Rumination of the week – business-speak


“We’ve gone through a robust process of evaluation and sourced an off-the-shelf solution that will drive additional value and help us reach our overall strategic goals.”  – Hopefully not you

Let’s translate the above phrase. “Some guy I knew told me that there was a really cool piece of software that my company should use. It has lots of fancy features and when we figure out how to use all the functionality, we’ll input a bunch of data and the software will tell us what to do.”

We all do it to some extent, even me. In my defense, I at least feel dirty afterward. However, I sympathize with the users of jargon, because I have found that when you actually speak clearly, people can then understand what you are saying. Wait, you say, isn’t that why you speak? Occasionally, maybe. The majority of the time, however, speaking has political implications. When the guy or gal in the meeting says something that everyone seems to think is rational and well-thought out, but you assumed was obvious? Political considerations are at work. Being clear invites disagreement and debate, and sometimes, that’s the last thing the speaker wants.


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