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微软的大空话(双语)

cocotang 于2015-07-16发布 l 已有人浏览
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最近,微软(Microsoft)首席执行官萨蒂亚?纳德拉(Satya Nadella,见上图)给公司所有员工发了一封1500个单词的电子邮件,告诉他们该公司的新使命宣言。一位读者恰巧将该电邮转发给我,并附言称:有时候,你的工作太简单了。

About 10 days ago, Satya Nadella sent a 1,500 word email to all staff to tell them about Microsoft’s new mission statement. A reader duly forwarded the message to me with a note saying: sometimes your job is too easy.  

最近,微软(Microsoft)首席执行官萨蒂亚?纳德拉(Satya Nadella,见上图)给公司所有员工发了一封1500个单词的电子邮件,告诉他们该公司的新使命宣言。一位读者恰巧将该电邮转发给我,并附言称:有时候,你的工作太简单了。

I glanced at the email, and agreed. With material like this, my job is too easy. I sat back and waited for someone else to take the memo to pieces. Only no one did. 

我看了一眼这封邮件,就同意了他的看法。有了这样的材料,我的工作是太容易了。我坐着等待别人来把这封邮件批得体无完肤,只是没人这么做。

That could be because no one could get through it. At 1,500 words it is about twice the length of this column, and while I am trying quite hard to encourage you to read on, Mr Nadella made no such effort. His was the usual mishmash of “platforms”, “drivers”, “ecosystems”, “aligns”, “DNAs” and “going forwards” — as well as some more ambitious combinations such as “extend our experience footprint”. 

这可能因为没人能把这封邮件从头到尾读完。1500个单词大约相当于这篇专栏的两倍长,而我一直在相当努力地鼓励你们读下去,纳德拉却没有做这样的努力。他的邮件毫无新意地混杂着“平台”、“动力”、“生态系统”、“目标一致”、“DNA”、“前进”等词汇,还充斥着“扩展我们的经验足迹”之类更具雄心的词组。

This is what routinely passes for CEO communication in corporate America. But what is special about this example is it came from a big leader of a big company making a big announcement. Microsoft’s third chief executive was trying to convince the world that the company has a plan, and to remind employees what it is, in case they had forgotten. Yet what he came up with was unreadable, largely meaningless hyperbole — and no one turned a hair. 

这就是美国公司中首席执行官通信的通常样子。但这一例子特别之处在于,它是一家大型公司的大领导发出的一项重大宣言。这位微软的第三任首席执行官是在试图让世界相信,该公司有一项计划,并提醒员工该计划是什么,以防他们已经忘记。然而,他写出的邮件却枯燥无味,大部分都是毫无意义的夸张之词,也没有触动任何人。

Many readers will have failed to get past the first word. “Team,” the memo begins. 

许多读者读到第一个词就会读不下去——“团队”,邮件一开头写道。

Microsoft employees are not one team, or, if they are, ought not to be. Studies have shown that the ideal number of members of a team is four or five, not 120,000-plus. 

微软的员工不是一个团队,如果他们确实是一个团队的话,这就不对。研究表明,一个团队理想的人数是四五个,而不是12万多。

“Every great company has an enduring mission.” Mr Nadella goes on. This sounds good, only it is not true.

纳德拉接着写道:“每个伟大的公司都有一项持久的使命。”这听起来不错,只不过这并非事实。

I like to think that the Financial Times is a great company; we have endured 127 years without an official mission. 

我愿意认为英国《金融时报》是一家伟大的公司;我们已经走过了127年,却没有一个正式的使命。

With some clearing of the throat about how proud he is in announcing it, the CEO unveils the new mission of Microsoft: “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”. 

在略作铺垫、以表达对宣布此项使命的自豪感后,这位首席执行官宣布了微软的新使命:“赋予这个星球上的每个人、每个组织成就更多的能力”。

The first sign of trouble is the word “planet”. There is a rule that says whenever this word is used as a substitute for “world”, the sentence in which it appears is utter tosh. If the cosmic resonance is gratuitous, the author is writing through his hat.  

第一个麻烦的迹象是“星球”这个词。有一个规律是,每当这个词代替“世界”(world)出现在一句话中时,这句话就完全是在胡说八道。如果说扯上天文学词汇并非出于必要,那么这句话的作者就是在瞎扯。

In the early days of Microsoft, Bill Gates came up with a vastly better mission: a computer on every desk and in every home. There was no windy nonsense about planets, nor any tiresome talk of empowering. Best of all, it was precise. The main problem with the new mission is not its grandiosity but its emptiness. Achieve more what? On this vital question, Mr Nadella is silent.  

