Military Precision Put into Corporate Cliche’s

I love cliche’s.  As I’ve said countless times here on Kung-Foolery, they are super effective at hammering home any point you are trying to make and really ramming it down your throat….SEE!  They provide the proverbial proof that is in the pudding.

I work in a corporate culture that was previously a startup culture and the two are fighting a ground war of epic proportions.  Just like cliche’s, I love a good culture war as much as the next guy (perhaps not as much as Glenn Beck, but significantly more than Sarah Palin).

All this war talk has gotten me thinking about how we communicate and more importantly, how we ram our ideas down people’s throats.  What I’m finding, is that the most effective way to ram your idea down someone’s throat is to cloak that idea with the military jargon.  I am taking the military euphemism to an extreme and I am here to say… I love it and it’s really working!

Always remember to stay well cafeinated when “in the trenches” of corporate culture warfare.

Here are some jingoistic military cliches that are of the utmost importance in communicating your business strategy:

1) Build a beach head.  The only way to create the “network effect” is to build a beach head. Whether it occurs in Normandy or on the internet, you must build a concentration of something, somewhere, and penetrate it.

2) Follow the rules of engagement.  The process only works if there are clearly defined ROE and all relevant parties do not OVERSTEP THEIR BOUNDS (I’M TALKING TO YOU JACK!), let the chips fall where they may, yes, but follow the ROE or risk being a victim of collateral damage.

3) Establish an extraction point.  This is the point where all parties meet to confer and decide whether or not Johnny and his term sheet are worth saving, or perhaps we’re all better suited just not responding to that email.

This post is the jumping off point for this lesson as we have not yet hit the drop zone, so stay tuned for at least 87 million more examples that will help you succeed in communicating your strategies in an effective way through military cliches.

At ease.




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3 thoughts on “Military Precision Put into Corporate Cliche’s

  1. Procter May 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm Reply

    Wow, great topic, I have been thinking about this too. Our war lingo is similarly absurd in a corporate setting, but, so firmly entrenched it’s daunting to imagine conquering it or even pacifying the violent memes.

    We “nuke” servers (wouldn’t merely restarting them be sufficient, and, more economically feasible?)

    When one’s project is deemed important enough, it gets its own “war room”. One envisions a dark smoky bunker with spotlights shining down, decorated generals moving tank divisions over a 9×12 foot map, while a perimeter of headphone wearing radiomen tend to walls of blinking lights. (Sadly, its just a conference room – boy was I disappointed!)

    When one is going into a meeting with the boss’s boss or higher, we are informed of “landmines”, topics we should not bring up or words we should not use because they are likely to raise alarm.

    Whenever something remotely bad happens, one must schedule a “post mortem” to analyze what went wrong. If only what we were doing actually was life and death, I would feel I had made a greater contribution to society!

    As bad as these themes are, at least they are generally real English. The war vernacular isn’t nearly as insidious as the never ending barrage of unnecessarily manufactured words.

    For no apparent reason, we use verbs like “spend” and “ask” as a nouns, as in:

    “What is your projected spend for Q3?”, and

    “What is your headcount ask for Q4”.

    “Cost” and “Request” can be cleanly substituted here with no loss of meaning or impact.

    • seattlekungfoolery May 19, 2012 at 9:46 am Reply

      Much more eloquently and elegantly said proc! You are a good corporate soldier.

  2. […] Military Precision Put into Corporate Cliche’s […]

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