Opinion: Synergizing solutions into revectored deliverables

Translation: Stop using so much jargon!

As the rubber hits the road on a new year, I think we’re all in need of some real blue-sky thinking – perhaps even a complete revectoring of our end-to-end processes – in order to be first-movers and create value-added deliverables within each of our customer-centric markets. Indeed, it’s imperative we synergize our idea showers into mission-critical assaults on all low-hanging fruit in our go-to-market, going forward.

Does the above language sound like you, or someone you know in the business community?

Do you miss the English of yesteryear, when a solution was something more likely found in chemistry class? When traction equated to a bag of sand in the garage?

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So do I, friend. And while I as much as anyone appreciate the delicate parlance of the business world’s finest cliches in action – it’s sometimes quite thrilling to string three or four of them together in a row, after all – it’s also sometimes difficult to hear people in essence speak without speaking. To hear folks not really get their message across, despite their passion, and not for lack of trying.

But, sadly, one hears these kinds of enthusiastic exchanges all the time in business. Here’s an example:

Businessperson 1: “I’m out-of-pocket till next week, but I’ll touch base when I’m back and we’ll circle the wagons.”

Businessperson 2: “Great. Let’s get some real out-of-the-box thinking in during the downtime, and come back with a game-changing turnkey solution.”

And so on. Indeed, conversations like this seem to have become so commonplace amongst businesspeople and entrepreneurs, you probably thought I secretly placed a recording device in the hallway of your office. And hey, I suppose if it works for you, then why change things?

Regardless, I call this kind of speaking “linguistic overcompensation,” and I’m not really sure why it’s so prevalent within the business – and particularly the high-technology – community. Everyone, of course, wants what they’re saying to sound important, even when it isn’t. It’s a natural human impulse. Just Google some old George Carlin bits and you’ll see what I mean.

But sometimes we overdo it, and often to disastrous results. After all, there’s nothing worse than clicking on a cool new high-tech startup’s website, being greeted by a dazzling Flash presentation worthy of a psychedelic film only to finally be presented with a written description from Planet Incomprehensible. 

It’s not good for the company, it’s not good for customers, and it doesn’t really help anyone in the long run.

Who knows, maybe the next high-tech app could be something that helps translate the ever-evolving lexicon of biz- and tech-speak.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go drink from the fire hose.

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