Consulting Speak Detox

For those of you who don't know, I recently left my position with a former "big five" consulting company. I was there for six years and got to work for a lot of really cool clients and very smart people who I shall miss!

Upon entry, six years ago, I swore I would never succumb to "consulting speak." I thought I was strong enough to make it. I strove to edit my presentations to use words like "people" or "individuals" instead of "users." I fought off the acronyms. I resisted the jargon, but somewhere along the line the environment finally got the better of me.

My dear friend recently ran an intervention. Ashamed and broken, I immediately checked myself in to a detox program.

I, Leigh Duncan, will now refrain from using the following words for at least six months (and after that with extreme care):

- Implementation
- Configuration
- Operationalize
- Critical path
- Mission-critical
- Cross-functional
- Any Acronym that represents a business or government agency
- Any Acronym representing financials, proposals or forms

I have also been asked to refrain from the following activities:

- Taking a thirty thousand foot view
- Doing a sanity check
- Building a straw man

If you catch me lapsing into old habits, please feel free to call me out.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny. While you're on your sabbatical, can you please check the RFI to ensure the ROI meets the needs of the CXO and optimizes the outcomes for all stakeholders? You don't belong there anyway! - A

Ann Handley said...

Well said, Leigh.

Tell you what -- if I catch you shifting your paradigms anywhere near a 30,000-foot view, I'll core your competencies. Deal?

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LEIGH DURST

LEIGH DURST
I’m Leigh Durst, a 20 year veteran in business, operations, customer strategy, ecommerce, digital & social media and marketing. Simply put, I’m a strategist that helps companies (start-up to blue chip) achieve business shift, create more compelling online and offline experiences. I also write, speak and teach about experience design and next-generation business. I’m a futurist, visionary, strategist, doer and connector with a passion for people and helping others. When I’m not on the road, you’ll find me in the San Francisco bay area, working, beaching it and hanging out with my family and dog.

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