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Stop Using Battle Metaphors in Your Company Strategy

samedi 20 décembre 2014

The economist Fritz Machlup wrote an essay about weaselwords : “words concealing voids of thought . . . used to avoid commitment . . . which destroy the force of a statement as a weasel ruins an egg by sucking out its content.” Machlup was talking about how economists often use words like “structure” instead of empirical cause-and-effect linkages. Ironically, after years of books, articles, and MBA programs dedicated to strategic thinking, that’s the danger with how strategy is used in business meetings. It’s too often a way of sounding smart or leader-like and used to avoid necessary choices.

Machlup explained how this can happen : when an economist uses the word “labor,” no one “will ever think of the painful muscle contractions preceding childbirth, and if we say ‘capital’ he may not know precisely what we mean, but he will rarely confuse it with the seat of government in a state or country.”

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