I often (read: always) think some people in corporate America make things unnecessarily complex. Get a group of execs together in a meeting, or communicating to each other via email, and as soon as one of them launches into indecipherable business-speak, the others will nod in agreement, whether they understand what the first guy is attempting to say or not. His jargon will be dutifully parroted (or forwarded), and pretty soon everyone in the company is using this newly minted terminology.
The rest of us are expected to know what they’re talking about. And we don’t dare ask for clarification, unless we’re prepared to be looked upon with scorn and whispered about behind our backs. Asking someone what is meant by “identifying actionable results” is today’s equivalent of not attending the company holiday party.
I have my pet peeves when it comes to business jargon, “drive” being at the top of the list. Anytime I read or hear the word “drive” used in any non-transportation-related context, a small piece of my brain dies. I can actually feel a gumdrop-sized chunk of it shriveling up and collapsing in on itself. You can’t drive sales. You can drive sales up, but talking about increasing sales is far more clear. And please don’t announce that someone is driving a project. I feel more confident knowing that a person has been selected to lead a project.
I spotted this mission-statement-esque quote on the home page of a company called Purechannelapps (no spaces needed because that would just be, well, a waste of spaces):
Drive business growth through better enablement, communication and collaboration with your sales teams.
And so I forge ahead (minus another clump of brain cells) and attempt to understand what in the world is meant by the word “enablement,” and how one goes about driving business growth through it with a sales team.
But no matter how hard I try, I don’t understand it. I don’t think it can actually be understood. Not by a rational human, anyway. It sounds like such a made-up non-benefit that, to me, it screams, “We are completely full of crap. Question our credibility and run!”
I’m sure there are people who think it’s pure genius, and are already tormenting anyone they can corner at a cocktail party with talk of how better enablement with their sales teams is going to drive business growth. But who am I to question the approach? Maybe doing so will net them some actionable results.
Want to learn more fun made-up words? Visit The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary!