Take The Bull Out Of Business Communications

Compiled By Jill Jusko Tired of reading about processes that "facilitate the rapid enablement of strategic initiatives in order to greatly accelerate competitive advantage?" Huh? Enough already with the business jargon, says Deloitte Consulting. "We've had it with repurposeable, value added knowledge capital and robust, leveragable, mindshare," says Brian Fugere, a partner with the New York-based management consulting firm. "If Corporate America wants to restore public trust, we need to start speaking and writing more clearly. Less empty rhetoric . . . and more straight talk." Enter Bullfighter, a new program by Deloitte Consulting that searches documents for jargon and unnecessarily complex language. Working much like a spell-check feature, the software scans documents, flogs authors for trying to use jargon, suggests replacement words and assigns a Bull Composite score. Deloitte used the tool to examine communications from a wide range of companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Findings include:

  • Among 30 DJIA companies examined, Home Depot earned the top score for clarity.
  • Computer hardware and software communications earned the worst scores, with the exception of Apple Computers Inc.
  • Consumer goods companies, even those with complex products, were very clear in their communications.
Bullfighter can be downloaded for free at www.dc.com/bullfighter.
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