Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Biz-Speak 101

One of the travesties of the corporate world is its utter bastardization of the English language. For lack of a better word I call this meaningless prattle biz-speak. I suspect it was created by a handful of bored MBA's who were searching for something concrete to rationalize being overpaid. Look, we went to college and came out talking funny, just like you comp-sci guys! The difference is that comp-sci guys (mostly) talk funny because we actually need the extra words to communicate different concepts, biz-speak manages the ignominious feat of using more words to convey less meaning.

You don't talk with someone - you interface with them
You don't use something - you leverage it
You don't meet with people - you align with them
You don't design something - you solution it
You don't assign work - you task it
You don't finish something - you realize it
A plan is not good - it is robust
Prefixing any word with strategic makes that word better

Taken individually you might ask, "what's the harm of these news words, maybe they do serve to make some subtle distinction?". The proof comes when it is time to communicate clearly and concisely about a concept.

Where a normal person might say:
I met with Bob to discuss the Acme project. We agreed that my team is the best fit for their marketing campaign.

A biz-speaker would instead say:
Bob and I interfaced about solutioning for Acme. We strategically aligned and my team is tasked with leveraging our skills to realize a robust marketing campaign.

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