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  • Published: 1 December 2010
  • ISBN: 9781741669053
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $29.99

Bendable Learnings

The Wisdom Of Modern Management

Moving forward from DEATH SENTENCE and WEASEL WORDS with an enhanced world class third volume in this series - a benchmark in terms of funny word books.

Mission statements are everywhere: you have to have one, whether you're a Fortune 500 company, a hedge fund, a primary school, a church or a hockey club. Without a mission statement, who would know what your values are, or what your culture is? And how then, going forward, will you get buy-in on your strategy and uptake of your brand?

The language of modern management has triumphed, transforming clear, everyday communication into meaningless sludge. To sound professional, you must express everything in abstract nouns, and each noun in terms of another one; you must talk about synergy and strategy, uptake and outcomes and outputs and inputs, key performance indicators and drivers and customer experience - even if your 'customers' are in fact patients in your hospital. This language is deliberately obscure and falsely scientific; what is more worrying, those who use it have lost the very ability to think clearly.

From Don Watson, the author of Death Sentence and Weasel Words, comes this new assortment of noxious management drivel and financial market blather. Read them aloud - then try the exercises. The disease may not yet have run its course, but Watson's acerbic wit restores hope in the power of well-chosen words to entertain and to inspire.

  • Published: 1 December 2010
  • ISBN: 9781741669053
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $29.99

About the author

Don Watson

Don Watson's books, articles and essays have been widely acclaimed. His bestselling titles include Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: Paul Keating Prime Minister, which won the Age Book of the Year and Non-Fiction Prizes, the Brisbane Courier Mail Book of the Year, the National Biography Award and the Australian Literary Studies Association's Book of the Year, Death Sentence, which won the Australian Booksellers Association Book of the Year, Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, and American Journeys, which won The Age Book of the Year and Non-Fiction Book of the Year, the inaugural Indie Award for Non-Fiction and the Walkley Non-Fiction Award. In 2010 Don was awarded the Phillip Hodgins Memorial Medal for Australian Literature. Since 2003 his website weaselwords.com.au has been documenting the viral spread of management-speak and the decline of public language. His critically acclaimed 2014 book The Bush recently won the Indie Book of the Year and the NSW Premier's Literary Award.

Also by Don Watson

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Praise for Bendable Learnings

The Advertiser


'The Book of the Year… witty, erudite and funny. Awfully funny.' - Australian Financial Review Magazine

‘All Australians should read this book. All Australians should be grateful that it has been written.' - Julian Burnside, Australian Book Review

"Don Watson has written a fine and necessary book. Any citizen who neglects to read it does so at his or her peril."

Lewis H. Lapham, editor of Harper's Magazine

"[a] marvelous polemic..."


"captures the powerlessness and frustration we feel when confronted by meaningless words delivered with authority."

Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Watson makes aneloquent, elegant, and sometimes scathing case for taking back language from those who would trip it of all color and emotion and, therefore, of all meaning.

Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist

“He should have his own show.”

Alan Jones, 2GB

“Watson offers witty, acerbic insights into an embarrassing use of language that bares no relation to real life.”

The Courier Mail

“The book is worthwhile just for Watson's hilarious introduction.”

"many lessons and insights in this book"

Leigh Buchanan, Harvard Business Review

"[Watson is] always clear and precise, even when exposing the verbal pollution that passes for wisdom in the public realm."

Toronto Star

Praise for WEASEL WORDS:

‘Our political leaders will need charisma enhancement if this book gains the readership it deserves.’ - Courier Mail

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