Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hating CorporateSpeak

Action item Assign ownership At the end of the day Bandwidth Brain dump Brand agnostic Breadcrumbing Bring to the table Buy-in Chin-wagging Circle-slash Core competency Drink the Kool-Aid Elevator pitch Empower Hard stop Leverage Low-hanging fruit Metric Out of the loop Outside the box Outsourcing Paradigm shift Pre-meeting Silo approach Take it offline....

Remember when all we had to hate was “mission statement”? Then “value-added” snuck in somehow. (Sadly, Hate for Hire was not around to neutralize that one in the bud.) And now look what’s happened. In an imagined move toward becoming “world class,” many corporations are caught in an endless loop of “reaching out” and “circling back,” pursuing some illusory and vainglorious goal of “instilling best practices.” The result? An explosion of corporate mimics who echo an oddly convoluted patois that we should be laughing at rather than emulating. Thank you for the submission; we at Hate for Hire are happy to take this on.

A recent fear-based colleague, a complete fraud, used little else but Corporate- Speak, probably because it generally allowed him to say a lot without meaning a thing. “I’m charged with elevating the work,” he announced. When we asked “What does that mean?” he became quite flummoxed and couldn’t answer. When he finally did, it was more (and more and more) of the same gibberish, a “scenic route” smokescreen approach toward an incomprehensible non-answer. Moron!

Even people we might otherwise respect can slide into these reprehensible bad-language habits. One co-worker, a generally nice guy and thorough professional, once asked us to “dialogue” with him about something. Excuse me? “Can’t we just talk about it?” we asked. He seemed confused.

Why do so many corporations and, by extension, their employees talk like this? Stop it! Don’t you know people are laughing at you?

For your amusement, we direct you toward two related websites:
Business Buzzword Bingo! has kept us awake through many a tortured blowhard meeting.
And the handy Web Economy Bullshit Generator (thank you, Monica) usually has us snickering in sympathy by the fourth hit (maximum).

We encourage you to list your own CorporateSpeak annoyances in the “Comments” section below (you may have to hit "post comment" a second time if the system tells you to "try again later.") And to show solidarity by hating this widespread aberration along with us.

Officially registered at Hate for Hire, February 11, 2010.


Anonymous said...

What about resumes? Would you hire someone who claims to maintain “central responsibility for managing departmental and interpersonal relationships in order to identify and utilize resources”?

Anonymous said...

Core competency: the worst.
Deep dive.
Logic blocks

Utton Bay Ghost Writer said...

Often heard during last 5 mins. of meeting with several agenda items left to cover:

"Let's just power through"

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with this, when are they going to start speaking like humans!?!?! I don't know why but it always reminds me of Rosie from the Jetsons... bunch of corporate robots!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I'm aligned with posting. Are there any metrics you can speak of that indicate most team members are on board with this? If not, I think we should take this offline.

fearing for her karma said...

I'm way late here, but the worst, worst, worst is "planful." sweet jesus!

Hate for Hire said...

Never too late. I once worked for a boss who used "planful" and always said it slowly, deliberately, thereby concentrating its inherent smarminess. Maybe you worked for her, too. Remember Pamela?