Tag Archives: strategic

Now Translate This!

Here is another jawdropper from the corporate world:

“…a strategic framework to catalyze positive and consistent operational improvements…”

What do you suppose that means?  Here is my guess—but it only a guess:

“…a plan to bring about positive, regular improvement [in some area, which is not defined but should be].”

Have you noticed these days how almost everything is defined as being “strategic”?  Apparently, if it’s not “strategic” it’s not important (in the corporate mind).  The most common use is a “strategic plan.”  Don’t all plans require strategy? You think through what is needed to solve a problem and then implement it. How can you plan without using strategy?

Too often writers don’t think about the words they want. Because we are bombarded with verbiage (that word carries a negative connotation) every day, we have these chunks of bullshit floating over our heads. It is so easy to write by just reaching up and grabbing a chunk that sounds oh-so-impressive and may hint at the meaning we want, and then shoving it into our own writing.  The result is vague, upholstered language that makes the reader guess at what we really mean.

It’s worth picturing your reader sitting across your desk while you explain in plain English what you really mean. It won’t take much time, and you will eliminate guesswork and errors caused by misinterpretation.

Off my soapbox I go.

Wikimedia Strategic Plan cover image

Wikimedia Strategic Plan cover image (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

April 15, 2013 · 7:42 PM

Is It Really Strategic?

From the New Oxford American Dictionary:

strategy |ˈstratəjē|

noun ( pl. strategies )

a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim: time to develop a coherent economic strategy | shifts in marketing strategy.

• the art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle. Often contrasted with tactics (see tactic).

• a plan for such military operations and movements: nonprovocative defense strategies.

ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from French stratégie, from Greek stratēgia ‘generalship,’ from stratēgos (see stratagem) .

 

I am so ready to pull out my curls when I hear the related word “strategic” bandied about—and bandied it is.  It wasn’t just during the interminable political campaign we just lived through.  The word is endemic in advertising, in education, in business.

 

Think about it:  if a strategy is a plan, then why the need to have a strategic plan? All plans involve strategy.  Strategic initiatives, strategic positions, strategic paradigms, strategic benchmarks, strategic dialogs—give them a rest!  If any planning goes into an endeavor (and it does), that endeavor is by nature strategic.  Lose the redundancy and clear the air.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized