Friday, 9 May 2014

Top 5 most annoying corporate buzzwords of the moment

This week has seen a huge media interest in the potential takeover of Astrazeneca by Pfizer which has involved many non-financial media commentators having their say, even worse, serial linguistic offenders such as Chuka Umana have been getting on the airwaves non-stop.

For the most part the gibberish they speak is muzak at best. Few seem to understand the basics of say the Enterprise Act or European law on take-overs - but hey, only losers loves detail.

However, key buzzwords really get my goat and given it is Friday here is this week's list of contenders of current buzzwords in the corporate world:

1. Public Interest - who is this public? why are they interested? the public is not an amorphous mass with a single hive-mind. When anyone ever says 'the Public Interest' they ALWAYS actually mean my job and my voter base. As ever, the total opposite of the true meaning.

2. Simplification - This is how Antony Jenkin's described 19,000 job cuts at Barclays. It is even more opaque than downsizing or right-sizing which are it 2008 vintage predecessors. Simplification sounds like a good idea, but stopping dong things that lose you money is not simplification is it?

3. Transformational Change - Also on the job cuts theme..what is this, change is means to transform things. Transformation means to change things, so better would be transformational or change, but not both, or perhaps the next step is transformational transformation?

4. Social Business - Really, as if we had not had enough of social media, now comes Social Business - what it really means is digital communication, but hey that does not sound cool or lefty enough.

5. Competency Framework - Or, um, skills as they used to be known. Skills you need to do your job, perhaps even or tasks you need to be able to complete effectiely. It's not hard, there is no need for a framework and competency is used in the negative meaning solely - i.e. it measures what you can't do. HR people have a lot to answer for as I could get acres from the garbage they make up to help bolster their numbers.

There must be many more - welcome them in the comments....

14 comments:

andrew said...


Across the whole piece, this sounds like a strong and sensible starting point for the initiation process

Nick Drew said...

I always smile when HR types say: we must socialise this new strategy within the organisation - sounds so much nicer than now we are going to ram it down their throats and fire the ones who look skeptical

Anonymous said...

The question is too complex. To get more buy-in, you should break it into workstreams.

Even writing it grates.

Mark In Mayenne said...

The phrease "the public interest" is often used by government departsments to excuse some strange behaviour.

It does not mean "the ineterst of the public", since the usage would be "the public's interest".

The word "public" is an adjective, and it means "pertaining to government". This "in the public interest" means "in the government's interest"

dearieme said...

"on a weekly basis" to mean "weekly"

Percy Flage said...

Tv stations, especially the news departments, seem to be 'across all platforms' these days rather than 'throughout (or simply 'on') our network of stations/channels'.

Jan said...

"The authorities"; I always wonder who these are and what power they have over us mere mortals.

john in cheshire said...

An old one I know, but what does squaring the circle actually mean?

Anonymous said...

o/t, CU, but what's going on at EMED? Permissions granted and share price falls back ?

on topic, don't forget "we are passionate about".

Anonymous said...

Wasn't a Mr Butten who kicked off this descent into obfuscatory gibberish back in the 50s?

rinky stingpiece said...

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/PA_Consulting_Group

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