Office Speak: 110% – One hundred AND ten percent!

Take an apple and split it down the middle. On one side you have 50%, on the other side you have 50%. Put them back together and you have 100%.

Now go into the office and you’ll enter into a world with a different reality. In this world when you add everything together you get and extra 10%, you get 110%. I have no idea where this extra 10% comes from, but it’s made its way in somewhere:

We need to give this project 110%

Give me 110% on this activity

I’ve never heard 100% being used in the office, so it clearly doesn’t exist any more.

There are some people who live in yet another reality, in their world they get an extra 100%, in their reality they get 200% .

I’m giving this task 200%

Wow, 200%!

(This reality distortion also happens in sports field and arenas).

You could call me a quantitative pedant and point out that 110% (and 200%) is possible if you pick the right baseline. If 100% is the normal amount of effort that you might be expected to give, then 110% is a bit more than that baseline. If that were the case why would you bother asking for 110%. If the normal baseline was 100%, asking for 110% hardly seems worth the effort. How do you calibrate that your extra effort above the normal baseline is only 10% more effort?

Does asking for 110% really make a difference to the amount of effort that someone gives? Have you ever been told to give something 90%, or even 100%?

I can’t help thinking that I’m in a scene from Spinal Tap:

Why don’t you just make 10 louder

Office Speak: There are just so many to choose from

I was wondering how many Office Speak posts I was going to get to write before I ran out of wonderful over-used clichés –  then I saw this video.

Avaya got an advertising agency to ask 300 of its staff what their most, or least, favourite business clichés were. This is the resulting video:

Yes, I think I’ve heard each one of them used in Office Speak.

Josh Bernoff did, however, point out that Avaya might like to go and check it’s own communications before it point the finger at others.

With so many to choose from I suspect I could be writing these posts for some time.

Because it’s Friday: The Dolmio Pepper Hack

Do you sometimes wish that you had a magic device that turned off all the screens in your house? That’s what Dolmio did for an advertising campaign in Australia:

Technology has hijacked family dinnertime. So to help bring families together for dinner, Dolmio created the Pepper Hacker. It cracks pepper, shuts down TVs, wipes out WiFi and disables mobile devices. Watch our experiment reclaim family dinnertime.

If you’d like to know more about how this was done there are more details here.

Because it’s Friday: Those busy London skies

A while back our Friday feature was a visualisation of the skies over the UK every 24 hours, today’s is a more focussed view of the flow of traffic in the skies over London.

Having flown in-to and out-off London several times it always amazes me how many other planes you can see:

NATS handles over 2 million flights in UK airspace every year. Of those, over 1.2 million arrive at or depart from one of the five main London airports. That’s over 3,000 flights every day using just six runways.And 99.8% of flights experience no ATC related delay.

“All of us want to be led by real people, not…

All of us want to be led by real people, not figureheads. As our organizations become less hierarchical, we yearn for leaders we can relate to as regular human beings. As a leader, the only way you can achieve this is to be your authentic self. You cannot “fake it ’til you make it,” because people sense intuitively whether you are genuine or not.

Bill George from The Triumph of Authentic Leaders.