Skip to comments.How jargon hurt the culture at GM
Posted on 06/20/2014 12:25:57 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The unsparing and harshly critical report from attorney Anton Valukas' investigation into General Motors, which held its annual shareholders meeting Tuesday morning, finds an array of culprits behind the company's ignition switch crisis. It cites a lack of urgency in the culture and, as GM CEO Mary Barra described it, "a pattern of incompetence." It blames an unwillingness of those in the know to reconsider their conclusions, and a dizzying number of committees with little clear accountability.
The report also makes several references to the role corporate speak played in the wrongdoing. Typically, we think of corporate speak as trivialities of modern office life that are annoying but harmless. We cringe when we hear colleagues promise a "deliverable," complain about "pain points" or use "ask" as a noun. We laugh at games of business language bingo and NCAA-style brackets to pick the worst workplace jargon.
But as the Valukas report shows, these idioms and corporate cliches are more than just buzzwords that threaten our linguistic sanity. At GM they stood to mask real meaning, obscured leaders' responsibilities, and created labels that hindered the critical thinking needed to keep real problems from getting worse.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
“Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the VP is such a VIP, shouldn’t we keep the PC on the QT? ‘Cause if it leaks to the VC he could end up MIA, and then we’d all be put on KP.” — Airman Adrian Cronauer (Good Morning Vietnam)
Sounds like GM was being run like Obama’s government runs things........oh, wait.
Just typical liberal/leftist Obama/Democrat Party standard operating procedure. But their intentions are good you know.
What do you think euphemisms like “gay”, “LBTGSTQEIEIO”, and “Common Core” are? They’re rhetorical red herrings, disguises, makeup for monstrosities, designed not to communicate but to obfuscate.
If that culture destroyed GM, what’s it doing to our government? The media? Our universities?
They failed to change it and it takes 3 years to change a corp. culture.
That takes leadership and a consistent leader, they kept playing musical chairs with their CEO's and what was their vision?
Now compare that with Ford and Mulally's "One Ford" vision, and their results...
Yep, sounds just like what is going on in DC. No clear leadership, incompetence, no accountability, and committees that accomplish nothing. All the while they push things on the public that nobody wants.
Ineffective cultures fail.
Old way of saying things: Lets save .57 cents and kill or injure hundreds of people so we can make some bonus money.
Suspiciously, extensions of academic jargon.
See Edward Tufte’s booklet “The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint” Same sort of thing at NASA leading up to the loss of the Challenger.
Politician: “Gentlemen, our MP saw the PM this AM and the PM wants more LSD from the PIB by tomorrow AM or PM at the latest. I told the PM’s PPS that AM was NBG so tomorrow PM it is for the PM nem. con. Give us a fag or I’ll go spare. Now, the fiscal deficit with regard to the monetary balance, the current financial year excluding invisible exports, but adjusted of course for seasonal variations and the incremental statistics of the fiscal and revenue arrangements for the forthcoming annual budgetary period terminating in April.”
First Official: I think he’s talking about taxation.
Politician: Bravo, Madge. Well done. Taxation is indeed the very nub of my gist. Gentlemen, we have to find something new to tax.
“Monty Python’s Flying Circus”: Tax on ‘thingy’ sketch
Try going into ANY organization and telling the executives that they are the problem. All focus comes off the business and they focus on destroying you. GM is a dead man walking.
GM has a culture ingrained for nearly a century it won’t ever change until it has no choice the bailout gave it a choice so it once again did not and will not change
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