Mediocrity is good enough says Top Business Executive

We are delighted to welcome as our Guest post author, Sir Sebastian Littlecock-Dumpling, Chairman of Advanced Diesel Software Technology Ltd who is on the Institute’s management committee looking after Environmental issues. Littlecock-Dumpling has held senior executive positions with Ratners, Barings Bank and Enron. Over to you Seb!

Dear Directors, Leaders and any of the lower classes tuning in.

One was really awfully pleased to be able to scribe a few lines for this august publication. My daughter, Hortense, informed me that this was a ‘blogg’, when asked to explain she Instawotmessaged me or something so I still have no ruddy idea what a ‘blogg’ is. Anyway here’s a short speech – can you hear me at the back? (smiling face type icon!).

My topic today is Mediocrity, derived from the Latin mediocritatem ‘a middle state’. That is, neither up nor down, cutting edge or down the pan. This is a much maligned word in business today but probably the most effective company state if one is trying to be rich and successful and doing as little work as possible. And I can’t imagine why one shouldn’t want to follow this path.

Very rich and successful actor gets it!

A very rich and successful actor gets it!

Post Will Smith’s After Earth sci-fi blockbuster which was one of the top Mediocre Movies of all time, Will was quoted as saying

“I completely released the concept of goal-orientation and got into path-orientation – this moment, this second, these people, this interaction”

Marvellous! It’s the perfect example of rearranging reality to fit the moment. Ergo you can be right all of the time if you want to be and if you are a Boss you always need to be.

I remember back in the nineties when I was looking after some techie stuff for Amalgamated I.T.,  a computer geek chappy came to see me about selling some software to us. I remember him well, no tie, scruffy hair and jeans – I thought he was the window cleaner. He was called Lawrence, or Laurie Page, I can’t quite remember. He said would I like to by his Goggle (?) search engine software for $100,000!! Hah I countered, not while my trusty Yellow Pages tome is to hand. Now, I said, be gone scruffy and learn some respect for your elders and obvious betters!

Apparently his company has done quite well since then but I saved A.S. plc a lot of money and my bonus was pretty good that year. So from a Mediocre point of view – i.e. Never risk the next bonus – I was of course absolutely right!

Now one can go even further back in the annals of economic history to a splendid old geezer called John Stuart Mill who was an English philosopher, political economist and civil servant.  One of his more famous quotations was:


Many business leaders, you know the sort; risk taking, ducking and diving, you can have it all if you work hard type, believe the quote actually promotes excellence. They may of course be right but as 99% of all businesses fail eventually, it’s safer, as we the mediocre elite know, to take the quote on face value.

So you splendid people, how can you ensure that your company becomes or remains mediocre enabling you to have a light hand on the tiller, little work but a large salary with lots of executive perks?

Here’s a ‘What to Do’ PowerPoint slide, the communication tool of preference, for those of us who proudly wave the flag of average, adequate, middling, mainstream, passable, uninspired and indifferent management and thus lead the great corporations of the world.


Than you for your time and off course do look me up on and let my people know you’d like a word.

Sir Seb

Stop press: Since this blog was posted Advanced Diesel Software Technology Ltd has gone into liquidation and Sir Sebastian is currently taking a short holiday in Bolivia where there is, co-incidently, no bilateral extradition treaty


Executive Pay v Company Performance? More Pay = Less profit

Performance for Pay? The Relation Between CEO Incentive Compensation and Future Stock Price Performance

Research* last year clearly showed that there is clear evidence that Chief Executive Officer (CEO) pay is negatively related to future stock returns for periods up to three years after sorting on pay. For example, firms that pay their CEOs in the top ten percent of excess pay earn negative abnormal returns over the next three years of approximately -8%. The effect is stronger for CEOs who receive higher incentive pay relative to their peers and stronger for CEOs with greater tenure. Our results appear to be driven by high-pay related CEO overconfidence that leads to shareholder wealth losses from activities such as over investment and value-destroying mergers and acquisitions.

And in September we had two excellent examples of this with our two mediocre managers of the month being both overpaid and incompetent.

VW and glencore

Our Membership Director at the Institute of Mediocre Management has asked me to reach out to other ‘C’ level executives who are also overpaid and out of their depth and who might needed friendly club where they can share their experiences with other like-minded buffoons.  We have a lot of Bankers as you would expect and good representation from the construction and telephone sales industries and of course a couple of ‘charities’ but all are welcome. You need to have a pathological fear of Mr Corbyn, an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance and abilities, and also proof of significant tax avoidance. The latter is important so that if you ever ‘show and tell’ so will we (smiley face).

Do remember also that most Management Gurus such as dear Dickie Branson, Big Al Sugar and that plonker on Dragon’s Den tell us all that to succeed you need to fail first and then learn from that. Here at the I.M.M. we have many of the world’s leading business failures and most have never tasted success but it will surely come. However they continue to invest millions of investor’s money into their madcap schemes hoping that the law of averages will work to their favour.

So if your current package is gross, your litany of bankruptcies immense and your ego colossal then join us now at the I.M.M. Because you’re worth it!

