The next time you feel the need to reach out, touch base, shift a paradigm, leverage a best practice or join a tiger team, by all means do it. Just don’t say you’re doing it.
If you have to ask why, chances are you’ve fallen under the poisonous spell of business jargon. No longer solely the province of consultants, investors and business-school types, this annoying gobbledygook has mesmerized the rank and file around the globe.
We went to Forbes Magazine to find out exactly what these are and to see how many we have heard!
1. Core Competency
This awful expression refers to a firm’s or a person’s fundamental strength—even though that’s not what the word “competent” means. Have you ever said this?
This means agreement on a course of action, if the most disingenuous kind. Notes David Logan, professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business: “Asking for someone’s ‘buy-in’ says, ‘I have an idea. I didn’t involve you because I didn’t value you enough to discuss it with you. I want you to embrace it as if you were in on it from the beginning, because that would make me feel really good.’” Do you agree?
3. “S.W.A.T. Team”
In law enforcement, this term refers to teams of fit men and women who put themselves in danger to keep people safe. “In business, it means a group of ‘experts’ assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” Does your company have a S.W.A.T team?
4. “Drill Down”
A phrase often wielded by superiors wanting a subject examined more closely. “Drill down to what?”
5. “Ducks In a Row”
Do you have ducks? Even if you somehow do have ducks–what good does it do to get them in a row? Will ducks even assent to such an arrangement? The saying apparently comes from the earlier days of bowling before machines set pins automatically. One needed to get his ducks in a row before, invariably, hurling a weighty ball down the alley to blast the poor ducks into a pathetic. Does that really describe a business plan?
6. “Price Point”
Come on, seriously? Just say Price!
7. “Think Outside the Box”
A horrible cliché. One commenter at Forbes.com says, “Forget the box, just think.” Novel idea.
8. “Take It To the Next Level”
In theory this means to make something better. In practice..“Nobody knows what the next level actually looks like, so how am I supposed to know when I’ve reached it?” quotes Forbes Magazine
9. “Over The Wall”
If you’re not wielding a grappling hook, avoid this meaningless expression. “It apparently means to send something to the client,”
10. “It is what it is.”
No kidding. Thanks for the insight.