A long time since the last post and I feel like I’m going back in time! Well not exactly but I am revisiting a topic which I’ve posted about before Language – is it for or against us? The reason being that I keep coming across words which to my mind are real barriers to communication, not enablers. Think of sustainability, innovation, transformation, change – all massively overused in the corporate world and rarely defined. What happens then is that everyone hears them and translates them into their own version, with often unhelpful consequences. Particularly as we now know just how strong our confirmation bias is
The next trend is to adopt words from one discipline into another – ecosystem is a great example where the concept of a natural ecosystem has some real pluses when thinking about a connected world. But quickly it just becomes a term for the network – one’s personal ecosystem or the organisations ecosystem is the contact or collaborations, losing much if not all of the characteristics associated with the original context.
And then there are new words – I’ve adopted ‘connective’ recently to describe the relationships I’m building in areas that relate to, add value to or overlap with my own activities. That’s a reaction to the fact that partnerships, networks, relationships or ventures all have connotations which don’t reflect how I’m working.
And in all of this, and particularly in our post truth world I am wondering whether or not language is still helping us or whether we need some form of rethink . . .