*Michael J. Cooper, University of Utah – David Eccles School of Business, Huseyin Gulen
Purdue University – Krannert School of Management, P. Raghavendra Rau
University of Cambridge

Tube Striker’s Champion, James O’Brien blackballed from Henley, Wimbledon and Lords


James O’Brien (LBC Radio) a rampant socialist, card carrying communist, lefty leaning, work shirking malcontent has come out in favour of  the striking London Underground  Tube drivers.

O’Brien criticised hard working, upstanding, better spoken and much better educated managers for trying to force through changes to hours and pay ahead of the 24 hour Tube launch in September without consulting workers. What is the problem? They are workers! Do what your superiors tell you to do!

O’Brien opined:

You’ve got a job, you’ve got terms and conditions – your boss turns around and says ‘oh no you don’t, you’ll do what you’re told or you can jog on’… If that was you, I’d be furious, and I’d be furious on your behalf – and lots of people would be furious on your behalf, and they’d all be completely ignored by the mainstream media and called ‘communists’ by the usual suspects.

What I really don’t know is how we have ended up hating people who can still take a swing back at their boss. We’ve been reduced to craven, forelock-tugging peasants who have to do what we’re told because if we don’t, well, there’s someone else who’ll take the job, or you can get something else to do, or you’re indulging in the politics of envy, or you’re a champagne socialist.

We have created a society in which employers now enjoy more control over our lives than at any point since the Second World War… We have created a country where when the boss says ‘jump’ you can’t say no, you can’t say yes, you can only say ‘how high?’ unless you’re a member of a half-decent union, like the teachers are, and the firefighters are, and the Tube drivers are.

Unbelievable twaddle! The man should should be frogmarched to North Korea! And the radio station should have its valves torn from its transmitter immediately! Pah!

Now I’ve never been on a Tube train in my life. Too many working class people and foreigners so this disruption of services doesn’t bother me, but my workers are coming into my factories late! And that is very irritating, and then they spend the day whining about how hard it was getting into work. For God’s sake, I say get a chauffeur or at least a Hansom Carriage. Get your priorities right, save money by cutting down your food bill, your kids are probably obese so it will do then good.

Also we need all the Night Tube so I can get my lot to work later. I need the profits, have you seen the price of a bottle of Bolly at Wimbledon?

Status Meetings: A Complete Waste of Time But Still Essential Say Mediocre Managers


Status meetings undermine worker productivity with lengthy preparation requirements and distracted, multi-tasking participants. Three in five employed adults reported that preparing for a status meeting “takes longer than the meeting itself,” while more than one-third of those who attend status meetings called them a waste of their time.
Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 18.32.04
The results show that employed Americans spend an average of 4.6 hours each week preparing for status meetings and 4.5 hours attending general status meetings, up from four hours each week four years ago. New results also indicate that almost three in five workers reported that they multitask during status meetings. Almost half of respondents would rather “do any unpleasant activity” than sit in a status meeting, including going to the Department of Motor Vehicles or watching paint dry.

“Survey results continue to show that status meetings do not boost employee productivity,” said Avinoam Nowogrodski, founder and CEO of Clarizen. “In today’s modern workplace, where demands are constantly changing, employees need easy, real-time access to their discussions, work content and processes. This is what fuels employee productivity and quality work, not sitting in status meetings or preparing lengthy status reports.

Jeremy Clarkson, The Facts behind the Fracas at the BBC’s Top Gear TV Show

Jesse is told to sit on the Naughty Step until he behaves himself

                      Jezza is told to sit on the Naughty Step until he behaves himself

Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended by the BBC from Top Gear following a “fracas” with one of the show’s producers. Allegedly Clarkson had been involved in a row over catering while filming on location in Hawes, North Yorkshire.

Many people may well be asking what exactly is a ‘fracas’. Well it has various meanings:

Altercation, Brawl, Brouhaha, Feud, Flap, Melee, Quarrel, Riot, Scuffle, Squabble, Tumult, Uproar, Affray, Battle, Broil, Dispute, Hassle, Row, Ruction, Ruffle, Rumpus, Run-in, Scrimmage, Set-to, Stew, Trouble, Battle-royal

As you can see a ‘fracas’ ranges from an attack with a small but significant weapon of mass destruction down to a finger wagging telling off. So poor old Jeremy will have to wait and see whether he gets 6 months in the Clink or 60 minutes on the Naughty Step.

However all may not be lost for Jezza. A petition, aiming to reverse the BBC Top Gear decision, was started on 10 March by blogger Guido Fawkes. The petition had been signed by over 800,000 people by the 13th March and looks like hitting a million votes at least, by the weekend.

Its interesting to conjecture though that if Jennifer (yes that’s another of his monikers) had been a Tory MP (he thought about it) or a Banker (he’s rich enough) or a Baron (JC is a member of the Chipping Norton Set) then there may not have been so much sympathy from the general public with headlines such as:

‘MP Pummels Researcher’

‘Banker Wallops Intern’

‘Baron Bashes Servant’

So what can we all learn from this:

Its widely alleged that Jeremy Clarkson is a self-centered, thoughtless, arrogant bully but with a twinkle in his eye and a penchant for speaking to the heart of the common man. These are all very useful traits if you seek riches and power.  We can learn many a lesson from the PetrolHeadMeister and this blog will follow his continuing career after the BBC Top Gear Fracas blows over, with great interest as he gets to the top without working too hard.

