Management speak: Can you run that up the flagpole?

Nothing annoys me more than management speak, the often meaningless and over-complicated drivel uttered by managers in meetings. All the journalists I know find it tricky to decipher, as if the speaker was trying to obfuscate and perplex the...

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Nothing annoys me more than management speak, the often meaningless and over-complicated drivel uttered by managers in meetings. All the journalists I know find it tricky to decipher, as if the speaker was trying to obfuscate and perplex the listener.

Words like "actionable", "incentivise" and "leverage" are enough to make the blood boil. When someone says "going forward", I want to turn and run.

So I decided to try and speak to my colleagues in management speak for an entire day to see what sort of response I got. Here are the snippets below. But I can't take all the credit, because it is based on the hyperbole that I've heard people actually utter in meetings, press events and even in interviews:

Our resources have been highly leveraged in the trenches.

But from a strategic standpoint we’ve been thinking outside the box.

Going forward we see a paradigm shift, and we are after the low hanging fruit. It’s really about pushing the envelope and taking it off the table in order to maximise customer satisfaction. In fact, the boots are on the ground, and the idea has legs and can really go far.

Let's get a dialogue going and touch base. We need to spend less time at the coalface to get more battle experience.

Leaders must employ all their influencing and leverage talents to win the hearts and minds of the early adopter.

At the end of the day, it’s time to step up the plate, and focus on your core competency if you want to take it to the next level.

So why don’t you open the kimono? Let’s be proactive here.

As a thought leader in today’s highly competitive marketplace, we believe it’s important to drink the Kool-aid and eat our own dog food.

I’d like to run this up the flagpole. We need to give it 111 percent and tear down the siloes. It’s really a win-win situation.

Together we can architect the Perfect Storm.


I thought my goobledy gook speak would drive my colleagues nuts, but instead, most of them took it seriously. Luckily I also work with some funny sort of people that saw through my ploy and I got this reply: :

"I'd like to cherry-pick some of the low hanging fruit in this email and take it on-board, going forward and offline. There is no i in team people. There is however a Tea, Meat, Mat, Met, Ta and Me. that’s some real blue-sky thinking from me there."
 
What bizarre management speak have you heard? Let's start a dialogue going forward (Translation: Let me know in the comments below).