Hackneyed business phrases

July 5, 2008 at 5:08 am 2 comments

I’ve been busy this week, so less posts. But came across an interesting piece in BBC News. Business-speak tends to annoy me. One term that really peeves me is “add value” as though what you’re doing isn’t adding value already! What exactly does “add value” mean? Who or what are you adding value to? Another one that I dislike is “synergies”, oh and “moving forward” (guess you need to point out that you’re not moving backward!)…and “let’s touch base”. Sigh. And let’s not forget the classic: “low hanging fruit” – as if we’re all in some orchard ready to grasp the juicy, ripe peaches!

So the article lists 50 hackneyed business terms. “Let’s touch base” is at number 5, with “going forward” at number one. You can read all 50 yourself but here’s some annoying office jargon:

  • challenges“: used to be we had “problems” now they’re “challenges”. Same thing really – something you have to resolve.
  • pre-plan“: either you plan or you don’t. How does one pre-plan?
  • in this space“: actually, I heard this the other day as in “how can I go forward in this space?”. The space turned out to refer to an IT project, not outer space. Far simpler to say “wonder what I need to do with this project?”. Mmmm….KM people sometimes say “KM space”. Note to self: never say it!
  • from the get-go“: not used much in Australia, although I’ve heard it. I think we have to blame the Americans for this one. What is the get-go anyway?
  • go forward together”: well, yes better than all rushing off in different directions or God forbid, going backwards!
  • get all my ducks in a row“: ah yes, this is one I really dislike. As though we’re going out duck hunting.
  • at the end of the day“: hate this one!
  • granularity“: why can’t we just say “detail”?
  • leverage“: I’ve been known to use this term. A really annoying buzz word.
  • living the values“: I’ve been subjected to this one in the last two years when senior execs took off to Mt Sinai (aka offsite venue) and dreamed up some all-encompassing values like “respect” and “be strong” – then published said values on mouse mats, which were handed out to all employees. I think I turfed my mouse mat in the bin pretty quickly.
  • drill-down“: whenever I’ve heard this phrase, I’ve wondered if I’m some 19th Century magnate drilling for oil!.

Probably, 2.0 will become increasingly annoying. It’s made the list at number 45. Web 2.0, Enterprise 20, Library 2.0, KM 2.0. What business speak or buzz-words irritate you?


Entry filed under: Rant. Tags: , .

Social network stuff ThinkingShift is taking a break

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Doug Cornelius  |  July 5, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Kim –

    I like the phrase “KM Space.”

    When used in the right context. ; )


  • 2. thinkingshift  |  July 6, 2008 at 4:46 am

    well Doug, for you I’d make an exception 🙂 after all, you’re using it as a proper noun and in the right context!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Search ThinkingShift

   Made in New Zealand
     Thinkingshift is?

ThinkingShift Tweets

Flickr Photos

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia License.

ThinkingShift Book Club

Kimmar - Find me on Bloggers.com

%d bloggers like this: