Thursday, July 18, 2013

Too much granularity in my biscuits

As with tennis elbow overuse will cause you pain. Alas, not just our weary elbows ache after the same activity over and over again but also our weary minds will feel the pain from management speak overuse syndrome.

As time and managers go by and the folder of Powerpoint presentations, called 'presentations' gets bigger and bigger bursting at the seams with templated ocean blue design, you can bet your KPI's that the call to action headings will be front and centred before you can say epicondylitis. We've continued to put faith in our tired terminology and it's seen us through the good times and bad. We've run it up the flagpole and had more burning platforms that bonfire night, before that became really illegal.

Each time we roll them out they are further cemented into our psyche like old friends from way back when. But my, how they've changed. We've adopted them and adapted them to suit our office needs and in-capabilities. An engagement score these days has executives nodding and note taking but it wasn't that long ago that engagement only referred to proposal of marriage and providing a score would be giving your fiancé a reasonable rating out of 10.

We've gone straight to the war room to steal the strategic lines of defence and just left it at strategy this and strategy that and hopefully left the artillery behind. We're aligning our strategy now and no longer is our alignment just the work of a really good chiropractor, we've crunched and adjusted the lower backs of our business to walk with a lesser limp.

Values used to be about the cost of my sandwich and talent only referred to baton twirlers and people who could sing. Now I need to explore the hygiene factors of my ideas instead of my kitchen sponge and be so transparent hardly anyone knows I'm here. Retention should only be about water as anything else would be just too painful and measuring my bench strength should be left to a home handyman with an extractable tool.

High performance used to be singled out for acrobats and performing seals but now we ask everyone to swing from the trapeze and clap hands simultaneously but when things go wrong we get out the liposuction and right size the fat right out of the joint.

Termed 'Weasel Words', Don Watson wrote about the lack of accountability that goes with this management speak and it seems we've not listened as we continually stamp them all over mission statements, vision and values and position descriptions.

So why don't they work? If there is any doubt as to the ineffectiveness of this terminology try them at home or next time you're at the footy. For example "my wife's white sauce really adds a value proposition to the veg". Doesn't really work does it?

Substituting real words instead of management speak is a reverse form of bullshit bingo that can create hours of entertainment in your next monthly presentation. Every time one appears, raise your hand and ask "when you say road ma

p don't you really mean list of things to do" or "does platform really mean platform as in train platform and if so which one and what line should we be on?"

Well I'm off to formulate a framework for dinner, it's getting late.

Friday, July 12, 2013

There's no App that does my laundry

There’s an App for everything.  And money to be made if you can come up with one that hasn’t been thought of before.  You can search the App Stores for the most popular and the free to download.  I’ve tried to be enthusiastic about how an app can change my life for the better but so far have failed to do so.  I don’t need to put a mobile phone next to my bedside table to monitor my sleep.  I know I won’t sleep better knowing that large portions of the night are spent by me worrying if the sleep app is watching me or just registering enough brain tumour microns into my head to cause me a restless night.  There’s an App that will tell me how many calories I am burning when I'm doing not very much.  There’s an app to record my distances walked, my kilometres driven and the age of my body, either real or apparent.  All delivered via an electronic device so clever that only a pencil and paper could do it better.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Housekeeping for pets

I bought a bunch of flowers.  You know, for the house.  No special occasion other than a reward for a clean house that will be clean for a very short time.  Pets have no regard for clean.  Clean is uninteresting and not worth a serious sniff or poke.  I've learned my lesson well with an afternoon spent thumping a vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs for a thorough spring clean only to find last Thursday's leftover leg of lamb bone neatly placed behind the toilet for safe keeping.  And it would be the exact time you would have a visitor around only to explain that the dog likes to put things aside for another day and no we generally don't store discarded food items at the back of the loo.  Who knows though, come back next week and there might be a side of beef.  The lilies came with a warning from the florist that they are lethal to cats if eaten.  Alarmed, slightly but not all that surprised as I think they are lethal to humans too. So having placed the toxic offenders out of harm's way I can sleep more soundly even though the deadly floral arrangements would need to be cut into small pieces and placed in a prawn jelly before my cat would be mildly interested but I'm sure he appreciated the effort.

There was a stage of gift bearing from my cat during the summer months when he brought me home small gestures of his appreciation.  First it was a shiny beetle dropped inside the door, some small pigeon feathers artfully displayed and then a huntsman spider smartly delivered in the middle of the rug on the lounge room floor.  Fortunately the spider had been long deceased and no amount of soft 'wake up spider' poking by my cat's paw was going to revive it.  No, my clean carpet is a figment of my imagination really.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Beep Beep

Is it an old fashioned thing to be careful when driving?  Did indicating and obeying stop signs become as unlikely as putting gloves in the glove box?  When my generation first got a drivers license we did so with trepidation and crept out into the traffic with respect for our elder drivers which was most likely everyone on the road.  We waved on, pulled over and generally felt obliged to be a team player on the highway.  Now if you let someone in front of you it's like you've donated them a kidney.  The politeness towards other drivers is either left to the older generation or left by the side of the road with everything else that's discarded or run over.

The i-generation of connected drivers are texting at the traffic lights long after they've gone green and they swing into your lane in front of you like they're diving into a mosh pit.  Their cars are new and powerful whereas ours were rusty and handed down.  Cars now have computerised technology and maximum horse power.  Ours had a choke and the grunt of an adult cocker spaniel.  But we knew how to drive. You had to.  The car couldn't drive itself as opposed to what's available today.  It didn't beep at you, it had no warning signals, cameras or anti locking break systems.  We just knew not to drive in pointy toe shoes or thongs.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

If the shoe fits

As I walk around the local streets I love the diversity of style in apartments and houses. These different styles so named to reflect the era or the reigning monarch of the day gives us a guide to people's lives and a time gone by.  Where failing foundations and rising damp have overtaken neglected properties the developers descend with bulldozers in gear and planning permit in hand.  So to the new era.  The age of the modern shipping container style home.  You can have one container or two with a sliding glass door at the front and the other box stacked on top like layered in-trays.  Where the stevedore replaces the stone mason the new style apartments save time and money where intricate detail can mean 20 down lights or 30.  Not yet named as per the age or reign the Kevin/Julie/Kevin era doesn't quite fit.  With our clean lines and shiny surfaces our new way of shoe box living has everything stacked in its place.  We stack our plates and we now stack our homes.  Unfortunately the apartment stack is the highest stack of them all.  Each poking out a little less than the one below the only thing missing is the shoe size on the front door.  I'm in 9B narrow fit, which one are you?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Taking time out

Taking time to smell the roses?  Doesn't seem possible on most days.  According to our televisions and newspapers we're busy being connected, linked in, logged on and sharing our lives on something called an instagram.  Not sure, could be some sort of urgent x-ray for the impatient patient.

We're supposed to be scrutinising our leaders and tweeting our every publishable thought (and some not) for the entire world to read - when it has time.  Our letters to the editor are more just letters of an alphabet put together in a tirade of text so angry that broken pieces of keyboard must be sent flying to get the point across.  The temptation to unsubscribe to the constant speculations and scrutiny of everything every minute every day is ever present.  To a time when televisions ended transmission at bed time and the fading white dot told us it was time to switch off and unplug at the wall.  It wasn't interactive and you were never asked to join the conversation unless it was a children's show and that involved dancing and singing and waving your arms around a lot.  Television sponsors were invited to provide a 'word from' and advertising was obvious and introduced.  Subliminal hadn't been invented and product placement was a segment segued by 'and now here's a commercial'.  And so it was.

And now time for a cup of tea.