The Ugly Language of Free Enterprise

What are the planks of your strategy?

What are the planks of your strategy?

“What are our learnings?” inquired John G. and raised an ironic eyebrow. “We have clarity on what we need to operationalize. We need to own this space,” said John C. and snorted. “Without execution we have nothing to leverage, ” he continued, wryly. The others at Tom and Mike’s famous Wednesday night dinner joined in. There was talk of added value, drivers, synergy, buckets, parking lots, modalities, and optimization. We discussed what would be impacted, injected, energized and grown and of the need to be flexible, adaptive and, inevitably, innovative. We might have to downsize and let people go.  There was a risk that our initiatives could not be monetized, unless we reached out, partnered and integrated. We work for different organizations in many different industries and across at least three sectors but all of us are beset by this dreadful abuse of language.

Office talk is ugly and means almost nothing. I am pretty sure many of these words first

Planning to utlize new platforms?

Planning to utlize new platforms?

appeared on powerpoint slides, created or deployed to save characters and suggest busy self-importance. Once, these bullet-point banalities may have had a supporting narrative but now they roam our corridors and congregate by our water coolers, an independent cluster of vowels and consonants posing as big ideas and calls to action. Unfettered, they rampage through every enterprise, muffling good sense in meetings and protecting against plain speaking and hard work.

What are the phrases that haunt you this strategic planning season? Can you get through your presentation without promising thought-leadership or plundering low-hanging fruit? How will you enhance visibility and build relationships? Do share.

Climb that corporate ladder.

Climb that corporate ladder.

About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
This entry was posted in Culture with the Crone, Life's vexations, Terrapin Grove and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Ugly Language of Free Enterprise

  1. Frank Hanna says:

    Because the speakers are intoxicated by the exuberance of their very own verbosity. Or something like that! So there!

  2. blarneycrone says:

    thanks for reading. Just be glad you have left all that behind you 😉

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