Friday, June 05, 2009

Corporate Newspeak 5

Kangaroo Manager: (n) A manager or executive who improves their job title, reputation, and compensation by hopping from company to company every 1 to 2 years. Through this pattern of activity, individuals avoid remaining in any position long enough to be held accountable for the results of their decisions and thus entirely obfuscate their track record. This is in contrast to the frequently maligned "traditional manager" strategy of improving title, reputation, and compensation via a consistent stream of successful accomplishments and recognitions.
Also: Up-and-Comer, Executive Material, Chosen One, Fast Tracker.

Critical: (adj) Belonging to the class of things which encompasses everything in the known universe.

Gaps: (n) Fuck-ups.
Also: Pain Points, Failures.
Note: the singular form exists only hypothetically.

Deferred: (adj) Belonging to the class of actions and events which will never happen. Not in a billion years.
Usage: "Phase 1 of the project has been deferred so resources can focus on the pain points of Phase 3 while planning activities for Phases 2 and 5 continue."

: (adj) A euphemism for the class of people, processes, technologies, and decisions which existed prior to a merger, for which nobody (even those originally involved and still present) currently takes responsibility, and on which any current pain points can be blamed. Contrast with "Kangaroo Managers."
Also: Heritage.

Efficiencies: (n) The class of actions and decisions which is characterized by either self-evidence or abolishment of business controls, people, and/or processes put in place previously to address a pain point which occurred prior to the tenure of the current decision-maker(s). Typically used to justify destructive or risky decisions made by Kangaroo or Pelican Managers.
Also: Short Cuts.
Note: the singular form exists only hypothetically.

Metrics: (n) A mystery-meat confab of general goals, explicit targets, a methodology for computing performance relative to those goals and targets, the act of computing, and the current result of those computations for a given individual or group. Contrast with "carrots."
Note: in typical usage, the speaker is referring to only a subset of the above concepts, but desires to remain ambiguous about which.

Good Progress: (n) A euphemism for activities which are behind schedule or below desired metrics. Used in order to distract from said deficiency.

Aligned to: (adj) Perceived to be at least partially in compliance with a strategy and/or policy which is too vague, contradictory, or nonsensical to be followed literally.

Day-to-Day: (n) Metonymy (look it up, people) representing the class of actions and events necessary to actually run a business but which are too boring, unpleasant, and/or complicated for executives to trifle with or comprehend.
Also: in the weeds, on the ground, in the trenches

Operations: (noun) Doers. Usually abbreviated "ops." Often carries a negative connotaion of someone who is too obsessed with making a business function to comprehend strategy, policy, and "the big picture."
Also: little people
Usage: "The execs have established the strategy and laid out governance. Finance is tracking the metrics. And the little people in Ops are in the trenches handling the day-to-day."

Established: (v) Decided by default without any human effort by those responsible for the decision, often by the most junior staff involved due to a vacuum of action by the designated leadership.
Usage: "The Board have established a framework of critical metrics and governance which will prevent such a crisis in the future."
Note: can only be used in the past-participle tense (look it up, people).

So What I'm Hearing You Say...: (ic) You're clearly wrong and I wish you had said ...

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