The one sentence summary

Most organisations are flooded with empty talk and it’s killing them because management speak has become more important than long-lasting results.


  • Bullshit statements have one signature feature: they are unclarifiable – not only obscure but they cannot be rendered unobscure.
  • How to minimise bullshit production:
  1. Eliminate bullshit jobs – many people feel they have jobs that are utterly meaningless.
  2. Cut back corporate escapism – awayday preening exercises rarely result in action.
  3. Provide employees some security – most bullshit is generated by people who are insecure in their jobs.
  4. Give employees space to ask questions – that means not being scared to state that something appears to be bullshit.
  5. Forget best practice – lots of initiatives are started just because the competition is doing it.
  6. Focus on stability – managerial bullshit is obsessed with change and many organisations suffer from repetitive change syndrome.
  • How to slow down the exchange of bullshit:
  1. Reality test – get the facts on whether something truly works or not.
  2. Rationality test – poor reasoning is a hallmark of bullshit. Ask why does this need to be done at all?
  3. Meaning test – do the concepts genuinely make sense to the audience?
  4. Intentionality test – what intentions and motives lie behind the bullshit?
  5. Clarifiability test – can this actually be clarified and does it help the business?
  • How to stop rewarding bullshit:
  1. Limit attention to it.
  2. Don’t legitimise it.
  3. Provide alternative bases of self-confidence.
  4. Make stupidity costly.
  5. Making increasing organisational load costly.
  6. Track trust.


  • The average CV contains over 8 deceptive statements. 44% of CVs contain misrepresentations of past employment.
  • Big data is “complete bollocks – absolute nonsense.” Most data sets aren’t that big, and there is little material difference in the analysis that can be done with a large or small dataset.


  • There is a fair bit to wade through before arriving at any suggested remedies.
  • There are a large number of typos in the book – it wasn’t proofed well.