I was reading Andrew Hill’s excellent piece in the FT about the business jargon that rather clouded corporate thought at the recent Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna and suddenly remembered Ivanka Trump.
In fact it was a word that the US president’s eldest daughter had used that I remembered. “Architecting,” Ms Trump wrote in her 2017 book ‘Women Who Work’. She said “… women benefit immeasurably by architecting their lives in a way that honors and supports their relationships and pursuits outside of work.” She seems to have liked the word so much, she used “architect” as a verb at least six times in the book.
“Architecting”, of course is a noun and not a verb, but it might possibly make for a good bit of jargon. Useless jargon that’s supposed to convey the impression of grand design, great precision, and good draughtsmanship. That could conceivably cover almost any endeavour, but especially in management. That The New York Times described Ms Trump’s authorial venture as a “a strawberry milkshake of inspirational quotes” may indicate how user-friendly, malleable and transportable “architecting” could be as jargon.
So, for instance, we can “architect” the “ecosystem model” in order to tie “it all to the holistic platform of customer service”.
Or someone might “architect” the value chain in order to “create leverage, maximise value and achieve competitive advantage”.
As a prose poet of jargon, Ms Trump is “architecting” whole new ways of whipping up warm and frothy word milkshakes that don’t, frankly, mean a whole lot.