Devil’s Dictionary: A well-earned rest for our mining luminaries

Devil’s Dictionary: A well-earned rest for our mining luminaries

There has been a spate of resignations by the leaders of Australia’s big mining companies, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

This is only to be expected. After all, shareholders have been resigned for years to not getting anything like a decent return on their investment, so why shouldn’t the company’s leaders also be resigned? After all, they will have tens of millions of dollars to spend while they sadly meditate on what went wrong. Here are some words that should be given a rest, as well.

Goals: Managers derive deep satisfaction from kicking goals, so it is a pity that so many turn out to be own goals.

MBA studies: The last chance for managers to remember that they are human. Later, they always forget.

Management theory: A way to solve all company problems immediately – and perhaps even sooner.

Outsourcing: A brilliant way to avoid responsibility for management decisions when all other techniques have been exhausted.

Principals: The best-paid people in law firms who have absolutely no principles.

Private equiteers: Sort of like buccaneers, but better paid. They rape and pillage, sack everyone they can, feed shareholders to the sharks and make anyone they don’t like walk the plank. But not in a bad way, of course.

Spin: The doctrine of original spin is alive and well thanks to that great contributor to the greater good, public relations.

Strategy: The art of doing something when doing nothing would be ever so much better. And cheaper.

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