Corporate speak is of course tribal. So, to belong, you have to speak the tribal idiom.
I have just finished a set of behavioural recruiting interviews for a client. 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.
A couple of the candidates had a robotic repertoire ready to use to no matter what the question was. I got bombarded by ‘stakeholders relationship’, ‘exceeding expectations’, ‘empowerment’, ‘alignment’ and ‘shareholder values’. Although nothing intrinsically wrong with them, and almost unavoidable at some point in our tribal-corporate conversations, the difference was the percentage of airtime taken. That level of off-the-shelf, acquired vocabulary put me off. I needed oxygen at the end. A transfusion of normality. I have not been too kind in my report.
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.