|Are you a results-driven team player who thinks outside the box? Do you go the extra mile to help your customers identify the win-win in pushing the envelope? Are you committed to blue sky thinking in order to benchmark the bottom line going forward? If so, your colleagues are probably already playing Bullshit Bingo. |
Graham Edmonds’ guide to vacuous business jargon is essential reading for sales professionals who are expected to be fluent in bullshit when talking with those for whom it is a mother tongue. Edmonds breaks his subject down into categories – HR, marketing, finance, consulting, IT – and concludes each chapter with a Bullshit Bingo card to help you survive meetings.
Edmonds’ explanations of office bullshit are often hilarious, but with a serious point: he’s not just talking about garbled language but about manipulation, spin and plain deceit. For example, he describes benchmarking as: “A classic bullshit term as it can be used to demonstrate breadth of experience and ability to see the wider view. Used by consultants to extend their contracts. ‘We’ll have to benchmark extensively so we can get a holistic view of the market in all its guises.’” This book will not only save your sanity at conference (you’ll need two copies of each BB card), it will help you to improve the clarity and sense of your own language. You might even become a different team in the second half.
On Target special book offer Southbank Publishing are offering a free copy of Bullshit Bingo by Graham Edmonds to the first 5 On Target readers who answer this question convincingly: What is blue sky thinking? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can order Bullshit Bingo for the special price of £3.99 including free p&p in the UK (normally £6.99 + p&p) by phoning Turnaround Publishers Services on 0208 8293002 and quoting ‘Health publishing offer’.
Death by Meeting
by Patrick Lencioni (Wiley, £14.95 hb) www.eu.wiley.com
| Patrick Lencioni has been round the track a few times, and should certainly know what he’s talking about: the company he founded has groomed some of the best organisations in the States to work more profitably, from start-ups to Microsoft. In Death by Meeting he’s on home ground, instructing meeting-averse managers how to get the best out of these weekly/monthly ordeals by redesigning them from the neck down. |
Why, Lencioni asks, would we prefer to spend 96 minutes watching When Harry Met Sally when there’s more drama and excitement to be had from spending the same time with the other line managers? The answer is, because we don’t expect meetings to provide drama and excitement.
|How do we remedy this situation? Ensure that someone pulls out a gun? No, just get involved. All the excitement you need will be there for the taking. As he says: Imagine hearing a surgeon saying to a nurse before surgery: “If I didn’t have to operate on people, I might actually like this job.” Lencioni comes up with four styles of meeting to encourage the most apathetic attendees: from the five-minute stand-up to the offsite quarterly two-day event. They all have their inner dynamics, and each one should leave us planning for the future rather than regretting the past. |
Whether you’re selling analysers or analgesics, you get involved in meetings. They’re not to be avoided, says Lencioni, they’re to be embraced. And he’s right. His style may be a spot folksy and all-American, but he writes in bite-sized chunks that are easy to swallow and even easier to comprehend and utilise.
Highly recommended: you could even take it to your next meeting.
David Learner is Business Development and Resourcing Manager at Delta Consultants.
|On Target special offer winners: free copies of Touching the Void by Joe Simpson were won by Chris Czyrko and Ron Smith. Will it be you next time? |