Death to 'management speak'

When Mike King withdrew from the Suicide-Prevention Panel, he read a paragraph aloud from the draft suicide prevention plan and said “What does this mean?” I am sure many of us silently rejoiced that we were not only ones who had read a report and at the end of it thought that it said absolutely nothing, nada, zero, zip.

There is an epidemic of people and organisations writing and saying things that do not say anything and do not go anywhere. It is meant to be ‘obfuscative’ and to make the reader or listener feel less intelligent than the person who is communicating. That, or they assume they are communicating with idiots and like the half-wits praising the Emperor’s new clothes we will all be too frightened to say anything – except you Mike – go Mike.

Rise up! – rise up I say, against this conspiracy spawned by management gurus and the elite, and for goodness’ sake do not succumb.

I recently heard myself use the term ‘drill down’ at a meeting. I wanted to punch myself in the head as soon as it came out of my mouth. The problem is we are surrounded by this jargon and like an STD, if you don’t protect yourself you risk infection.

Recently in an ERA hearing I was subjected to witnesses saying that they were waiting to see how things ‘landed’. The hearing was peppered with phrases such as – “we wanted to see how the merge landed“ or “we wanted to see how the proposal would land“. It took all my control not to say “Why can’t you just say “we were waiting to see what happened?””.

I was recently told by a senior manager that “we” needed to “stay in our own lane” – I had no idea what this meant at the time but nodded as if I did. Apparently it means to mind your own business and stay out of others’ areas of responsibility. See, “Stay out of my way” I get. “Mind your own business” I get. The problem is when someone says to me “stay in your lane” I immediately want to swim under the lane divider rope and do REALLY REALLY slow breast stroke in the lane reserved for the Olympic swim team – petty I know.

When I started working, on my first day I got ‘shown around’. Then in the 2000’s (maybe the 1990’s) you got ‘inducted’. Now apparently there is an ‘onboarding process’. I am truly not making this up.

I believe I may have uncovered a conspiracy that makes the Da Vinci code and the Illuminati appear amateurish. It appears that there is a group of aquaphiliacs (I dare you to google it) seeking to take over Board rooms and offices and court rooms.

Drill down – oil platform at sea

Landed – fishing

Stay in your lane – swimming

Onboarding process – cruise ships

Rage, rage against the dying of simple basic English. Do not go gentle into that gobbledygook which is management speak.