‘In your company, who is the CCO?'”

You will have a CEO – the Chief Executive Officer, whose main purpose is to deliver results, you will have a CFO – the Chief Financial Officer, whose main purpose is to report on those results, and you will have a CCO – the chief Confusion Officer, whose main purpose is to make everything as complex and hard to understand, as possible.

You may have a few – but who is the best of the best, the holder of the elevated title “Chief?”

Some clues:

*    They will know a lot of TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) – many of which they have invented themselves.

*    They will use trendy, meaningless phrases like “talent acquisition” (instead of “recruitment”).

*    And their favourite words, above all others, will be “that is too simplistic” – CCO’s hate anything simple, because such things threaten their very existence.

Having spent years in Information Technology, I am as “guilty” as anyone else in using jargon and accepting it as part of the everyday lexicon (!) – the first term I heard when I went into telecoms was “twisted pair” (don’t ask), I well remember being told with absolute disdain by a consultant that “knowledge management” was “the management of knowledge” and my personal favourite, although I have never met one, is a “thin client”.

And what about the CCO who wrote this for their web-site?

“Cartus’ customized solutions boost employee productivity and satisfaction, while supporting effective program management and cost control. Our focus on service excellence, technology investment, and Six Sigma measurement standards ensures consistent results-driven performance. Clients receive continual information on best practices, cost-reduction opportunities, and competitive program enhancements, while our consultants provide each employee with resourceful and responsive personal advocacy.”

So, next time someone uses a word, phrase or anything that you don’t think everyone in the room understands, simply ask – “I’m sorry, what does that mean please?”

The room will go very quiet and you will be the centre of attention for a few uncomfortable moments.

Trust me, if you don’t know what they meant, very few people will, and you will be a hero.

The question is this – dare you?

Please let me and others know below

With my heartfelt feelings of positive emotion, and every good fortune, favour and fortitude.

David
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14 Comments

  • Steve C

    My personal favourite (or pet hate) is hearing the word ‘leverage’ when someone simply means ‘use’!

  • Pauline

    Great point David – I’ve just come back from holiday and am spending Monday morning trying to get back into work-lingo… it’s funny how you don’t use this type of terminology with your friends and family!

    Edward De Bono’s book “Simplification” is recommended for anyone who wants to challenge all those budding CCOs out there….

  • Claire Kidd

    My favourite term which I recently encountered is a ‘nested acronym’ ie an acronym whereby each single letter is a representation of an individual acronym in its own right, brought together as a group or ‘nest’ for context…of course!

  • Michael Sumner

    I particularly don’t lkie football managers who took about bringing players to the ‘football’ club instead of just club.
    They all say football club now.
    And they talk about the group. Thtis group etc, etc.
    Boring!

  • Fredrik Estberger

    Great, thing David! Thats the reason I left the big company and start working for myself. I need to be simple to get the work done. I will never need a CCO or “the rambling man”. If I ever become one I will be without money.

  • Francis Greve

    I enjoy business phrases that aren’t used at home. But I really don’t like the phrase touching base. So old school.

  • Paul Charlton

    So much red tape and jargon in companies, it really is a nonsense.

  • Maureen

    I agree that working for yourself is a better option if you want to cut out the politics and all that goes with it.

  • Marcus Adams

    I enjoy that in a company. It’s what makes it tick in my opinion. You have to have phrases and buzzwords to get people to think about the enviroment they are in.
    They buy into that when they join the company.
    What’s a business without a buzzword?
    It should be part of their uniqueness.

  • Chris Everton

    We have two CCO’s in our office. Nightmare!

  • Rakesh Noah

    In my experience too many CEO’s sit in their offices and don’t get involved.
    That leads to confusion too.
    They ought to embrace their staff more and interact as that promotes a vibrant team ethic.

  • Harry Peake

    Talent acquistion. Cringeworthy!

  • Robert English

    ‘Let’s touch base abut that offline’ has to be the most annoying phrase of all.
    I was emailing a colleague and he said that in an email back to me. The reason I emailed him was because he insists that all communication with him is via email in the first instance as he doesn’t like being disturbed by someone standing over him at his desk.
    Either he didn’t want recorded what he was about to tell me or he just wanted to chat with me. We work within 10 paces of each other in the office.
    Absolutely pathetic!

  • kim cowie

    I’mm about to try this (again) on the Quality Assurance process.

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