Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MANAGEMENT BOLL**KS – How to talk your way to the top…

Just who is picking the low hanging fruit? Is brainstorming a thing of the past or do we now just do 'thought showers'? If you have ever spent time in a meeting contemplating yet another 'paradigm shift' then you will be the first to realise that at the end of the day it is all a load of. .

It's out now and it's the perfect stocking filler for all your executives friends (and even those in the family!)

What the publisher says – For some people Genghis Khan was the earliest example of an extremely competent manager; although it’s doubtful whether he ever wasted time on management speak – for him actions spoke louder than words. Management speak seems to have been gifted to the world by America. Chester Irving Edwards’ 1938 book Functions of the Executive has a lot to answer for. With statements like, “The line of communication should not be interrupted when the organization is functioning,” you could have guessed that it was only going to get worse.

Initially it was those on the cutting edge that talked the talk, soon middle, junior and even non-managers embraced this language as a means of getting ahead. Management speak is very seductive – the bottom line is we’re all trying to leverage our fair share of the intellectual capital. Even politicians, who look increasingly like middle managers in marketing departments, have hi-jacked management speak to ‘present’, or at least try to differentiate, their ever more similar ideas from those of the other parties.

It is now so pervasive that everyone in society at least grasps the basics of the language. It’s no different from the language as a whole; it’s evolving year by year as new words get added to the lexicon almost every week. It would be wonderful to know who dreams some of it up. Who was he first numpty that uttered the immortal phrase, ‘transferable skill set’? Who said ‘impactfulnesss?’ and managed to keep a straight face? Who decided it was a good idea to have hymn sheets in the office? But whatever the answer, who needs to walk the walk, when you can talk the talk?

While euphemisms have crept into management speak for just about every kind of business activity, recently one old fashioned piece of straight talk has come back into fashion. ‘You’re fired!’ Still, it’s better than if Genghis Khan had been your manager, in his case it would have been ‘You’re dead!’

10 comments:

The Lakelander said...

I think that the thing that made "The Office" such a success was that anyone who has ever worked in an office knew someone just like David Brent and had heard all those phrases being used for real.

bigrab said...

I have written about this several times

A seminar I attended produced this beauty:

"There needs to be a process where we engage agencies and stakeholders in a holistic approach requiring a place-shaping delivery agenda which aspires towards the most mutually acceptable local outcome"

I had a cracking game of buzzword bingo that day.

Lots of fun to be had at the bullshit generator too. It's at http://www.dack.com/web/bullshit.html

bigrab said...

I wrote here about it too

http://bigrab.vox.com/library/post/gobbledygook.html

which chimes with what you've written Richard!

mutleythedog said...

you realise you are 'utilising new social networking media and search engine optimisation for a viral marketing sales orientated on-line promotional campaign'? Or you could get it in those little boxes by the till at bookshops, my brother works for Waterstones if you are interested... :-)

Richard Havers said...

Mutley, you've rumbled me! Of course it is for sale in Waterstones..but so are tens of thousands of other books. This is called marketing, what they do is called sales :) ps Tell your bother I'll put him on commission!

Rab, it's just going to get worse too. As more people try and turn things into a quasi science and the thought police get a hold of things...

LL, so often the Office was tame by comparison to the reality of Managent boll**ks!

Steve Kelly said...

I assume you've seen this site before Richard?

http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/examples/before_and_after.html

Ken said...

Good to see everyone touching base here. But Richard, I really think we need to see a little more blue sky thinking from you!
Excellent stuff. Glad I now just work for one boss...ME!!

mutleythedog said...

I shall pass on the offer Mr H!

Evans of Hay said...

cheap viagra nz viagra strips? Hmm, looks like Blogging Boll**ks to me!

Anonymous said...

Thanks after sharing. Like often, on the money and right-minded on target!