How much of this would you read?

BREA, California – In the course of my storied career I have written hundreds if not thousands of reports and have read many more.  Over the years I developed a great deal of “boilerplate” material.  This is wordage that may not really mean anything but adds heft to the report and discourages anyone from actually reading it.  However, I found that too much boilerplate becomes too obvious.  Therefore, I stole the idea of an oil and gas buzz phrase generator from predecessors in other professions.  Random insertions of buzz phrases will confound even the most diligent readers.  Nobody likes to admit that they don’t understand something.

It works like a Chinese menu.  One word from column A.  One word from column B.  One word from column C.  In most cases the first two are adjectives and the final one a noun.  Once in a while, only two words are sufficient instead of three, but three is optimal.  Not every combination will be useable, but most are.

Column A Column B Column C
discrete adaptive criteria
dynamic innovative phenomena
synergistic empirical systems
cognitive operational model
classical transitional stimuli
subliminal managerial centrality
pristine technological theory
systematic competitive interaction
perceptive optimal propensity
compatible digital concept
parallel reciprocal capability
functional next-generation programming
responsive logistical hardware
strategic agile governance
intelligent transparent environment
virtual proactive oversight


Try it.  Dynamic adaptive systems.  Classical operational models.  Intelligent proactive interactions.

You may note that there are no words in this list that are directly pertinent to the oil and gas industry.  That’s on purpose.  You don’t want things to get too specific.  Reports are written to fill filing cabinets and hard drives, not to be read or understood.  Tell me, when has a report ever convinced a manager to approve a drilling location or a pipeline project?  No, you have to do it in person.  When I was vice president of engineering, the originator of a project had to sell it to me in person and not with some bullshit report.  As you might surmise, the MBAs were ecstatic when I retired because they feed on paperwork.


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