Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Let me wipe my glasses so I, too, can be visioning


I gave a friend a piece of advice recently, and she circled back later to thank me. Something I said – I think it had to do with fences and good neighbors, or maybe fences and good dogs fences -- led to a positive outcome.

Which was a shocker, not because it worked, but because so few people ever take my advice. Then again, I rarely take theirs. We humans constantly dispense and receive advice; it’s almost as natural as breathing.

I suspect that’s because advice isn’t only potentially useful, it’s also cheap, easy, and takes very little effort. In the realm of helping our fellow man, offering advice is the very least we can possibly do, and so you might say, we do the very least as often as is humanly possible.

Nevertheless, flushed with the triumph of my last piece of advice, I come bearing some brand new advice. Let’s attend the Altadena Community Visioning Workshops, the first one, at the very least.

Admittedly, I was ready to blow the whole thing off, primarily because I saw the word “Visioning” in the title of the flyer. Old corporate buzzwords do that to me. “Root cause,” “Data-points,” and all the “uber-this and uber-that.” More than a decade ago, when I heard “think outside the box,” for maybe the millionth time, I decided, since apparently everyone was now outside the box, I’d be a true renegade and jump back in. Corporate-speak, but most especially nouns morphing into verbs morphing into nouns fill me with dread suspicion. Maybe because, during a stint in corporate communications, I was instrumental in reinventioning some of them. (More on Patch)

31 comments:

  1. Is this a landscape view of a 1% er?

    (How fun to be the first to comment!)

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  2. Hah, it does look that way. It's an old estate (once owned by the Marx Brothers) that's now a wildlife refuge and entrance to my favorite trail.

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  3. Yeah, the "visioning" thing got me, too. I usually like it when nouns morph (for example) into verbs, though. It suits my sense of efficiency. The corporate-speak that bothers me the most is "grow the company." For Pete's sake, how far from a garden can you get?

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  5. Brilliant, Karin, every sentence is brilliant. My hackles go up when I hear corporate-speak from bureaucrats. I stopped going to those Pasadena meetings where they want us to envision the 10 year plan for Pasadena's development, because of the language they were using. Sounds like a silly excuse, but it made me (and others) feel we weren't in the same box.

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  6. I think I speak for all of us when I say you're impacting us in a positive way. Now if only I could work synergistic into this comment somewhere.

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  7. When I saw "visioning" in your post title, I had to read on . . . the nouns becoming verbs becoming nouns thing totally gets to me. And, it is really confusing to my students (especially non-native English speakers).

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  8. You def write like, or at least sound like, a true Visioneer!

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  9. As I'll use any excuse to get out of a meeting, jargon in the title generally works for me.

    Anyone ever hear "Eat the frog?"

    I worked at one place where, when they were getting ready to lay off a whole lotta folks, they called it the "Innovation Project."

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  10. 'Blue sky thinking', I hate that one.

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  11. Morphed words make me crazy!

    As to fences, I have a good, sturdy one. When we keep the gate closed, we get on with the neighbors famously. When my son Dan left it open one weekend last fall, a neighbor came to my door to demand that we return the trees which were waiting to be planted, so my leaves wouldn't blow into her yard, because evidently they all do. She burst into tears when I told her that wouldn't happen, then I really pissed her off by pointing out that her yard backs up to a veritable forest owned by a local family which is very well off, and maybe the leaves in her yard are theirs, and they might like to rake them up. I then invited her to leave so I could close my damn gate again.

    And I try never to let the town's synergy get in the way of my pursuit of happiness. Especially when they want to "grow" stuff (like Janet said).

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  12. Thank you for unpacking that. Blech, what a dopey thing to say, but say it they must, or so it would seem.

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  13. I can take Tony's one step worse. I knew one exec who was fond of saying, "Let's blue sky that, shall we?"

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  14. Good advice! Good luck "visioning".

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  15. We had a reorganization awhile back in which several new divisions were created. These new divisions weren't created or established, however. They "stood up." Now people say, "Ever since stand-up...." Jeeze.

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  16. This is hilarious, Hiker. Thank you for the reminder. I look forward to seeing you at the ACVW. (It's all about the acronyms at KP.)

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  17. "Brilliant, Karin, every sentence is brilliant!" (Bellis)
    Man/Woman, we sure all need more blog readers like that.

    And it's good to see SC back on the blogosphere.

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  18. Oh God, oh God. Don't get me started on corporate bullshit speak. It drives me nuts. Endless morons 'repurposing' and vandalising words to sound important, clever and 'new'.

    One root cause is low IQ. People are mostly breathtakingly stupid. I marvel that so many can tie their own shoelaces.

    The other 'driver' of corporate bullshit is, of course, money. Sales people are the worst. So desperate are they to sell that they'll do anything to the language – anything – in their pathetic quest to make their product or service sound better, smarter, newer. They have no shame, no brain and no scruples.

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  19. Guess we've all had some skin in this game.

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  20. (Though I kind of like that one.)

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  21. I'm a little disappointed. I thought you'd become a psychic.

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  22. "The Dog and Pony Show" is still a favorite of mine. Maybe because it abides by the rules of corpo-speak while criticizing it.

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  23. The word "paradigm" sends shivers down my spine...from my years of working in the academic world - albeit it on the fringes.

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  24. Yeah, PA. Some hit the spot. Dog in the fight for example. Carolynn is right -- paradigm has no place at the table. -K- left my favorite comment over at patch. If you've ever spoken, written, or received money in exchange for words, that's the name of that tune.

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  25. The workshop sounds interesting, even with the eye-roll-inducing title. I'm almost bummed I work in law where I mostly miss out on obnoxious corporate speak. Our firm does have a set of Core Values, one of which I can't even decipher. Is there a parody business book that mocks all this prattle? If not there should be.

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  26. Cool. Sonnets are boxes, and the poetry world seems to think they've been used up. That's nonsense. So jumping back into the sonnet box could grow low-energy light years of fruit. Or was that a mixed metaphor?

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  27. I'm sure glad educators never resort to jargon . . .

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  28. Can Earl be serious about stood-up?

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  29. I have a post coming up soon about stupid corporate "buzz-words" and phrases. There are too many to remember them all, and most of the ones I do remember are STUPID!
    Great post!

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  30. 's ok, Banjo. Shakespeare was known to like his metaphors mixed, shaken and stirred.

    Pat, something in the air?

    Katie, we're reading from the same page. Drinking from the same well. Sipping from the same flask, pissing in the same hole. (I actually have over 50 for this one.)

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  31. I think we need to be incentivized to attend this visioning workshop.

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