You’ve all seen it. Managementspeak. Boardroom bullshit. Jargon jerking. Buzzword salad. It’s the language that only consultants use, while they smugly persist in the delusions that their mangled torture of human language makes them seem smart, helps them get their message across, and means something. All three of those self-serving beliefs are, of course, absolute nutwhack kookooflakes.

Meet Paedar Duffy, Irish former military man and TC 262 author of ISO 31000, who fashions himself as a no-nonsense guy who took his “first hand military experience to the boardroom [to help] businesses develop superior risk analysis and in [conduct] crisis scenarios with senior management teams in major corporations and strategically significant businesses.

Duffy is now founding director of the risk management consultancy SOLUXR™ — yes, it’s trademarked, only written in all caps and is a mashup of the word “sux” with a gaudy Las Vegas casino — and has operated risk consultancies since his exit from the Irish Army in 1993.  And to help market his SOLUXR™, which claims to “enhance strategy execution by connecting decision-makers across global organisations and empowering them with critical information in real time by illuminating the gaps between frontline decision-makers and the Board and C-Suite,” Duffy uses a goddamn awful amount of boardroom bullshit.

Have a look at this linguistic spaghetti map, recently posted on LinkedIn, the last refuge for consultants with thesauri:

Strategies that Kill! are those where ”mis-management of strategic risks embedded in the top-level decisions made by the executive team, such as what products and services to offer, whether to outsource manufacturing, or what acquisitions to make”. So says Booz & Co in its second survey (2012) published here by PWC’s Strategy + Business. And, its getting worse as compounding matters such as ”Accelerating technology development is forcing the rapid adoption of new products, services, and business models; digital information is making organizations more vulnerable to theft and loss; supply chain disruptions quickly ripple around the globe, affecting both companies and customers; consumer connectivity via social networks can broadcast missteps instantaneously to millions of people worldwide; and natural, political, or regulatory shocks can reverberate widely” What is Management to Do? Recognizing pace of change, hyper-connectivity and our multi-polar uncertain world, they need to develop capabilities providing lateral connectivity and structured sharing of information across organisational leadership teams, centres of excellence and internal subject matter experts as a means of both exploiting opportunities ahead of less adaptive competitors and defending the business model against threats and risks from wherever they can arise. Which co-incidentally is what we do in Soluxr though our technology enabled solutions.

Now let’s look at that paragraph again — let’s ignore the “Kill!” part, because it’s disturbingly lacking in faster pussycats — but with the boardroom bullshit parts highlighted, and everything else greyed-out.

Strategies that Kill! are those where ”mis-management of strategic risks embedded in the top-level decisions made by the executive team, such as what products and services to offer, whether to outsource manufacturing, or what acquisitions to make”. So says Booz & Co in its second survey (2012) published here by PWC’s Strategy + Business. And, its getting worse as compounding matters such as Accelerating technology development is forcing the rapid adoption of new products, services, and business models; digital information is making organizations more vulnerable to theft and loss; supply chain disruptions quickly ripple around the globe, affecting both companies and customers; consumer connectivity via social networks can broadcast missteps instantaneously to millions of people worldwide; and natural, political, or regulatory shocks can reverberate widely” What is Management to Do? Recognizing pace of change, hyper-connectivity and our multi-polar uncertain world, they need to develop capabilities providing lateral connectivity and structured sharing of information across organisational leadership teams, centres of excellence and internal subject matter experts as a means of both exploiting opportunities ahead of less adaptive competitors and defending the business model against threats and risks from wherever they can arise. Which co-incidentally is what we do in Soluxr though our technology enabled solutions.

It’s as if the entire thing was written through this online Bollocks Generator.

I went to university. I’ve written books. I’ve been told I’m not stupid. But I have no idea what the hell Duffy just posted. For example, just what is a “multi-polar uncertain leadership team”? Is that better — or worse?? — than a “bipolar uncertain leadership team?”

And I swear to God, if I hear the words “adaptive” and “disruption” in the same paragraph again, I will slaughter kittens and use their blood to summon Cthulhu to wipe out humanity, because frankly, we will deserve extinction.

And once again we see just how risk management experts fail to assess the risks associated with their ability to communicate their message. This all but ensures the only people who respond to this will be equally self-absorbed narcissists from “the C-suite” who treat their employees like shit by speaking in riddles like some goddamn mountaintop oracle, while their companies fall apart because nobody understands what the jack they’re saying.

Best — and free — advice I can give to immediately help those companies: stop speaking in nonsense. Communication is intended to be received, not merely uttered. Otherwise, you’re just grunting like some neanderthal poking around his own dung pile and expecting miracles to happen. That’s not how humans work, you morons.

Of course, Duffy’s vocabucrimes are fairly innocent when compared to the risk guy who posed as a woman online to sell his course and is wanted for arrest in Singapore, or this other risk guy who also posed as a woman, or the risk guy who wrote articles calling for the extermination of Muslims, or the risk guy who sells his dubious books just by sending out a newsletter that aggregates any story with the word “risk” in it, or the risk guy who spoke at an ISO 31000 event but failed to mention how he padded his resume by adding 20+ years of experience that he didn’t actually have, or the risk guy who started selling unaccredited ISO 31000 certificates while illegally using the ANSI logo.

Whew!

And you thought the quality management field was interesting!

 

    About Christopher Paris

    Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 25 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001:2015. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.