Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Retraction and Some Corporate Buzzwords

I have to issue a retraction on a discussion I had with the Big Blonde Head last week. As it turns out, impactful is an honest-to-God word (meaning just what it sounds like it should mean). However, planful continues to have legitimacy only as a corporate buzzword, and not as a legitimate English word. One is not "full of plan." However, an action can be "full of impact." Another phrase starting with "full of..." springs to mind that could be converted easily into a subversive corporate buzzword. Guess what it is?

My friend Thomas, who is a corporate VP, invented the buzz-phrase "veil of legitimacy" as a substitute for scope. I think we should all help him with this by saying things like "You know, Bob, I'm not sure that falls within the Veil of Legitimacy for this project. Let's go back and review the scope, shall we?" If Bob uses it in his next meeting, we'll know it's a success.

One phrase that's starting to bother me a little more every day, and which I refuse to embrace, is "drinking the Koolaid." I looked it up on Wikipedia, because I was hoping that I was horribly misinterpreting the origins of the phrase as it's being used in Corporate (a dialect of English). And, as it turns out, I wasn't. It's being used to marry "on the same page" with "buy-in" and "taking the same poison." I gotta tell you, I'm not comfortable with any phrase that suggests that adoption of project direction is somehow akin to the Jonestown Massacre of 1978. Do we really want to insinuate that our direction is both fanatical and suicidal, and will likely spell the widespread doom of everyone involved? The first people I heard using this phrase were using it tongue-in-cheek, because they're like that, but now I'm hearing it commonly used as described above...and it's disturbing.

The KoolAid thing is a little bizarre to me, but I guess it must be everywhere because I found this Blog article called "Physics of Passion: The Koolaid Point" which offers up the definition: "The threshold at which enough users become so passionate that others accuse them of 'drinking the Koolaid'. " All this talk about drinks is making me thirsty. For sealed bottled water.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Corporate Eight Ball

Someone at my desk was fiddling with my defective Magic 8 Ball today...I inherited it from someone years ago...it had air in the water, so its nearly impossible to read if you shake it first. And of course, my visitor grabbed it and shook it like people do when they're trying to derive magic from toys...and when it came up, he said, "This will be my new decision making device. When people ask me to make corporate decisions, I'm going refer them to the 8 Ball...What's wrong with this thing? It's all fuzzy."

To which I replied, "That's Corporate 8 Ball. It only gives you fuzzy answers."

I think there's a market for such a thing, I really do.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Kids Say the Darndest Things

As Bill Cosby will tell you, kids say the funniest things. For example, we're at dinner with #2 this evening, and Mark says, "Well, you know, people tend to take on traits of their parents. You're never really unlike your parents because of genetics."
To which #2 replies, "Oh my God -- does that mean my kids are going to be whiny?"