I’ve just read this wonderful article by Lucy Kellaway in the FT.

It charts her long-running mission to campaign against ‘corporate claptrap’ and the business world’s ‘giants of guff’. A worthy cause if ever I heard one.

She talks about the ‘ugly phrases’ she objected to back when she started in 1994 – which all sound worryingly innocuous now. And she quotes some prize-winning twaddle she’s heard from corporate leaders of late.

One of my favourites is from Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz, who recently announced that Starbucks’ new ‘Roasteries’ were:

“delivering an immersive, ultra-premium, coffee-forward experience”

She cites an unnamed management consultant who said:

“You have to appreciate that the milestones we have set in these swim lanes provide a road map for this flow chart. When we get to toll gates, we’ll assess where you sit in the waterfall . . . ”

And she’s hysterical about ‘Angela Ahrendts who, in a Burberry annual report, wrote the most mysterious sentence ever composed in the English language:

“In the wholesale channel, Burberry exited doors not aligned with brand status and invested in presentation through both enhanced assortments and dedicated, customised real estate in key doors.”’

Kellaway says she’s ‘shown this to many business experts over the years, but no one has ever been able to say what it means or explain why a raincoat maker would be talking so intently about doors.’

Very amusing, astute article that’s well worth a read.