To avoid having to write another article entirely on business buzzspeak, I’ll couch it in a bit of background. There’s a trend here for people (particularly prominent people) to “go on a journey”. Whether it’s a psychological trip of self-discovery (much like the Americans go off to “find themselves”), or an actual journey to some place which will provide a life-changing experience.
I started thinking about this due to something a colleague ranted about “every Tom, Dick & Harry going on a bloody journey”. Which reminded me about the number of shows on TV that popularise this mindset. There’s Martin Clunes (of Men Behaving Badly fame) doing a trip around the Islands of Britain. There’s Paddy McGuinness and Rory McGrath doing their Great British Adventure. And there’s Michael Palin going every which way.
It may be a resistance to island fever, and I’m pretty sure it’s due in part to the relative affluence of the Brits compared to a few decades back. But hopefully they’ll all get their chance to go on a journey, and come back refreshed, (perhaps even having found themselves), and then get on with the big job of picking up the country from the mire it’s got itself into.
The other reason for the timing of this subject, though, is a wonderful bit of jargon that seems to be popping out its gruesome head. In a recent meeting, a colleague inquired as to the status of a particular document, as they needed it to be signed off so that they could “continue their journey”. Why on earth would anyone depict the path from starting a job to achieving a deadline as a journey? It’s a task, people! You start doing something, you do it, and then you finish it. It can usually be done without getting up off your namby-pamby office chair (apart from the odd traipse to a meeting room). No need to indulge in psycho-babble to make it sound as though your little document is somehow worthy of a pilgrimage.
Ah well. At least one can hope that their journey takes them too far away for them to try socialise their document with me.