Thursday, February 7, 2008

Which Came First: The Cliche or the Business?

On my bulletin board there hangs a yellowing slip of newsprint with a "Top 10 Cliches of 2006." I've kept this post because I want to remind myself that no matter how long I've been writing, I can still fall prey to everyday jargon that can only muddy a message.

In fact, the longer I write about the business world, the more I've come to understand that employers are masters at jargon. They spread the stuff like a virus, first using these phrases in management meetings and seminars, then repeating them to employees in internal memos and and meetings. Pretty soon we're all spouting things like "win-win," "core competency" and "pushing the envelope" and before you know it, there are bestseller books talking about "synergy" and "value-added" ideas and "rightsizing."

Over time, I've scribbled my own "do not use" cliches and words to this list, and I'd like to share some of them with you today. Keep in mind, however, that I can be caught at any time using them, but hey, I'm trying. (Is there a recovery group for Business Jargonists?)

Please feel free to add to this list. In fact, we all need to band together and try and stop the madness:
1. At the end of the day
2. Change agent
3. Authenticity
4. Transparency
5. It's not brain surgery/rocket science
6. Throw him/her under the bus
7. Start a conversation
8. Create a new paradigm
9. Level the playing field
10. Wealth of experience
11. Visioning
12. Leverage
13. Blah, blah, blah
14. Show the love

Please, join in. At the end of the day, I want to be as authentic and as transparent as possible, and would like to start a conversation about this topic and level the playing field.




Anonymous said...

Please add 2.0 or 1.0 or 3.0...these idiots I work with can't say a sentence without saying one of them. So annoying.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of those, although I think they can be used in a way that doesn't necessarily make them a cliche. But I do think you should add...
Push the envelope
Out of the box

Anita said...

Wendy and Clayton,
Thanks for adding to the conversation, er... adding to my comments.

Anonymous said...

Well, Anita, I'm not sure where this conversation will lead us, going forward. . .

Can someone please tell me when anyone assumed that an action or a plan was meant to go backward?

Anita said...

Good one!