The Worst Speech in the World
By Gerard Braud
©2012 Diversified Media, LLC dba Gerard Braud Communications
Preamble: CEOs and executives use far too many buzzwords and clichés. Soon the bad language infects the entire company. So when the International Association of Business Communicators asked me to present a session called, “Don’t Say That! Say This!,” I went to LinkedIn and asked you to list the buzzwords and clichés you hate the most. The discussion has gone on for more than 4 months. I’ve collected comments from more than 270 people and combined them here to create what I call, “The Worst Speech in the World.”
Now put yourself in the zone. Imagine you are in the audience as your boss takes the stage and says the following:
As you are aware, I’m delighted that we’re here to announce some things you are unaware of.
We’re excited and pleased about this innovative, world class, value added opportunity to leverage customer-centric opportunities that, at the end of the day, create a value proposition and ROI second to none.
Not withstanding, I think you would all agree that we have to think outside the box if we want to drill down and chase after the low hanging fruit.
This is why our people are our greatest asset; our vital human capitol, especially those recently laid off during the downsizing, right sizing, outsourcing and strategic realignment phase, creating an opportunity for us to fulfill our leadership imperative do more with less as we execute against our objectives.
Now don’t get me wrong; we’re going to need to utilize long skis and transparency. Our valued shareholders expect us to offer them an open kimono.
Basically, this will be an iconic, strategic initiative that allows us to productionize and incentivize value added commodities.
Let me be clear… Clearly, we need to expand band width so we can deep dive and ramp up, and adjust to the moving targets associated with each strategic objective.
There are no dumb ideas; there are no dumb questions. It may be a dicey situation, but we need to think laterally and pick each other’s brains.
If you get a brain fart, run it up the flag pole and circle back to make sure it is implemented in a cost effective manner consistent with our mandate to implement our objectives.
In today’s climate, you can’t have a mega-brand or big box bricks and mortar location without tactical execution going forward.
Quick wins are quick wins, but long-term gains are long-term gains, irregardless of the potential for sustainability.
One doesn’t pursue a blue ocean strategy with only the goal to get a leg up on the competition. That would be like drinking our own Kool-Aid from a fire hose.
Our next breakout requires each of you to facilitate, coordinate and expedite each aspect of our projected paradigm shift.
We must be willing to lean forward and buy into the mission critical, turn-key aspects of our shovel ready agenda.
In life there are teachable moments that require us to circle the wagons.
That doesn’t mean we need to go back to square one and start at ground zero. We can harness the potential of our momentum to catapult us forward.
Sure, if we say jump out the window we want you to jump out the window. But at the same time we want you to think for yourself.
Some of you will have questions about the synergistic aspects, but there will be time to talk offline and touch base as we dialogue about our mission with our core internal audiences. That is why we have employee engagement strategies that harness the powers of social media, which replace our previous trend to blog, which replaced our wikis, which replaced water cooler talk.
We know the general public wants to peel back the onion to find out if we’ve hit our sweet spot. We’ll provide air cover for you so you have time to massage it and see what comes out of the other side.
Cross-functional socialization is one approach, provided we can monetize our deliverables. Some of you may want to let it marinate as you chew on it or mull it over. This shouldn’t be something you stew over. We may want to circle back and dialogue about whether this keeps you up at night. That would be my ask. And we need to complete this task before any of you holiday.
We think our new initiatives may optimize our execution, resulting in a game changer. We will want to engage all employees and blue sky this so everyone has visibility.
We need to land this one well for maximum impact as we onboard the customer-engagement engine, including face-time for everyone, especially those of you who are lowest on the food chain.
With that said, in the past we’ve spent too much time herding cats and trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, which does nothing to help us break the silos.
In the C-Suite, we don’t offer seats at the table or a place under the tent to those who are not ready to support our blueprint for change, by erecting strategic pillars that allow us to run the plays and roll down efforts to eradicate flight risks.
If we noodle over our touch points from 40,000 feet, it will incentivize us to get our arms around the scaling that will put us all on the same page so we are fully bright.
If we’re going to be on the same team we need to harness the power of our associates and level the playing field by walking the walk and talking the talk.
Our go-to must be more than a single belly button, tin cupping our units. Tension in the system is only achieved when we go beyond sucking the marrow out our robust assets.
Going forward we’re tasked to find space to hold calibration meetings to discuss right shoring opportunities that allow us to task and architect a solution as we champion the benefits of going the extra mile.
Normally, at this point, I would take questions, but for the first time ever, I don’t think that will be necessary. I think I can simply conclude, because each of you has clear marching orders.