Archive for August, 2004

ManagementSpeak, 8/30/2004

Monday, August 30th, 2004
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ManagementSpeak: Lean and Mean. Translation: Famished and Feeble. KJR Club member Janet Jonas wins the prize — a free copy of Leading IT: The Toughest Job in the World, (a lean book, but not, I hope, a mean one) for her translation of this overused and abused management cliche.

Leaner-and-meaner contest results

Monday, August 30th, 2004
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Awhile back, I wrote in this space that in most cases, “lean and mean” really means emaciated and unpleasant. Dave Teleki objected: “‘Emaciated’ is just a bit too Latinate and abstract,” he complained good humoredly. “And ‘unpleasant’ is this year’s contender for understatement of the decade.” And so was born the leaner and meaner contest. […]

ManagementSpeak, 8/23/2004

Monday, August 23rd, 2004
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ManagementSpeak: Our staff are empowered to make critical business decisions on their own. Translation: Our staff are authorized to make decisions as directed by management. KJR Club member Dennis Kolda felt empowered to disambiguate “on their own” for us. I felt empowered to use the cool word “disambiguate.”

The best dress code policy

Monday, August 23rd, 2004
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I heard, through a back channel, that a Very Important CEO (VICEO) was giving an award to a project manager who had just led a difficult undertaking to success. In a large gathering, the VICEO invited the project manager to the podium. She stepped up in an outfit that revealed her midriff, replete with ornamented […]

ManagementSpeak, 8/16/2004

Monday, August 16th, 2004
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ManagementSpeak: We’ll have a frank and open discussion before reaching a mutually agreeable solution. Translation: We’ll do it my way. KJR Club member Ed Glasheen reports, “I was lucky enough to be a bystander in this frank and open exchange, rather than a recipient.”

Dress for excess?

Monday, August 16th, 2004
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Picture this. Your telephone rings at 1:55pm. The call is from the person with whom you have a 2:00pm appointment. He has to cancel your meeting. Suddenly, you have an hour free. How should you spend that hour? You could focus on: New ways to improve the application integration process. Figuring out what to do […]

ManagementSpeak, 8/9/2004

Monday, August 9th, 2004
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ManagementSpeak: If I bend the rules for you then I’ll have to bend them for everyone. Translation: I only break the rules when and for whom I want to. A rule KJR never bends: Respecting requests for anonymity.

Dress codes for success?

Monday, August 9th, 2004
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Target Corporation recently renounced casual attire as an acceptable form of dress among its employees. While the policy change received wide attention, the company’s logic for doing so has not (the company did not comment on the subject to the press). Neither has the irony: The only clothing you can buy at Target is casual. […]

ManagementSpeak, 8/2/2004

Monday, August 2nd, 2004
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ManagementSpeak: We have to face reality. Translation: We have to try a simplistic solution to the mess our simplistic thinking got us into. This week’s anonymous contributor provides a realistic translation.

Be as ROTten as you like

Monday, August 2nd, 2004
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Crankiness is a sure-fire motivator for writing a punchy, sarcastic column. The downside: It doesn’t always lead to the most tactful recommendations. David Carlson wrote to suggest, gently, that my final recommendation for responding to someone who tells you to face reality wasn’t particularly useful. He’s right, too. While not as sarcastic as “Here on […]

my photoBob Lewis is a senior management consultant with Dell Services. He has published these columns once a week in one form or another since 1996.

Disclaimer: All opinions, statements, representations, allegations, images (if published) and anything else that appears here is the sole responsibility of the author. Dell has and had nothing to do with it, other than saying it's okay to continue publishing KJR.

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