在微软的早期,比尔?盖茨(Bill Gates)提出过一个棒得多的使命:让每张办公桌上和每个家庭都有一台电脑。他的使命中没有关于行星的无稽之谈,也没有关于赋予人们能力的无聊言辞。最棒的是,盖茨的使命很具体。新使命的主要问题不在于它的夸张,而在于它的空洞。成就更多什么?在这个至关重要的问题上,纳德拉保持了沉默。

Indeed, the best way to empower people on the planet to achieve more would be to persuade them to love their mobile devices a little less and turn them off occasionally and get on with something real instead.  

事实上,要赋予这个星球上的人们成就更多的能力,最好的方法是劝说他们稍微减少对移动设备的沉迷,偶尔关掉它们,回归现实生活。

Not content with announcing his new mission, Mr Nadella empowers himself to achieve still more: “Today I want to share more on the overall context and connective tissue between our mission, worldview, strategy and culture.” 

不满足于宣布自己的新使命,纳德拉赋予了自己成就更多的能力:“今天,我还想就整体背景,以及我们的使命、世界观、战略和文化之间的关系发表一些看法。”

To have a mission and a vision and worldview is greedy. But to have so many abstract things with lots of connective tissue between them leaves one feeling slightly sick.  

拥有一项使命、一个愿景和一套世界观已经是贪婪的了。而在这么多抽象的东西之间还有许多关系,简直让人有点受不了。

In turn he explains each element. Culture, he explains, “is about where everyone is bringing their A game and finding deep meaning in their work”. This is all very well, but spelling it out will do no good. By simply telling your underlings to bring their A games to work, all you do is alienate people who do not like sporting metaphors. 

他依次解释了每一个元素。他解释说,文化“关乎每个人在工作中愿意全力以赴的领域,以及认为最有意义的领域在哪里”。这说得很好,但说清楚这一点没有什么好处。简单地告诉你的下属在工作中全力以赴,只不过会让那些不喜欢体育隐喻的人产生隔阂。

Equally, everyone wants meaning at work, but hardly any white-collar workers ever find it. Mr Nadella has so overexcited himself that he has decreed mere meaning is no longer enough: it has to be deep, or else it does not count. By thus raising the bar so impossibly high, he has ensured no employee has a hope of clearing it.  

每个人都同样地希望工作有意义,但几乎没有哪个白领发现过这种意义。纳德拉自己如此兴奋过头,以至于他规定仅仅有意义已经不够了:还必须有深刻意义,否则的话就不算。通过将标准提升到难以置信的高度,他确保了没有任何员工有望达到。

After a lot more evangelical posturing, Mr Nadella slips into his final paragraph two words that finally mean something. “Tough choices”, he warns, will soon have to be made — using the very same words that Lord Hall of the BBC chose last week when he said that 1,000 jobs were to go. This is the latest CEO euphemism for firing people, and is one of the most disingenuous. “Tough choices” implies this-hurts-me-more-than-it hurts-you, while at the same time suggesting the CEO has automatically made the right choice — the non-firing option would be even worse.  

在摆出更多狂热的姿态后,纳德拉在邮件最后一段提到的两个单词终于言之有物了。他警告称,很快就不得不做出“艰难选择”——不久前英国广播公司(BBC)的霍尔勋爵(Lord Hall)宣布裁减1000个工作岗位时也用了这两个完全相同的词。这是首席执行官解雇员工时最新的委婉说法,也是最虚伪的说辞之一。“艰难选择”意味着,它对我的伤害比对你的伤害更深,同时暗示这位首席执行官已经自动做出了正确选择——不裁员这个选择将会导致更糟的结果。

Having dropped this bombshell, Mr Nadella swiftly reverts to upbeat for his closing rallying cry: “I really do believe that we can achieve magical things when we come together as one team and focus.”  

在投下了这颗重磅炸弹后,纳德拉迅速恢复乐观,在结尾喊出战斗口号:“我完全相信,只要我们凝聚成一个团队、聚精会神,就能够成就神奇。”

I, on the other hand, really do believe that magic is best left to Harry Potter and coming together as one team of 120,000 is impossible, especially when planning to take an axe to part of it.  

我倒真的认为,神奇的东西最好留给哈利?波特(Harry Potter),将12万人凝聚成一个团队也是不可能的,尤其是在计划裁减一部分人员的时候。

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