|August 6, 2012||Posted by wpadmin under Uncategorized|
It seems that we enjoy speaking more and more cryptically in business, and technology has merely amplified this effect. It is so bad now that we no longer speak in English. I actually think that the more jargon you use, the less you are saying. We used to say things like, “We need to train our customer service people to be more courteous and upsell more merchandise on every call.” Now we say things like,
“We are sharding to optimize our modularization to decouple and then re-integrate fractal data sets thereby increasing bandwith for customer integration into the cloud for further ideation which we will bake into our back end,”
“We need to do a deep dive on flawless execution of actionable, bucketized, open-kimono, social search agendas so that we do not cannibalize revenues and can optimize our deployment of customized solutions and increase customer engagement by level setting expectations and cross pollinating synergies into a win-win.”
Back when I studied Psychology in my undergraduate days, we had a term for such confused and repetitious language: schizophasia, or more commonly, “word salad,” that was a symptom of any of a number of mental illnesses. Back when I used to be an employee of a major Fortune 500 company (that shall remain nameless), we used the crap out of this language. Was I guilty of disgorging such lingual poppycock? Yes, I was – but I did it ironically, dammit! Being a smart ass was of little value since no one else got the joke since the business-speak so ingrained in our culture.
Companies also use this language to sanitize some not-so-nice concepts. “The ratio of Accounts Receivables to Sales is increasing,” means that a company is over-stating revenues. “The market is reaching new levels of maturity,” means that we are having trouble growing the business and don’t know why (one of my EVPs once used this gem). Forecasts are not reduced, they are adjusted. Firing people is realigning. Finding cheaper labor that is borderline sweatshop conditions is simply outsourcing. Countrywide, now part of B of A, called its high risk or “sub-prime” loan division, “Full Spectrum Lending,” when it should have been called “Shit Securitization Sausage Factory.” And this phenomenon has always played a vibrant role in politics – for example the “Patriot Act” substantially reduces our individual freedoms and “American Crossroads” is one of many Super PACs that help sell our politicians to the highest bidders.
I’m sure that we will not start saying what we mean anytime soon. I am just grateful for those savvy journalists (the real ones, not the ones in the mainstream media) and comedians that help us separate the wheat from the chaff when it is just gets too convoluted.