Definition of the Day: Director

When economist, poet and social commentator Ozzie Andros retired from public office, shortly after the publication of his seminal work, Ozmodium Management, and with his reputation secured by the award of the Evening Standard Honorary Laurel Wreath, I was fortunate enough to acquire some of his unpublished manuscripts and notebooks.

Initially, I was loath to publish the writings, acting on the optimistic hope that the great man would resurface to act for himself.  However, sufficient time has now lapsed to suggest that Ozzie Andros’s retirement is a permanent state of affairs, and so acting in the capacity of––unpaid––acolyte, I feel emboldened to bring to light some of his lesser-known muses.

In Ozmodium Management, Andros waxes lyrical about the hierarchy of organisations:

Western business management still adheres to a fierce system of hierarchy, little changed since feudal times.

Today, workplace hierarchies serve no other purpose than to enable incompetent managers to survive, hidden behind layers of obfuscation. 

Within these hierarchies, managers scrabble and fight with one another, desperate to cling on to the smallest scrap of genuine work as though it were a life-vest on the raft of the Méduse.

The gravest crime that any employee can commit is not to observe the hierarchy, and thus expose its blatant charade. 

 (From the chapter, Hierarchy, Ozmodium Management, 2011)

In his notebooks, Ozzie Andros extends his thinking regarding the company hierarchy, particularly regarding the position of director.

Directors exist close to the summit of the corporate hierarchy. 

There is little oxygen available at these high altitudes, which might go some way to explaining the ineptitude of the average director.  We are close to the dead zone here.

A typical director squanders more company money per annum through incompetence, than it would cost to retire them to an expenses-paid five-star luxury apartment in The Bahamas.  Reward for failure is the expected norm.

Every manager aspires to be a director, and its fast-track to indolence because, as I overheard one manager ruefully comment: “I still have to do some work, it’s not as though I am a director.” 

(From the unpublished notebooks of Ozzie Andros)

© Simon Turner-Tree


Simon Turner-Tree will never be a director or retire to The Bahamas.


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