Thanks tofor this explanation of something I’ve often experienced, but couldn’t wordify. It happens repeatedly in innovative areas of my life – i.e. the way that useful words get the meaning sucked out. His example is co-design:
Co-design, it seemed to us, created opportunities for designers to push suppliers and consumers to go further than they might by themselves. It was, in effect, an attempt to reduce the likelihood that a user-led design would have a low order and short impact timeframe. The problem was that the term co-design was quickly hijacked in much the same way as the word “sustainable” has been – tagged on to all sorts of pre-existing concepts in order to avoid change rather than deliver it. Faulty stakeholder engagement sessions were re-titled as co-design sessions without there being any change whatsoever in the engagement process. It was a term that people thought they understood and it had the cachet of making them feel cool, like designers, without taking the necessary steps to understand what was involved in being a designer.