Management 101

February 26, 2009

After reading this post by Erin yesterday and hearing this story on NPR this morning, I started thinking about all the dumb things management likes to say at staff meetings or board meeting or just to you when you are alone in your office desperately trying to get work done.  Here are five of my favorite, with their real life translations.

1) “We need to manage expectations” –  What they mean: I want you to make sure no one expects us to actually succeed at this or even do a decent job.

2) “Lets evaluate the stakeholders”- What they mean: Who is going to flip their lid and think they actually have a say in the matter when we make this change?

3) “It is time for some strategic abandonment”- What they mean: Lets quit some stuff with out looking like we are quitting.

4) “I am going to have this run up through your department”- What they mean: You do all the work, I will show up in time to take the credit

5) “Look for the low-hanging fruit”- What they mean:  As anyone from my last place of employment can tell you…they mean do the stuff that is easy right away so that you can spend months in meetings talking over and never actually doing the stuff that is hard.

I think I am totally ready to run an organization.

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15 Responses to “Management 101”

  1. Erin Says:

    Word. I’ll work for you.

    Sweet! Can we take sushi lunch breaks every day?


  2. Euphamisms crack me up – especially when used as incentive to produce productivity!

    produce productivity, love it!

  3. Carly Says:

    For as much as I want to punch my job sometimes, I have never heard any of those phrases so I guess I’m a little happy to work for a small company. Low hanging fruit just sounds dirty to me.

    And in your office…you know dirty when you hear it!

  4. apollocreed Says:

    I will work for you too. But I just want to be the Sexy Secretary, I don’t want to do any work.

    Hired!

  5. Matt Says:

    I loathe the word “budget”

    It makes me want to hulk out and punch someone

    Lot of punching going on in these comments. Work brings out the very best in all of us.

  6. f.B Says:

    So until about 3 seconds ago, I thought “low-hanging fruit” was a “twig and berries” joke. I am slow.

    But I definitely would work for you. Though admitting how slow I am may have just moved my resume to the bottom of the pile…

    I did not realize how dirty it sounded until people pointed it out. Poor Erin is never going to be able to look at her boss again.

  7. JoLee Says:

    I used to work for an office that had a mandatory staff meeting every Tuesday and the owner would quote from the “What Is Scientology?” handbook. It was awful.

    Wow, that is really offensive. Did you at least get to look at lots of pictures of Suri Cruise?

  8. LiLu Says:

    As long as there are no posters of kittehs hanging from branches that say, “Hang in there”…

    I’m in.

    Those are the WORST! I actually looked for one to add to the post after I read your comment, but I just could not bring myself to do it.

  9. Connie Says:

    Strategic realignment – more important in regards to who to suck up to at the given time, rather than efficient organization of any kind.

    Just trying to help…

    ohhh, good one!

  10. Maxie Says:

    My favorite: “lets think out of the box”

    Always a classic.

  11. Mike Says:

    Would you hire me?

  12. Chelle Says:

    And me, too? Really, I’ll even pick the low-hanging fruit…

    😉

  13. annasawin Says:

    Ugh, not just Erin that won’t be able to look at her boss any more, TWIG AND BERRIES, eek!

  14. j Says:

    No. 1 & 2 are valid practices that no one really seems to understand. People who use them need to be duct taped to a chair and the entire meaning needs to be explained, and then they need to sign manifestos that they will never use those phrases again unless they are actually going to carry out the full purpose.

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