Because… while business leaders and their teams love jargon, I hate it.
Leaders think its use makes them look smart. And their team members use it because they’re frightened they’ll be left out in the cold if they don’t.
Taking of being left out… I remember a friend of mine expressing surprise when suddenly—as if by magic—all his colleagues started talking about ‘metrics’. He thinks they meant ‘numbers’ by this but to this day he’s not quite sure. Perhaps his redundancy had something to do with not using the right language.
Which brings me to Pfizer Chief Executive, Ian Read. He was in the news a bit lately as his drug making company sought to take over British competitor AstraZeneca.
His performance in front of a Parliamentary select committee was peppered with some remarkable jargon examples.
“I asked a simple question,” a seemingly exasperated committee chairman Adrian Bailey said at one point as Read talked about ‘putting together the pipelines’, making sure of ‘good capital allocation’ and opportunities ‘to domicile’.
You can bet that Read’s acolytes all talk the same nonsense. This might well promote team spirit (not in itself a bad thing)… but also risks hiding what’s really going on in a sea of corporate-speak.
So… next time you go on a senior executive course make sure you bring back new-found knowledge but not the jargon attached to it.
Then everyone might still know what you’re talking about.
Tags: a simple question business jargon colleagues drug making company frightened good capital allocation ian read left out look smart metrics new found knowledge nonsense not using the right language numbers pfizer chief executive putting together the pipelines question remarkable jargon examples sea of corporate speak senior executive course team members team spirit