It's All The Buzz
60 Year-Old CEO: Our new merger with Ultra-Mega Corp Inc. will yield new levels of synergy to allow us to tap into new markets, push our economies of scale, increase core capabilites and allow us to specialize in our competitive advantages.
50 Year-Old Manager: We need to push synergy.
40 Year-Old Middle Manager: Damnit, I hate synergy. I'm more worried about the bottom line.
30 Year-Old Specialist: My boss is always riding my ass about the bottom line, but I'm trying to add maximum value!
20 Year-Old Intern: Can I have a job?
10 Year-Old Son: So the two companies are now one company, right?
Thus is the story of Corporate America. We're told that all these CEO's spend years in MBA programs learning what all those buzz words mean so that they can speak "corporatese" to each other.
This is a lie.
As a student of Business in one of the nation's best Business schools, I can say for a fact that none of these words mean ANYTHING to the people saying it. The best CEO's giving a speech in front of hundreds of investors have the exact same clueless face as most of the clueless morons that populate my classes.
Its amazing to me to hear students answering questions like "Hi, how are you?" with "TACIT COLLUSION!"
Things get worse, however, when you start thinking in "corporatese" since, essentially, its the linguistic equivalent to Pig Latin: it sounds vaguely like English, but its harder to understand, and is mostly just there to make the speaker feel superior while making him sound like a giant douche. The only differences are that speakers of Pig Latin are usually younger than the speakers of corporatese, and the average importance of their decisions tend not to be more imperative than deciding if Stacey Jones is pretty or not (she's not because she has ooties-cay).
But seeing as my rants have lacked any problem-solving conclusions recently, I decided that I'd help alleviate this issue by providing a Corporatese-English dictionary:
Actuallization - Making something happen on paper
Agency Conflict - Battles between Agencies like the CIA and the KGB
Bottom Line - A strip club not far from the NYSE
Collusion - Cheating
Competitive Advantage - Michael Vick
Contractor - The opposite of a Protractor
Corporate Culture - See: Mafia, The
Diversification - Hiring more old white dudes from different towns in Connecticut
Firm Performance - [Message Censored by the FCC]
Global Climate - This has nothing to do with weather
Markets - A big open place with tents and people selling stuff
Ownership - (Nobody knows)
Profits - Dollars with which to fill your swimming pool
Risk Minimization- Covering One's Ass
Synergy - Massive Firings after a merger
Value - Shininess