Dec 29

My top 10 of the Worst Managerial Blurby-Stuff of 2012

Please let us see the back of these gruesome expressions in 2012. Some of these wink sound bytes unwink probably date further back than 2012, but I have been lucky enough to avoid them so far. And so I haven’t been infected by the Walking Dead of the suit world.

Let’s brown bag these below…

10 – Internalise – As in “What you have all failed to  internalise is that there has been a paradigm shift. As a result you are all now  behind the curve when it comes to the multi-lateral interoperability needed to  realise the supra-organisational mission statement.” Even though there is an  awful lot to detest in that statement “Internalise” is the word we most object  to. It appears to just mean learn or remember but as telling someone to learn  or remember something appears instructive, suggesting they internalise it will  sound more empathetic, but at the severe cost of sounding like a  clone-monkey.
9 – Hi, I hope all is well – With the  birth of the email there came an awkward period when the formality of letters,  with their “Dear Sir / Yours sincerely” had to be detuned to fit in with the new  immediacy and informality. After a stuttering start the world passed through an  embarrassed joint squirm and settled on “Hi” for anything other than legal  representations. But 2012 has seen a pernicious ingress of a new form of  insincerity with the addition of “I hope all is well” to the “Hi”. Rather than  questioning either the validity or sincerity of that statement, we would just  ask that the bulk senders of such missives consider where they are sent to, as  for many recipients things are blindingly obviously not well. We suggest the  only time this greeting is appropriate is when addressed to bore-hole  companies.
8 – Weaponise price opacity – As the scarcity  of new Himalyan Pink Salt in the financial market takes its toll on the bottom lines of  financial institutions it is becoming more important for them to make sure that  they maximise the profitability of existing basic products. Opacity of price is  critical in this process but weaponising it? Wow.
7 – Ideation – What happened to good old “have a think” or “come up with  some ideas”? Even running things up flag poles is less irksome than “ideation”  which sounds as though it should involve radioactive iodine.
6 –  Stakeholder Community – Not a Transylvanian village but the new plural  of stakeholder. Theoretically a stakeholder is anyone who can affect, or is  impacted by, your decisions and so could be a lowly minion in your company, but  deference only ever seems to be made to “stakeholders” when they are either your  bosses, investors or regulators. Please let’s call them who they really  are.
5 – Socialise – When issues got out of hand in the  old days you would normally either just tell the boss, or perhaps “take it  upstairs.” But now a cunning adaptation of the old mantra of “My profit, our  loss” has invoked a caring sharing attitude to screw-ups by “socialising” them.  As in “I think we should socialise this issue with senior management and the  stakeholder community.”
4 – Complementary – Odd one  this, and it’s really down to our own stupidity, but we have regularly opened  emails this year expecting some nice free service only to re-read it and find  it’s not “complimentary” but something expensive and homeopathic. We expect the  marketing world to soon be jumping on this and emailing multitudes of  complementary not-at-all-free offers. Such as Ryan-Air offering “Complementary  Flights” which sound as though they are free but are actually expensive and just  “complement” what a decent service should be by being dreadful. Or have they  done that already? “Complementary” should be banned from subject lines so that  the vaguely dyslexic amongst us shouldn’t be taken advantage  of.
3 – Bandwidth – The adoption of IT geeky words into  mainstream fashion is nothing new but the latest over-usage of “Bandwidth” by  management is particularly grating. Just as “spending more time with my family”  has become the acceptable expression of “Just been  fired/stiffed/shafted/backstabbed/found out but have photos” so has “I’m sorry I  can’t action that, I don’t have the bandwidth” become the generic replacement  for “I don’t have the time/resources/authority or inclination.” But the saddest  part is the way it’s used under the false allusion that “bandwidth” is new and  fashionable. Our grandmothers, thanks to broadband adverts and home routers,  know what bandwidth is so please, unless you are the type of person who still  uses “groovy” in the boardroom, please drop “bandwidth.”
2 – Geosourcing – Why you lose your job to someone in a different part of  the world. “The support function has been geosourced” or “How’s the front office  geosourcing project going?” It’s the sharp end of a simple belief of ours that  if there is someone able and willing to do your job for less than you, you are  toast. But the use of “geo,” which has connotations of environmental  friendliness married to “source,” which conjures images of babbling fresh  springs in the mountains, results in a super-eco word which actually means  “You’re fired.”
1 – Reaching out – I  first came across 2012’s winning term in July and since then it has spread like  wildfire, which has us looking like Irish Riverdancers as we try to stamp it out  as fast as we can. The origins and epidemiology of this disease has us  suspecting it’s the product of some Class of 2012 Management School somewhere.  It really is complete and utter rubbish. If you are about to call an investor  for some documents you don’t “reach out to the client,” you phone or mail them.  If you want to know why a trade hasn’t settled you don’t “Reach out to  Bangalore” you “call back-office.” So let’s just kill that one right now before  someone gets accused of molestation.
I’m sure you have your own experiences to share and  I look forward to your comments  acting as a joint cognitive pan-cohesual  empathy forum leading to textualisation of common goal and achievement  recognition programs.

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