Lucy Kellaway is a brilliant columnist in the FT, and also the creator of the Martin Lukes character who has his a column/blog of his own. Martin Lukes' hilariously inept escapades in the a-b global company were a source of inspiration for my very own Hugo Gaines in the Where's the Sausage? book.
In a recent column Lucy had a go at one of my pet issues: management buzzwords (the polite name for "brand bollocks"!). Check out these new terms invented by solicitors Eversheds to describe the type of people they want to hire, and try and keep a straight face.
"Knowlivators": knowledgeable motivators
"Logithizers": logical empathisers
"Proactilopers": proactive developers
"Winnowmat": the winning diplomat.
And over with the headhunters we have one of them emailing a new client with the following torrent of gobbledeygook:
- Opening phrase: "As a Leading Total Talent Solution Provider we have some special assessment tools to help identify the right candidate."
- Key tool: "Leadership Advantage Toolkit" with 66 characteristics
- Example criteria: "Dealing with paradox", "Organisational agility"
Lucy rightly points out that this over-complicated techno-speak is a smokescreen to hid the fact that in headhunting, as in most service businesses, much of success is down to delivering really well on the basics, and putting in a lot of solid hard work.
The one thing this symphony of spin would help these firms do is win the brand buzzword bingo game in 5 minutes or less!