary (Benjamin Marks, Rodney Marks, and Robert Spillane. Michelle Anderson Publishing: Melbourne).

It’s available in all good libraries, and quite a few bad ones, too. It’s in alphabetical order, so feel free to keep reading the blog posts until you get to z, or zzz.

The Management Contradictionary defines the real meaning behind management terms.


A waste of time only the paranoid prepare for – and they’re right.


A place to audit.


  1. A heartless ticker whose role it is to add green or purple to black and red.
  2. A hard of hearing earwig who wants a hearing.
  3. An impurist who mistakes finance for mathematics.


Directive management style, in which the leader leads.


  1. Those in a state of needless leaderlessness, as there is no-one higher to refer to.
  2. A fictitious quality of managers, by which power over others can be enforced.


A manager who gets things done, even if the organisation is destroyed in the process.


The recognition that because subordinates are automatons, we may as well have robots doing the work.


The authority, in the afterlife, to work independently.


  1. Means mean.
  2. A safe place for managers to be.
  3. Dividing the sum of the whole by the number of its parts will yield the average, but will not show how the sum of the whole can be greater than the whole when reconstituted. Translated into management terms, a group made up of people with average ability will only ever be average.

back-of-the-envelope calculation

A handwritten recommendation, short on research, rationale, comparisons of alternatives, consultation, planning, number-crunching, data-mining and theory, which often represents a better option.


History of the idea of the theoretical premise of the day.

bad debt

Debt that hasn’t been paid yet.


Unwanted goods, like and including government services, because they have no (voluntary) customers.


Close enough to be acceptable to you.


Needed to be grasped by female managers to control pricks.


(See banker)


(See bandit)


The inability to pay for past losses with future cash.


Den of inequity in which you lose interest through buying money.

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