Monday, February 2, 2009

Business Talk

So John Murray from RTÉ got in touch with Santa and made him put a copy of his book, "Now that's what I call Jargon," in my Christmas stocking. It adds to the ever increasing pile of books on my nightstand/kitchen table/car's glove compartment/desk/bedroom shelves/kitchen shelves/sitting room shelves... So I finally got around to finishing it yesterday morning.

It has a promising starting, taking the mickey out of a decent selection of public figures - CEO's, County Managers, Councillors - and of course the politicians.

Yes, I would have to say the introduction is pretty funny.

Then there are of course chapters, each one covering a different topic. HR, for example. John rambles on for an age in each one, simply giving tons of examples showing how those featured in broadcasting and print media spend a lot of time saying nothing. Really? My gosh, I hadn't noticed!

I was hoping the book would me give some helpful examples of how I could encourage people to express themselves in business plans without using flipping jargon, but no. It's just basically a hundred page rant with countless examples of PR machine incompetence and political crap like "downward trajectory."

If you are starting your business, please express yourself in plain English. I have met with over 20 new start ups since January 5th (I know, I can't believe it either), many of them with excellent business ideas - some even had plans to go with them already! Lots of activity, lots of hope. *glows excitedly*

One, stood out from the rest - it took more than one reading, a bit of self-doubt on my part, " I stupid? I just don't understand..." - because the plan had over 100 pages and by the end of it I still didn't know what the original business idea was. The only phrase from the book that wasn't in the plan was in fact, "downward trajectory" would you believe. The rest were all there.

So the moral of my little tale is that an effective business plan will be written in plain English with no need for subtitles from Ranter Extraordinaire, Mr John Murray.

Don't buy the book folks. Stand in Eason's and squizz through the Introduction. It's quite funny! And makes you think...but that's where the quality ends. Don't waste your Earth Euro.

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