We keep rolling through 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.

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change agent

Someone perennially dissatisfied with their lot – and yours.

change management

Fallacious belief that people want to change their work behaviour or that, even if they want to, they can. A popular way to implement a change management program is to change management.


What will result if you don’t do it my way.


Moral fibre lubricating the organisational irritable bowel syndrome of balanced decision-makers. To say a manager has a good character is like saying that an unattractive teenager has a good personality.


Gift of grace: possessed by miracle-workers who generally die young. Misapplied to managers and politicians.


The defence of management by managers for security.


  1. Disagreement over rules.
  2. Success by any means.
  3. A recognition that endemic rule-breaking is central to organisational survival.


  1. Liabilities.
  2. Expensive and unreliable couriers for passing messages between former spouses.
  3. After-hours mistakes.
  4. Risky investments with a very long pay-off period, or maybe none at all. Not for the faint-hearted.


  1. Used by managers to abrogate responsibility.
  2. What people select to deny that they have options.


(noun) A circumlocutory memo sent on a circuitous route in a roundabout manner.

circular reasoning

(See reasoning, circular)


The concealment of avarice with jealousy.


Management communication created under the influence of claret.


  1. Your most recent corporate annual report update, memo, proposal, performance evaluation, and job application.
  2. Writings of management gurus, now remaindered, published before you were a manager, containing the collective fads of a fashionable profession.


  1. Employees who work without making a mess.
  2. Employees who make work of mess, as distinct from other employees – who make a mess of work.


  1. Anything following and including the disclaimer: “I know that this is a cliché, but … ”
  2. In a nutshell, to get to the root of the matter, at this point in time, it is jargon used by someone else to get more bang for their buck.


  1. Moral blackmailer.
  2. Emotional blackmailer.
  3. Someone who requires work from you.
  4. Annoying, intrusive individual or organisation who or which regularly makes unreasonable claims on organisational resources, including (but not limited to) requests for products and services paid for, but not received, or if received, received in a condition inferior to that originally agreed to.

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Rodney Marks

I’m an Australian corporate comedian, performing comic hoaxes at business events. If you like these blogs, you’ll like my live comedy. If you don’t like these blogs, you still might like my live comedy.

Add comedian.com.au to your bookmarks, and one day: book Marks. I don’t do cheap jokes, and I’m freer than you think. I’m comical not anatomical, economical not astronomical.

For more info – and to contact me directly – see my LinkedIn profile, and website: www.comedian.com.au. I’m based in Sydney and travel widely.