About Us

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.   Jack Kerouac


People love to work with others in the service of something bigger than themselves.  This desire is the most powerful motivating force a leader can harness.  But how can people work together if no one speaks the same language?  There had been no standards body before, so communications were chaotic, made worse by pressures of new communications technology, globalization and increasing customer demands for speed.

We help general managers connect people across all functions and departments.  We provide the standard tools, terminology and knowledge that gets everyone on the same page. This saves time, reduces errors and creates rewarding work. 

We need members who will share, develop and recognize ideas that help people work together.  Join us!  Help us help people achieve great things together.

See Users on how to get started.  Every manager and every organization is unique:  the Center's terms, tools and training put the member in charge.


The Center for Management Terms & Practices is a US business and, after 10 years of development, was formally launched in 2017 after a pilot with the Small Business Administration.  Its tools, training and standards of terminology have been tested with hundreds of senior managers in almost every sector.

For over 20 years, the founders watched organizations make $1M mistakes because of fundamental misunderstandings about management terms and practices.  They also saw the high human cost of this problem--and dedicated themselves to the serious work of providing a global solution.


Derrick Van Melll 2018 LINKEDIN head shot

CEO and Founder:  Derrick Van Mell. Derrick had been a management advisor for 25 years and worked with hundreds of leaders in all types and sizes of organizations. He has a BA in Economics, an MBA and an MA in English. He’s the author of dozens of published articles and two books, Buildings Matter and Question-Based Planning. He’s spoken throughout the US and in Europe and Asia.  Derrick’s passion is to bring simplicity and clarity to the world of work.

Robert Van Mell photo NO BACKGROUND

Knowledge Manager:  Robert Van Mell.  Robert graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in Economics from Tufts University and has Masters degrees in both Business (honors) and Computer Science from The University of Chicago. He has been a trader, risk manager and partner in an options trading house and an investment firm.  His methodology (Stop&Think) for quickly capturing, distilling and valuing knowledge is of critical value to Center members.


Code of Ethics

We never want someone to use the Center's ideas to do something hurtful or hateful. This is why the first term in The CMTP Index is 1.1 Ethics & the law:  please study and discuss its Definition, 3 Good Questions and Recommended Resources.  Please read the Center’s Code of Ethics;  our terms of use commit members to this code, the violation of which can result in losing membership.

Review Board for The GM's Index

A standard is best managed by experienced people working with thoughtful guidelines rather than some automated process. The Review Board sets policy for and carefully communicates changes to the terminology and resources in The GM's Index of Terms.  The Board listens to our members. Click here for the Board’s editorial and submittal guidelines.

  • Derrick Van Mell, CEO of the Center and Review Board Chair
  • Tom Oakley, CEO and serial entrepreneur
  • Ruth Schmidt, Executive Director of Wisconsin Early Childhood Association
  • Phil Kim, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babson College

Ideas for the Future

The Center has so many things it can do.  Ideas being considered are:

  • Establish chapters in Wisconsin and Illinois
  • Hire interns to continue researching Recommended Resources
  • Create teams to develop Briefings and Best Practices
  • Host international events to foster cross-border collaborations
  • Become a B-certified Corporation

If you have ideas for the Center's future, please join and engage in our forums.  The Center is for you!