Corporate double-speak is a serious problem. It creates confusion, wastes time, and reduces people to babbling idiots. I don’t really understand the phenomena actually.
Here’s the thing: It seems to me that the larger a company gets the clearer its communication needs to be, simply because there are so many more people to communicate to.
This is a blurb from an email going around Yahoo! corporate (full text here). It says absolutely nothing (the full email says absolutely nothing in about 19 more paragraphs).
The mission of the Advertiser & Publisher Group is to lead the
transformation of how advertisers connect with their target consumers
and businesses across the Internet, thereby driving more value for more
advertisers and more publishers than any other company. We believe we
have the right combination of assets to capitalize on the market
opportunity and drive long-term strategic growth for Yahoo!. Our
primary objectives in designing this organization are driving
customer-centricity, maximizing accountability and facilitating fast,
Ummm….What??? If I am a Yahoo! employee I have no idea what this means, and I’m probably grumbling to anyone that will listen that is exactly the kind of thing that made me leave my job at _____ (Delta, GM, The DMV, Dell…wherever). If I am a Yahoo! employee, I’m probably emailing my resume to Google right this minute. I think I would prefer to get this version:
Hi. Today I’m proud to announce the Advertiser Group! We exist for one reason only:
Make advertisers love Yahoo!
We will do that by creating THE BEST advertising medium in the world, by connecting advertisers directly to their customers.
Our vision is that every ad is a wanted ad, and by definition, an ad people respond to.
We’re called Yahoo! for a reason.
Maybe that seems simple. Maybe it goes against the very principles of the Wharton MBA, I don’t know. But I think everyone, no matter how smart or how educated, prefers to be spoken to straightforwardly.