OK, kids. As you approach graduation from business school, there’s one thing they didn’t teach you: how to decipher a memo.
Today, we will translate the common shorthand in modern business communications.
“Tough decisions:” Layoffs.
“Workforce optimization:” Layoffs.
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“Restructuring initiative:” Absolute bloodbath.
“Employees who are affected:” Those fired.
“Realignment of organizational structure:” Executives are safe.
“Enhanced governance process:” We’re actually adding executives and meetings for them to attend.
“Operational nodes:” Various departments.
“Realignment of resources:” We found a company in India that will do all the technical work for half of what we’re paying now.
“Enhanced confidence and operating efficiency in our contractual partners:” We found a company in the Philippines that assures us it’s not as incompetent as that company in India. And, best of all, they’re even cheaper.
“Future is bright:” Because of all the layoffs, we might make our numbers for the next quarter.
“Real traction nearer term than expected:” Maybe next year we’ll see a small profit.
“Three key takeaways:” All you really needed to know that was said during that 90-minute presentation.
“Evaluating strategic investment in new product development:” We’re whacking research and development.
“Leveraging our strong brand identity:” We’re whacking marketing.
“Challenging and volatile operating environment for our industry:” Our competitors are murdering us.
“Renewed confidence that our key brand initiatives will drive positive results:” Magical thinking.
“In real time:” The dimension you live in.
“Regionalization of functions allows us to utilize and leverage collective skills and knowledge:” Somebody in Fort Wayne will now be ignoring your calls to the Help Desk that used to be down the hall.
“Optimizing organic growth synergies:” Some idiot oil minister in Nigeria wants to park $10 million in our account for a week!
“Experiencing strong headwinds in certain brand sectors:” No one is buying our stuff. They’re buying our competitors’ stuff.
“Divesting non-core assets:” Dumping that wretched, over-priced stuff we acquired last year that somebody thought would make us money.
“We are standardizing the initial approach conversation with potential clients:” We are stomping out every bit of employee creativity we can detect.
“We continue to evaluate opportunities to strengthen our balance sheet as we position our company for long-term growth:” Has anybody got any ideas?
“Outlook for the year will remain challenging:” Look for another job.