As good corporate citizens, we all have our causes. Mine is to eradicate all stupid corporate lingo and replace it with normal English. Granted, maybe it’s not the most important thing I’ll ever undertake in the business world but it certainly couldn’t hurt. So in my personal war against stupid corporate lingo, I’ve decided to try something a bit different. Some might even call it desperate. I have decided to write a blog pleading for us to stop using stupid corporate lingo written using the same stupid corporate lingo I’m fighting against. It might be a crazy strategy, but as I learned in some college class some time a ways back, you can’t make change if you are communicating in a language those you are trying to change don’t understand.
One important caveat here – please do not try to do this at home yourselves. And if you do try it, make sure you are supervised by someone with medical training. I’m a professional who has been using stupid corporate lingo for years and fully understands the potential physical and emotional harm I could be inflicting upon myself. To increase the difficulty of this endeavor, I have attempted to write the blog below using the stupid corporate lingo in alphabetical order. Why? Who knows, but for that, I have required myself to sign some sort of legal indemnification form so I couldn’t point fingers at anyone but myself if I spiraled into a strange delusional state where I only use stupid corporate lingo from this point forward in my life. I think we’re covered.
So here I go:
An Open Letter to Abusers of Stupid Corporate Lingo
At the end of the day I sincerely hope that we might all reconsider baking into our work any of these expressions, but I also recognize that we may not have the bandwidth to take time out our busy workdays to figure out alternative expressions. If we all just had a little more communications bench strength in the corporate world to support this, we could bucketize these expressions into a new category of trashy corporate sayings, build a straw man for a new approach, and create the burning platform that our hand selected change agents could help drive across a broader corporate change network. Then the corporate world might just be saved from these mind-numbing expressions.
Perhaps we could even create a parking lot of stupid corporate lingo we never want to say out loud again. Maybe then we could build the critical mass we need to make this change a reality and cross-pollinate from one company to the next. We might even organize a multi-company data dump and orchestrate a stupid corporate lingo deep dive across industries with the aim of creating some deliverables that are dead on in their goal of eradicating this stupid corporate lingo. Maybe these deliverables could even dove-tail with other work where we are drilling down into corporate jargon focusing on how we ultimately look to drum up support for dealing with the elephant in the room – the reality that we actually have a dead moose on the table and aren’t ready to do anything about it!
If we could just create a compelling elevator speech that fleshes out the challenges associated with using this stupid corporate lingo, maybe then we could gain traction helping us get our arms around this dire situation, get all of our ducks in a row to tackle the gatekeepers of this nonsensical language, and then potentially start with a greenfield of a new way of communicating with each other. Maybe I’m a corporate dreamer, but couldn’t we just harness the organic process in each of our respective companies to equip all of our stupid corporate lingo abusers to hit the ground running with new and simpler English expressions? If we could just do that, we’d have hit the nail on the head! At this point, it is the best idea I can come up with, but I’ll ping you all with any others that come to mind about how we can increase the footprint of normal English being spoken around the corporate world across all industry spaces. I am inclined to map this out but am very open to additional mindshare from anyone reading this that feels these arguments against stupid corporate lingo are on point. I will never be out of pocket for the hard work required to make this critical paradigm shift occur, and I think we know that if we all really peel back the onion, we all have it in our power alley to confront this head on, set up some quick wins, and pick the low hanging fruit to start the process of speaking like normal people again!
I am inclined to prepare a deck that puts a stake in the ground and outlines compelling and articulate reasons why no one could push back on this important corporate initiative. My deck could serve as a robust road map and could even turn into a sexy project we’d all want to get involved with – one where we’d even encourage scope creep as we all sing from the same song sheet and energetically socialize the plan about making this great corporate transformation – one to normal communications everyone can understand. I am confident that this deck would never become shelfware or worse yet, vaporware. It is too important and timely with real information we can all rally around.
For this to work, we all need to talk live about this and not keep it to talking at the 20,000 foot level. We’ve got to tee up a way to think outside the box back to a time before all of this corporate lingo thoughtware contaminated our thinking about how to talk to each other. How this corporate lingo didn’t create tissue rejection early on in its inception process is a mystery to me, but it somehow survived…and even proliferated to the frightening reality we face today – one where we are overwhelmed with expressions that don’t mean what we think and confuse our already confused corporate thinking process. I must be a realist and say that there is no turnkey solution for this and we will need to touch base regularly to keep us vectoring towards success on this value add initiative for change.
So can we all agree that if we see someone walking the halls using this language, we confront them head on? I don’t think we need to set up a war room at this point but am open to it if it feels like the fact that we are all juggling this with a variety of other critical business initiatives and wearing multiple hats is precluding us from getting to a win-win proposition on this important work thread. When it’s all said and done, we’ve got to attack this where the rubber meets the road – at each of our offices every day.
Who’s with me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?