Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Speaking human

I am ploughing my way through the new 2020 Public Services Trust report on the future of unsurprisingly, public services.  As I do so I am developing that glazed look on my face that I used to see in so many meetings when I worked in the community and voluntary sector.  This look develops when in response to a basic question nebulous and usually continual changing jargon is used (usually to hide the fact no real action will occur but the promise of yet more process). 

For example when I got involved with community groups it was community work, then it became community development, empowerment took off for a while with capacity building following soon after.  Throughout this time what you did changed very little but with each funding round it got renamed.  Mastery of the jargon was almost part of the job description especially when it came to funding applications.  I've been accused of it myself (when I manage to needle Chekov accusations of social science speak soon appear).  One individual I know has mastered it so well that he has nearly lost all ability to speak human at all and wonder if his spouse can communicate with him anymore.

Our public services will change but if we are to get greater involvement from the public then we need to present that change in terms easily to grasp - universal and free at the point of delivery, five giants etc rather than 'social producivity'.  We need to speak human not management speak.

UPDATE Sluggerotoole has a thread on a similar theme.

1 comment:

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