November 1, 2011  

Coast Guard gobbledygook

To the Coast Guard for its inability to speak clearly.

Certainly, the other military services — and indeed, most complex organizations — labor under the handicaps of bureaucrat-speak and the fuzzy thinking that spawns it. But the Coast Guard, which saw its mammoth Deepwater effort bog down after senior leaders failed repeatedly to explain the program to Congress, clearly needs to strive harder than most to promote clarity.

Consider this, from the program for the Coast Guard’s October 2011 Innovation Expo:

“Strategic Innovation is value creation hard wired to organizational strategic direction,” reads the introduction to one of the keynote speeches. “Strategic Innovation is achieved by looking to the horizon[,] seeing the shifts, and bringing diversity of though [sic] and objective non-traditional perspective to traditional service delivery as the organization examines the effectiveness of its culture, processes and structures.”

Clearer prose would be a real innovation.