For a while now, I’ve been building a series of definitions of ‘management-speak’ terms that insult human intelligence. One day I might even find a publisher and release them as a dictionary, but for now, I thought I’d share a few of them from time to time. I make no apologies for these being slightly tongue in cheek. My argument is that for a leader to be effective they need to be grounded in the real world and not delude themselves through their use of obfuscating language.
Intellectual Property (especially when abbreviated to IP)
Used to refer to an idea that someone had, that they think is very clever, and would like everyone to know they had. Generally fall into three types;
Generally used by ‘knowledge workers’ to justify ludicrous fees or to bolster their own poor self-esteem.
UPDATE ADDED: August 8th, 2014
Today, we have learned that the pharmaceutical giant, Roche, has invented a new drug, Kadcyla, that provides relief to TERMINALLY ill breast cancer victims for as much as six months (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-28688311). In other words, they live for about six months longer. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS), negotiates drug prices through a body called NICE, who then make recommendations to doctors. Sadly, such recommendations have to take into account the costs of the drugs compared with the benefits. Roche have asked the NHS to pay £90k per patient for this drug. There are estimated to be 1500 women each year who will benefit, which means that Roche is expecting to generate £135M every year. Patent protection provides the opportunity for inventors to recover their investment and make a reasonable return. I don’t know what the genuine development costs were but I hope that the £2.7Bn that they would expect to get from the NHS alone would go a good way to recovering them. I don’t object to firms making a genuine profit, nor to them using patents to protect them from competition, but I do question the morality of these kinds of figures.