Monday, July 16, 2007

Hair-brained mumbo-jumbo numero uno

Some corporate linguists like to go with the four E words and the three R words when discussing employer-employee relations. Being a sophisticate, I prefer the verb forms of these words to the contrived noun forms. (Of course, the verb forms imply that action may be required, and management theories are supposed to shy away from that...):
  • E words
    • Empower
    • Enable
    • Engage
    • Encourage
  • R words
    • Respect
    • Recognize
    • Reward
Interestingly, the first two "E words" represent things that individuals in an organization generally get for themselves, because they simply couldn't do their jobs otherwise. Therefore, they only require management intervention in the form of removing external roadblocks. Our theory should incorporate enough management awareness to perceive these roadblocks and act without being prompted / begged to do so.

The other five things can probably be combined into a cohesive formula for employee motivation, if we can figure out how to map them on a chart and subsequently devise a self-test that deterministically and artificially lets people sort themselves accordingly. Of course, before doing that, we'll have to enroll in a post-graduate Psych program.

CEO-speak, merger edition

Bust out your buzzword bingo cards folks. It's merger season, and the CEOs are spouting this season's freshest corp-jive. Two fantastic case studies in highly-evolved, value-added diction that is both empowered by, and leveraging of, the unique corporate lexicon are presented below to enhance your short-term amusement value.

Energizer acquires Playtex. Guess that means we'll soon be seeing the world's first battery-powered ______. Oh, it turns out that Playtex makes other products, Energizer already owns Schick, and this is mostly a bid to compete with P&G (who happens to own Duracell). But, that would sound bad, so here's the official corporate-speak version from Ward M. Klein, Chief Executive Officer of Energizer: "We are very excited about bringing the world-class businesses and people of Playtex into the Energizer family... We see Playtex as an exceptionally great fit with Energizer, with similar customers and distribution channels in the U.S. and Canada, and the opportunity for geographic expansion in many other areas of the world where we currently do business. We also believe there are significant integration and cost reduction opportunities for the combined businesses. Energizer will emerge with a more diversified portfolio of products, and greater scale in the personal care category, which will now be more evenly balanced with our household goods business. It will also provide a platform for possible additional value-adding acquisition
Meanwhile, IHOP will eat Applebee's and turn almost all of their corporate stores into franchises. The quotable clap-trap press release was absolutely full of the word "re-energize;" it includes the following yawn-tastic quote by IHOP Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Julia Stewart, who will lead the management team of the combined Company: “Over the past year and a half, we have been evaluating alternatives that would allow us to leverage IHOP’s proven competencies in order to create additional long-term value for shareholders, including a potential acquisition. Applebee’s meets all of our acquisition criteria and we expect the combination to generate significant additional value for our shareholders.”