Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Laughing with Lucy

Lucy Kellaway makes me laugh. She's a dead-on, tongue-in-cheek, based-in-reality commentator on business life and the corporate world. Think mashup between Dilbert and a proper English lady journalist.

I often catch her on BBC radio during my morning drive, although if I've tuned to Sirius rather than terrestrial public radio, the drop-outs leave frustrating gaps in her commentary. To fill those gaps, I check the Financial Times Web site, where Kellaway is a management columnist who "pokes fun at management fads and jargon, and celebrates the ups and downs of office life."

One of her latest commentaries really hit home for this writer of corporate communications. In a piece titled Good year for management guff, Kellaway presents awards for "paradigm-shifting, best-in-class management guff."

Some winners:
  • the unnecessary euphemism "significant optionality," when talking about choices facing the company
  • a three-way mixed metaphor that manages to say nothing, "There are times when there is a need to dig deep and find another gear -- while never losing sight of the bigger picture"
  • the best job title -- "life explorer, multimedia storyteller, experience architect"
  • top cliché: the elephant in the room
And for good measure, she throws in a video treat with a link to YouTube: the best company song sung by a Russian Gazprom manager. 

Now that's good copy.

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