And now, in Mail on Sunday: the death of the business term ‘implementation’ | Mary Dejevsky

Can you guess what she meant by business term, “implementation”? The answer? “Reputation is everything, which is why we can fix it, as we’re a total leader in digital disruption.” Oh dear. But “the…

And now, in Mail on Sunday: the death of the business term 'implementation' | Mary Dejevsky

Can you guess what she meant by business term, “implementation”? The answer? “Reputation is everything, which is why we can fix it, as we’re a total leader in digital disruption.”

Oh dear. But “the accountability deficit” is a deeper problem. “Nobody is being held accountable. They were put in place to fix the pain points, and they’re not.” But nobody is to blame for that? Is this a bit like asking: which were the drugstore’s problems?

It is like the joke that, after days of negotiation and intense photo ops, a politician asks, “Can I have two?” The politician replies, “With you.” That must explain why, within hours of our worst idea, news outlets had been split into two camps, each writing a new narrative. One was the Bimbo Republication of the News Media, in which Rupert Murdoch, Richard Desmond and their ilk were seen as heroes – where one could imagine rebranding papers and broadcasters as MGN, VDM, IFN, BMG or HIT. On the other hand, the “quality” media claimed they were devising the solution to content scarcity by pursuing all-you-can-eat packages. Someone needed to get on with it, they said – and given the swagger and credibility of the solution’s champions, that person had to be News Corp and that person had to be James Murdoch.

Cue ad man whinge about process and lean principles. And fresh crisis. (Note this and the report last week that Pearson, owner of the Financial Times, is planning to “destroy” their union). Our impatience for winners and losers and a runaway downward spiral, compounded by an abhorrence of bureaucracy and a belief that everyone is on top of each other, is nudging us towards cultural collapse.

To continue right on, though, let me return to the cover of the Guardian. Note that it doesn’t refer to old TV management jargon, or even to the Top Gear strategy, or even to awards: it has disappeared. So what it is about this word that makes it so irresistible? Perhaps it is the glorification of failure, perhaps it is the willingness to admit to the futility of competition (on which I agree): perhaps it is the virtue of alliteration, perhaps it is the slavish borrowing from modern brands, perhaps it is an expression of a zeitgeist that regards disruption as one of the good things, while coveting more sustainable alternatives as the bad things. This is very popular with the Brits: their electoral system is clearly crippled by the divisions in favour of London versus everywhere, and the concomitant lack of investment in both policy and political communication.

The winningness of winners is too often taken as a given: it is sensible to mark the relative successes of our digital precursors as success, but often given too little credence as the precursors of our own. I was laughing as I read this phrase: if every education place in the country had to be branded, why should there be a more respected word than the word education?

If we work to market digital disruption, we may become mere imitators of the rest of the global supply chain, not innovative business revolutions.

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