And now for something completely different … 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.


Off-target archery metaphor, whose misguided objectives are to add more strings to the bow of direction, and to insert more arrows in the quiver of purpose.


Liquid in which to dissolve business ethics.


Shot of holism imbibed by managers.


What successful managers feel.


An agreeable truce, based on battle exhaustion.

all things being equal (ceteris paribus)

Taking variables away.

all your ducks are in a row

As in “all your stars are aligned”, this business cliché refers to a series of chance events which serendipitously support your argument, strategy or business.


Working together under your direction.


Notionally an economic term about choosing where to distribute resources over time. It is the real exercise of power, being the manifestation of favoritism, cronyism, nepotism and incompetence.


(See below)


Helping others for your own satisfaction.


Point of difference in career advancement when your achievements are not enough.


Something you catch from cross-pollinated ideas.


Being anal about the banal.

analysis paralysis

Assessing a project initially qualitatively and ultimately quantitatively against a plethora of hierarchies and an aggregation of continua followed by a collection of assessment criteria before feeding the raw data back into the system and up the line with a request for further funding.


A qualifier used to mask gut-feel.


The antics of a superannuated leader.

antitrust legislation

Proof of government distrust of business.

Thought: If government represents business, but business does not represent government, on what basis is antitrust legislation good and tax evasion bad?


Worry brought on by managers contemplating the legitimacy of their profession.


  1. The stress felt by a manager after sending an email to the team leader, prior to spell-checking.
  2. Anxiety Down Under.


  1. A cry in the wilderness.
  2. A clarion call.

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