Scott Berkun

Management is not a science

Loving this interview between Scott Berkun and Phil Simon, author of the new book Message Not Received: Why Business Communication is Broken and How to Fix It.

Berkun starts by asking why jargon exists, and Simon blames a number of folks:

We can start with management consultants, arguably some of the worst purveyors of jargon. They try to make business and management more complicated than it is. Management is a discipline, not a science. There are no immutable laws of management. Period.

later on, when discussing solutions:

…remember that most people aren’t actively trying to confuse others. They just don’t realize that they’re bloviating.


When someone is routinely confusing others, don’t be afraid to call bullshit on jargon. At a minimum, say, “I don’t follow. Could you please explain what you mean by that?” In the words of Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Remember that the word communicate means “to make common.”

“Making common” is tough. I spend a lot of time at work trying to do just that. I don’t have any hacks to share.