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Home > Blogs > Moorad Choudhry > Consultant-speak and fake office culture is ruining banks' operating effectiveness

Consultant-speak and fake office culture is ruining banks' operating effectiveness

Consultant-speak and fake office culture is ruining banks' operating effectiveness Moorad Choudhry

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Consultants are taking over the world, and while this is good for them and their bottom line, it isn’t good for team satisfaction or indeed corporate effectiveness. Of course, I don’t mean that literally – the world’s banks aren’t being taken over by management consulting firms which have suddenly decided they want to run diverse conglomerates. No, what I'm referring to is the gradual and insidious influence of consultant-speak: saying 100 words where 10 will do, and generally making transparency and clarity the enemy of their objectives.

Two recent examples I have encountered are as follows (and try to suspend disbelief until the end):

The Monthly Barometer exercise

The team or department is asked to enter a survey that asks each person to rate their satisfaction with aspects of the job, their own perception of team effectiveness and how satisfied they are personally. Taking part in the survey is “voluntary” and “anonymous” but it is possible to see how many have completed it so where completion is low, the more brainwashed managers send out emails insisting everyone fill out the survey.

What’s wrong with this picture? Well, call me old-fashioned but surely this is the team leader or line manager’s job? To have their finger on the pulse and know what people feel, what is motivating them and de-motivating them? The culture is all wrong when it becomes an anonymous box-ticking exercise that everyone has to complete. But more to the point, what does management actually do with the results? If the “barometer” reports extreme dissatisfaction, what is senior management going to do? Give everyone a pay rise? As Dirty Harry might say, “Yeah, right…”

It gets better though. Read the following job vacancy I came across and see if you actually understand what it means:

Vacancy: Journey Manager

The Journey Manager is responsible for the experience evolution as well as functional drops of digital propositions across mobile and tablet. The role is critical in defining and designing new helpful and innovative digital experiences, taking ideas and concepts from ideation through to delivery and then through hand off to the Digital Service team. They will own and manage experience plans.

Is “ideation” a word? What is an “experience plan”?

It gets better though…

Key Areas of Responsibility:

• Express design ideas through use cases/ journeys and wireframes and ensure there is a quality product backlog aligned to Program roadmap
• Deliver high-quality customer journeys, user stories and acceptance criteria, and sign off these stories when delivered by the development team
Deliverables:
• Experience plans, product roadmap and associated artefacts such as customers communications plans

I’m not joking here, I genuinely don’t understand this text. It may as well be in Sanksrit (a language I don’t speak, read or write).

Is it really necessary to speak in such terms? Plain language would help commerce generally. It might also just get a higher satisfaction score in the “monthly barometer”…


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