Friday, February 05, 2010

Corporate Newspeak 7

Talk Around: (v) 1. Share opinions on tangents related to a topic on which decisions are pending without any expectation that any decisions will be taken, thus taking all pressure off the decision-making leadership at the table. 2. Tongue-in-cheek play on the literal interpretation of the term "talk about."
Also: Waste Time, Chat, Think On, Building a Base, Laying Groundwork
Usage: "Can we make a decision here today, boss?" / "Well, Johnny, of course - we do need to move on this, which is why I think we need to talk around the nuances of the constraints and dependencies to make sure we've covered off all that first."

Draw a Line Around: (v) Avoid talking further about once and for all. Usually used by someone who has argued their side of an issue unsuccessfully.
Also: Ring-fence
Usage: "But, but ... okay folks, clearly we need to think on that niche issue a bit more. I don't want it to keep us from moving forward on the overall strategic vision. Let's draw a line around that and continue the larger discussion."

Friction-Free: (adj) Of a mythical business process which produces economic value without any ongoing cost, often expected to move at the speed of light. Used only in the context of corporate sloganeering or in the context of empty sales promises.
Usage: "Don't worry about what it costs to implement, Donnie. By leveraging technology and enterprise synergies, this friction-free solution pays for itself."

Enterprise: (adj) Of a mythical type of business process which is entirely uniform across all groups, departments, lines of business, divisions, or other factions of a corporation, run under the direction of a single group, yet paid for by all groups. Used when one group starts to implement a new business process, and then realizes they don't have enough money to pay for it.

1 comment:

adski said...

I love your posts on corporate newspeak. They're spot on.

I work in a private company and I have to say that even the great Orwell couldn't have invented some of the phrases that get thrown around at meetings.

Not to mention the company stooges and apparatchiks (the so called "management") that parrot these phrases religiously. They're a piece of work too.