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Some years ago a German friend was amused, in an ironic way, by the expression ‘cherry picking’. Idioms and metaphors are always entertaining and strange in a foreign language but coupled with the business use it was much funnier. We would string long sentences into a dialog of all the management phrases and metaphors we could make into sensible conversation.

“At the end of the day after it’s all said and done we have cherry picked the lowest hanging fruit but a window of opportunity still exists for those that can smell the coffee which is more than a nice-to-have, it’s critical to the bottom line.”

I have wondered if an entire career could be composed of such sentences without every uttering a unique thought. Don Watson’s books, “Weasel Words” and “Bendable Learnings” have organized this type of language into two agonizing books; agonizing because they are not enjoyable. Watson’s anthologies are full of the worst techno-management drivel.

In a similar way I have transformed and updated two classic opening paragraphs into the sort of book a thrusting executive would socialize at the workplace. Maybe you know the originals.

•“Many global market surveys indicate that men, within the unmarried male cohort, with a high net wealth will also have a high correlated probability of searching for a female life partner.

In relation to the generally low awareness on the supposed subject male’s mindset when they have relocated to a new city; the generalized learnings of the above cited market surveys are a powerful meme amongst the families of the new city and the male is categorized in terms of financialized bonding to the unmarried females within those aforementioned domestic formations.”

•“It’s possible that you are on a discovery of relevant bio and career information, the key dates, such as birth, and what my below optimal younger years were like, and how the joint CEOs of the household were engaged, even before I was a major project, and all that traditional narrative long form material, but let me revert on those issues in order to be open. To put this in a hierarchy of needs requirements that information is not critical to me, and secondly the joint CEOs would have a serious medical alert if I revealed data about the organization. Data breaches make them sensitive especially one of the CEOs…”

Guy Cranswick
24 February 2012