Add value by killing corporate jargon

If you are just proactive and think outside the box, we can run this mission-critical project, bringing to the table the high-level learnings and actionable items we plucked like low hanging fruit after the elevator pitch that dictated our next steps.

If you made it through that sentence alive, click on over to see what the top (bottom) corporate jargon is.  Add value by killing corporate jargon.

And what phrase would you like to ban?

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29 thoughts on “Add value by killing corporate jargon

  1. Not necessarily “corporate jargon” but a cliche that drives me nuts nonetheless: “It is what it is.”

    Of course it is what it is! It’s impossible for it to be anything else!

    But where it bothers me the most is when it’s used in a meeting and regarded not only as some profound wisdom but also an excuse to disregard a material issue.

    “We’re losing talent because our compensation is 40% lower than our competitors!”

    “Well…it is what it is.”

  2. The “parking lot” recently became popular in my group as well. A VP started using it and it’s become the phrase du year.

  3. Not corporate jargon exactly but I had a boss who would talk in cliches and get a lot of them wrong. My all-time favourite was when he once told a client on the phone “For your F.Y.I”

    And people using ‘parking lot’ as business jargon should be fired. Yuk.

    1. I love For your FYI. I think I’ll start saying it just to annoy people. And I’ll use it like this, “For your FYI, I’ll do that just as soon as I get back from the ATM machine.”

  4. Not corporate jargon, but co-workers who say, by way of greeting, “Are we having fun yet?” Every. Single. Day.

    1. Are you ever tempted to smack this coworker over the head with a file folder and say, “now I am!”?

      Not that I recommend that. That would be wrong.

  5. Where does this junk come from? Secret BS Generators! Here’s one: Eight clicks of the Make BS button yielded the following:

    I would like to point out that if we utilize cutting-edge vortals to redefine clicks-and-mortar networks while we whiteboard turn-key infomediaries, the results will generate seamless methodologies that grow cross-platform e-markets, and at the same time incubate customized deliverables to extend bleeding-edge partnerships and incentivize frictionless supply-chains.


    1. I’m thinking I no longer have to write articles. I can just go there and click away.

    2. I came across an education-based one of those lately:

      Really, the problem with schools in the US is that they fail to synergize performance-driven alignment. To maximize metacognitive teaching and expedite process-based strategies, what is needed is a focus on recontextualizing assessment-driven higher-order thinking. If we cultivate holistic risk-takers and mesh hands-on facilitators, then we can truly harness constructivist learning.

  6. Where I work now, they’re always asking “do you have the bandwidth to work on that project?”
    It bugs me, a lot. Can’t you just ask if I have time or the resources to work in the project. When did bandwidth become a thing?

    1. The bandwidth thing bugs me too! It used to be worse, but most of those team members left! I always wanted to say “hold on, I’m buffering.”

  7. Kill them all by banning mixed metaphors.

    Let’s please eliminate the euphemisms I call the “R” words. Rightsize … Reorganize … Re-engineer … Redundant … etc. Don’t try to dress up the word layoff in fancy clothes. It especially galls me as an engineer to hear the word re-engineer when there is absolutely no engineering, and often poor thinking, involved.

    1. I hate the process of trying to make layoffs sound more warm and fuzzy than they are. They are decidedly not warm and fuzzy, so we should be straight forward about them.

      1. We’re not firing you we’re parting ways, discontinuing you services, going in another direction, ending our relationship, or allowing you to move on to bigger and better things. And you didn’t lie you failed to tell the truth, weren’t completely forthcoming, or omitted key information.

        1. oh that’s hilarious!: allowing you to move onto bigger and better things, wow how generous of you!

  8. I want to ban “add value”. It always seems to be used by someone who doesn’t have anything to say and is trying to justify their presence at that conversation/meeting. You think it says everything, but, to me, it says nothing and free’s the speaker from having to think. (Not that I have a strong thoughts on this subject,)

  9. “Best in class” anything
    “Employer of choice”
    “Right-sizing” (although it does sound better than “layoff”)
    “Value added”
    “Separating employment” or “terminating our relationship” – we are not your spouse
    “Business partner”
    “Strategic” anything
    “Transformational” leadership

  10. “An opportunity for you to step up”
    “You are something just in the middle”
    “I really can’t talk about that right now.” when asked about new projects
    “In a couple of weeks”

    1. oh i detest the “opportunity for you to step up” line and my boss uses it all.the.time!

  11. I hate “let’s take this off-line”.

    Why not just “let’s discuss this after the meeting”?

  12. I am tired of the use of the term “bucket.” Example: We’ll put that actionable item in that bucket.

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