Corporate speak is of course tribal. So, to belong, you have to speak the tribal idiom.
Through my work, I have run behavioural recruiting interviews for clients. My interviews are a complement to the standard recruiting interviews based upon skills, capabilities and experience. I am looking for predictive value, predictable behaviours that could be compatible with a set of values that I had also helped to craft. In behavioural terms, the best prediction of behaviours comes from previous behaviours. So, this is something I do.
During that process, I find a few candidates have a robotic repertoire ready to use no matter what the question is. I get bombarded by ‘stakeholder relationships’, ‘exceeding expectations’, ‘empowerment’, ‘alignment’ and ‘shareholder values’. Although nothing is intrinsically wrong with them and almost unavoidable at some point in our tribal-corporate conversations, the difference is the percentage of airtime taken. That level of off-the-shelf, acquired vocabulary puts me off. I need oxygen at the end. A transfusion of normality.
Corporate life has it own language and God knows each company its own dialects. I am not interested in fighting them. On the contrary, if anything else, from a selfish perspective as an organizational architect, I need to hear, see and smell all that, to make a sense of the Tribe(s). But I have to say, I sometimes wish we could inject some normal prose and a bit of poetry!
‘A poem, my corporate kingdom for a poem!’. I am not Richard III but I prefer it to horses.
Ok, here we go. What about:
Landscapes of ideas
Tapestry of behaviours
Beauty of a plan
Adventure into new markets
Hospitality for the imagination
Sheltering the creative minds
OK. I get the message. I’ll get real.
Your language will shape you. ‘The limits of your language are the limits of your world’, Wittgenstein dixit. No wonder we are so limited in our corporate narratives.
Continue the conversation…
Watch Leandro’s latest Webinar Series. Leandro and his team of organizational architects, debunk uncontested assumptions and uncover the alternatives, whilst considering why this is even more relevant today in the current exceptional environment.
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Dr Leandro Herrero is the CEO and Chief Organization Architect of The Chalfont Project, an international firm of organizational architects. He is the pioneer of Viral ChangeTM, a people Mobilizing Platform, a methodology that delivers large scale behavioural and cultural change in organizations, which creates lasting capacity for changeability.
Dr Herrero is also an Executive Fellow at the Centre for the Future of Organization, Drucker School of Management. An international speaker, Dr Herrero is available for virtual speaking engagements and can be reached at: The Chalfont Project.