With more episodes than Star Wars or the Carry On series, we carry on with 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. The book is in alphabetical order, so feel free to keep reading the blog posts – past, present and future – from eh? to zzz.

The Management Contradictionary defines the real meaning behind management terms.

…   …   …   …   …


The belief that all subordinates should submit equally.


An eye for an I.


The very best team player: the player who plays with the team.


  1. . . .  (sic)
  2. Periodic detention.
  3. There’s no end to it.
  4. An illustration of the importance of the rhetorical device of grouping things in threes.


Teflon quality of CEOs to smooth over mistakes with words.


  1. Medium for the manufacture and distribution of trivia.
  2. Spam-generator.
  3. A dis-missive.
  4. Gender neutral sin tax.

emotional intelligence

The ability to know when to be emotional, when to be intelligent and when to cry.


Letting people think that they’re doing what they want by empowering them with the word ‘empowerment’, while they work for you under your direction.




  1. Lying in the sun without getting sunburnt.
  2. The incorrect belief that thinking is good:
    • because there are more good ideas than bad ones, and
    • because good ideas are more persuasive.


Someone who makes a virtue out of improvisation. Like an actor who can’t learn lines, an entrepreneur doesn’t work well with others but often gets the best roles and the biggest laughs.


One who errs.

(see mistakes and omissions)


Wisdom’s rude awakening.


A claim made by business planners to show that they have a sense of humour.


The last recourse of CEOs to explain what went wrong.


Using the divining rod of the retrospectroscope to determine who did what well when.


What I learnt in the lift on the way here.


  1. Politically incorrect performance discrimination. Under attack because it is a vehicle for failing students and thus discriminates against those with low ability.
  2. The only test of knowledge gained, as distinct from plagiarised essays, syndicate groups and computer simulations. Produces so much anxiety that normally self-contained students find that the competition between their intellect and bladder requires frequent trips to the privacy of the bathroom cubicle.


Quality pursued by CEOs who believe that they should be addressed as Your Excellency.


  1. Someone who executes executive decisions.
  2. A senior disempowered employee, one level below someone with authority.
  3. Someone who executes subordinates’ careers.

executive summary

  1. Writing for illiterates.
  2. The bit that is actually read.


  1. The essence of nothing.
  2. No exit.

exit interview

Showing an interviewee the door.


The catalogue of excuses for where the income went.


Human resource management.


  1. Someone who stayed at university one degree longer than you.
  2. What non-experts call themselves and each other.
  3. Someone better paid than you are.
  4. A well-credentialed and expensive person from somewhere prestigious, who says the obvious with much eloquence and at great length.


The qualified stripping away of certainty.


The exploits of successful CEOs.

…   …   …   …   …

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.