Academic hypocrisy

Given the amount of obfuscatory pleonasm (you see, we can’t help ourselves but, to be clear, it’s meant to be a joke) that academics often spew, it may be a bit rich for me to be pointing to some of the nonsense spouted in the business and management world.  But – Lucy Kellaway’s FT article reflecting on 25 years of failing to stem the flow is too good to miss.    She’s particularly harsh on the highly successful Starbucks chairman, Howard Schultz.

Howard Schultz is a champion in the bullshit space. The Starbucks executive chairman has provided me with more material for columns than any other executive alive or dead. Yet he is still at it, and still out-doing himself. Earlier this year, he announced that the new Starbucks Roasteries were “delivering an immersive, ultra-premium, coffee-forward experience.

There’s a good-natured and humorous reply from someone alt Starbucks today which also made me laugh.

She also quotes Eversheds who are a pretty run-of-the-mill regional law firm.  I was surprised to see them in this company.  I’ve met some of their partners over the years and they seemed like ordinary, grounded people to me.  Something obviously went wrong in HR when in 2007 they

tried to appeal to young recruits by looking for “knowlivators, innovateers, performibutors, proactilopers, prioricators and winnomats” — the last being a particularly unwinning combination of winners and diplomats.



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