This week in Melcrum's e-zine for Internal Communicators, Mandy Thatcher, (Editor), reminds us how annoying business-speak in the workplace can be.
Peter Russian, chief executive of Investors
in People Scotland is quoted on the BBC website reminding us that, "communication is one of the hardest things to get right
in any organisation."
At our event last night some of our audience admitted to having used opaque corporate-speak in the past. Thankfully, most of them now stick strictly to English! (or French/Chinese/Arabic/Spanish, etc.)
The BBC listed some of what they termed as workplace goobledygook, with explanations. (It is somewhat depressing that most of us will not require the translation).
- Blue-sky thinking: Idealistic or visionary ideas - not always with practical application
- Get our ducks in a row: Have arrangements efficiently ordered
- Brain dump: To tell everything you know about a particular topic
- Think outside the box: Don't limit your thinking to within your job description; be creative
- Joined-up thinking: Taking into account how things affect each other - not looking at something in isolation
- Drilling down: Getting more detail about a particular issue
- Push the envelope: Improve performance by going beyond commonly accepted boundaries
- The helicopter view: An overview
- Low-hanging fruit: The easiest targets
Someone wrote the BBC to say that at her office their mission is to herd the dinosaurs to the right end of the cricket green. I have no idea what that could mean - and unfortunately it seems the employees tasked with this objective aren't quite sure either!
"In a mood of revenge", the BBC published made-up jargon submitted by their readers:
- Red sky thinking, the signal, in these darkening autumn days, that it is nearly time to go home
- Horizoning - not quite the same as predicting the company's future performance, more staring out of the window
- Workspace-specific perceptual abstraction, or daydreaming
- Non-specific interfacing or needless chat
- Activity deficit substitution, aka looking busy
- Inter-departmental liaison facilitation or asking your friends out to lunch
- Polidiot is someone promoted beyond their abilities thanks to their political skills
- Backing singer, that familiar person in a meeting who doesn't contribute their own ideas but just nods along with the boss
- Raise the bar on this, or leaving for the pub
- Expectation management - what the boss wants to hear
- Going tarso-mandibular, aka putting your foot in your mouth
Very good for a laugh, but please resist all temptation to start incorporating them into your next internal newsletter!