46 Concepts for Masterful Management
“The economic misdevelopments and exesses of recent years were largely due to a general confusion of speech and thinking. I adopt a critical position not because of some kind of hindsight know-it-all attitude; rather, I have been advocating and publicizing this view since the early 1990s. Clear language, an instrument of clear thinking, would have created the differentiation and skepticism that are indispensable for aligning both the business world and society as a whole with reality. I am not talking about lingustic subtleties here or about matters of style or taste, but about the right way of thinking and about effective communication. Dangerous words are a source of misunderstandings. They hamper effective communication and give rise to misguided expectations, and as a result, they cause employees to act the wrong way. In extreme cases they even make on organization unmanageable.” – From the foreword
Clear language is always also an instrument of clear thinking. By the same token, the clearest sign of wrong thinking – and thus, ultimately, wrong management – is language that lacks clarity. The use of carelessly defined terms can do a lot of damage; the wrong use of certain terms can lead to wrong, sometimes even risky management actions and wrong management decisions.
Fredmund Malik points out the psychological, management, and economic errors managers tend to make, and explains how these errors can be avoided; for clear language is a key to right and good management.
“Malik demonstrates how, in extreme cases, the wrong use of fashionable terms can even lead to entrepreneurial disaster.” – Wirtschaft & Markt
“Malik is listened to because management knowledge has never been more important. (…) Malik incessantly cautions against the money-mindedness at those corporations where ‘stock speculators, boasters, bluffers, and sometimes even criminals’ call the shots.” – Süddeutsche Zeitung