Have you ever being in a meeting and feel like you have been transported to another universe when you hear useless business jargon being used by some of the attendees? We’ve all being there! Yes, even some folks, here at ATS are guilty of using jargon.
Below is a list of business jargons or crap speak (as it’s referred to in some quarters) that were extracted from a Forbes.com article titled ‘The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon’ They are listed in no particular order. Here goes:
Meet the granddaddy of nouns converted to verbs. ‘Leverage’ is mercilessly used to describe how a situation or environment can be manipulated or controlled. Leverage should remain a noun, as in “to apply leverage,” not as a pseudo-verb, as in “we are leveraging our assets.”
Think Outside the Box
This tired turn of phrase means to approach a business problem in an unconventional fashion. Kudos to a Forbes.com reader who suggested: “Forget the box, just think.”
Lots of Moving Parts
Pinball machines have lots of moving parts. Many of them buzz and clank and induce migraine headaches. Do you want your business to run, or even appear to run, like a pinball machine? Then do not say it involves lots of moving parts.
This expression is so phony it churns the stomach. Corporations don’t have values, the people who run them do.
This is jargon for being productive or successful in a short period of time. The phrase ‘to make hay’ is short for ‘make hay while the sun shines’, which can be traced to John Heyward’s The Proverbs, Epigrams and Miscellanies of John Heywood (circa 1562). A handy nugget for cocktail conversation, but that’s it.
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.’”
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’ (often fat guys in suits) assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” says USC’s Logan. An apt comparison, if you’re a fat guy in a suit.
Of course, not everyone loves using these nonsensical words. But for the ones who simply cannot get enough of it during the day, check out Lucy Kelleway’s columns on business jargon or “business guff” as she calls it, and her compelling reasons why saying what we really mean, can go a long way.