There are two schools of consulting, both alive and well.

The “Bamboozle them with Bullshit” school uses highfalutin fuzzy language to instill the notion that you are dumb, they are smart, and you need them in order to succeed. The Bamboozle school relies heavily on having its own vocabulary, which weaves wishful thinking, common sense, and conventional wisdom into a multi-textured fabric worthy of Lewis Carroll.

Herewith are some of the chestnuts we encounter on an almost daily basis, along with their actual real world meanings.

  • “Elevator speech” — concept invented by Josef Mengele to torture communications directors. No such thing really, and don’t you hate people who talk on the elevator anyway?
  • “Mission statement” — usually an interdepartmental treaty written by lawyers to paper over a lack of priorities. Trumpeted with great fanfare to Board members
  • “Core values” – reverse barometer. if you feel compelled to say something like “respect” is a core value, it almost certainly isn’t.
  • “Theory of change” — A fancy and confusing synonym for “plan.”
  • “Strategic plan” — a vast to-do list which qualifies neither as strategic nor a plan.

There’s way too much bullshit available for free out there. Don’t pay for it!

What’s the opposite of the Bamboozle school of consulting?  I’m sure there’s a word for it…