Monday, January 5, 2009

How many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Answer (delivered in cod Austrian accent): Vun, but does ze lightbulb, really, vont to be changed?

Reading Lucy Kellaway's piece in the FT today, "Twaddle thrives among the turmoil", I had conflicting thoughts. Firstly, thank heavens for Lucy Kellaway. Without her to puncture the bubble of brain-blisteringly bad business communication the world would be a worse place to live. I relish her scathing attacks on nouns used as verbs or companies exhorting their staff to download the corporate ringtone to their mobile phones.

But I am saddened at the same time as her article, although it makes me laugh, does not bode well for our future. If we still cannot do business without the accompanying oxymoronic, tautologous or just downright stupid verbiage attached. If we fail to spot and arrest the intelligence-insulting garbage that is peddled as strategy, are we doomed to follow forever an emperor with no clothes.? And that does not suggest an early end to the recession...

Yet, I am not immune from the habit myself (indeed I freely admit my hypocricy). My communication is often lazy, sometimes pretentious, regularly fuzzy and inconsistent at best. So rather than moan about everyone else, perhaps the best way to start the year is to begin at home. So I invite those who work with me to list the most extreme forms of my crimes against communication. Tell me about the phrases I use that really wind you up and I will try to stop using them.

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