Thursday, June 28, 2007

To stakeholder (verb, transitive)

We've all done it at some point in our scribblings; we use horrible new words just because we know that you know what we really mean.

One particularly fashionable word at the moment is stakeholder. It's a useful short-hand for a person or group that has an investment, share, or interest in something, as a business or industry - and which can include employees, customers, the local community - and (if necessary) Uncle Tom Cobbley and all.

Here's a new usage I found in a consultant's report recently:

    Customers should ideally not be adversely affected ... and if downstream impacts are identified the customer should be stakeholdered ahead of time and those impacts managed accordingly.

From the context, I think the author means that someone should explain what's happening to the customer, and manage his (understandable) wrath. But rather than being good for the customer, being stakeholdered sounds more like getting out the garlic and the silver stake. Hold your head in shame, anonymous author!

1 comment:

Dave said...

Yechh! This one is worst than many.

Verbing weirds language.

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