Breaking News……

Jeremy will hopefully be a guest speaker at the Institute of Mediocre Management later this year. His topic will be:

There are more important things to worry about than what some balding and irrelevant middle-aged man might have said on a crappy BBC2 motoring show.” (Jezza –Sunday Times 2008)


It’s Friday so DOSS to your Boss. (i.e be Deferential, Obsequious, Sycophantic and Subservient)

As its Friday, here at the I.M.M. , our Head of Human Exploitation, Dr Hiram N Sackem, thought that your workers could do with a little cheering up – we’re not all ogres here at the Institute! The obvious caveat being these should be enjoyed in their leisure time not whilst working at your coal face.

2nd Place Awesome  Exercise  Star Wars Stars Teamwork

Going Home

Source: #demotivationalposters and @ThePoke

Sleeping is for Wimps! Man up says the IMM and smell the Coffee

Here at the Institute of Mediocre Management we pride ourselves on our policy of looking after our esteemed members holistically. Not only do we want to see our colleagues do well fiscally but also we want to ensure their mental and physical well-being. After all, IMM members are the Elite, The Head Honchos, Those Who Shall Be Obeyed and therefore without them leading our World, it would cease to function in the way it does today.

An infographic is currently circulating showing how the top business people and politicians manage their sleep patterns and it’s clear that there is a wide differential in the amount of sleep taken.



The IMM’s Medical team investigated this research and discovered that those who get enough sleep are more likely to have better mental health and are less likely to be overweight, develop high blood pressure, raised cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes.

But they also discovered that if you cut sleep back to less than five hours a night for several days in a row, then your short-term and long-term memory, ability to focus, decision-making capacity, number processing, cognitive speed, and spatial orientation all start to suffer.

When I ran Widget European Enterprises , I personally introduced a corporate culture based around Sleep Deprivation and it didn’t hurt us a bit, apart from the litigation and the bankruptcy. It was a unique concept, which worked extremely well for W.E.E. as the resulting high turnover of junior executives, mainly from mental and physical breakdowns, allowed us to keep wages down and therefore increase profits.

Here is some of the guidance we gave to our up and coming leaders:

  • An ambitious manager should manage at least an 100-hour work week
  • Sleep should be restricted to less than five hours per night, so employees can be on call for longer.
  • Employees’ phones should be on at all times and answered at all times.
  • When you signed up, the small print advised that W.E.E. own you. Get used to it.
  • Stay Awake! Drink at least 10 cups of coffee a day! Snoozing is for Wimps!

For us, of course, the Numero Uno Executive Leaders, long days are not an issue. How else can we utilise our expense accounts? So we tend to burn the candle at both ends, with early breakfast meetings and dinners that run late, for days and days. And if like me you can’t get to sleep without some wind-down time in a lap dancing club then you may not doze off until 2 in the morning. Which can mean an average four hours of sleep a night for four or five days.

The IMM Medical team advises that Executives running this kind of schedule develop the same level of cognitive impairment as if they’d been awake for 24 hours, equivalent to legal drunkenness, and like a drunk, a person who is sleep deprived has no idea how functionally impaired he or she truly is. The results are obvious. Senior Executives may get angry at employees, make unsound decisions that affect the future of their companies, and give muddled presentations before their colleagues, customers, the press, or shareholders and generally offer bugger all value to anyone.

So no change there and no-one will notice any behavioural changes at all if we, the Masters of The Mediocre, have 4 hours or 10 hours sleep, so it’s BAU: Keep Calm and Carry On Oppressing the Masses.

Stephen Green, ex HSBC boss: Author of two books on fiscal morality

Stephen Green, ex HSBC wrote two books on fiscal morality

Lord Stephen Green, the Head of HSBC during the dark years of tax avoidance and evasion, is currently reluctant to talk to the press about his then tenure at the bank. In those days, he was not at all reluctant to share his views on the moral and ethical questions facing the banking industry. He was not only a Banker but also the Author of ‘Good Value’ and ‘Serving God? Serving Mammon?’ I assume Mr Mammon was a Tax Evader.

stephen green book1stephen green book2

‘Good Value’ book review: With bank bailouts and executive bonuses in the headlines, it’s hard to find the connection between banking and ethics.

But it’s an argument that Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC — one of the biggest banks in the world — makes in his new book about banking: Good Value: Reflections on Money, Morality and an Uncertain World.

Green is also an ordained priest in the Church of England. In his book, he proposes a “new capitalism” that brings good business and good ethics together. He says moral and spiritual values should take precedence over immediate profit

Further titles in the series will include:

Pope Francis: Atheists May Have a Point

David Cameron: Tips and Tricks when Shopping at Lidl

Nigel Farage: The Economic Benefits of Further Mass Immigration