23rd February 2018
It's a great book, no bullshit
Ever been in a meeting where someone’s dropped an acronym and you have no idea what it means, but are too embarrassed to ask? Like RFD, WFH, OT, IMO, BID, NRN, LET, ITL, TLTR *. And what about language such as moving forward, bandwidth, calling out, touching base, low hanging fruit, blue sky thinking, deep diving, 360-degree thinking, paradigm-shifting, bootstrapping, cascading, pivoting, leveraging, imagineering, product evangelising and inboxing?
There seems to be a lot more jargon and buzzwords in business these days and someone’s analysed this phenomenon brilliantly (and funnily). The newest book to hit the Nick Did This library is Business Bullshit by Andre Spicer. He explains some of the reasons behind the bullshit, the meaningless language and the unnecessary TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms). Love it! Spicer explores where it comes from, where it’s going and why we do it. For example, one reason for bullshit is, “By using impressive sounding words, bullshitters can feel like they have some control.”
We all bullshit to some degree don’t we, even if just out of habit? But when you’re in the communication business it seems odd to go out of your way to make language not just unclear, but sometimes elitist and exclusionary (these are some of Spicer’s theories). Business Bullshit is a great reminder to KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid). At Nick Did This we pride ourselves on being straight talkers and clear communicators. Though it’s worth noting that Spicer also reckons we need a tiny bit of bullshit in our lives to keep things interesting. Phew! So he’s not recommending a ZBP (Zero Bullshit Policy), merely suggesting we become more aware of bullshit and to keep a lid on it.
Wouldn’t it be great if we were brave enough to call bullshit the next time we’re blue-skying or imagineering at a thought shower? We all get that gut feeling when the bullshit levels are OTT, so let’s make a stand for good old-fashioned, no bullshit communication.
* Request For Discussion; Work From Home; Off Topic; In My Opinion; Break It Down; No Reply Necessary; Leave Early Today; Invitation To Leave; Too Long To Read.