Saturday, August 20, 2005

Business Buzzwords

We make fun of them, we laugh at them, and sometimes we try to put them all in one sentence just for fun. At every meeting I hear someone use (or shall I say, overuse) these buzzwords. Now, I get ill just thinking of them. They've become meaningless.

But I forget about those who are not from this country. They are totally lost when they hear these terms. They could attend an entire meeting, listen to a string of these terms and not get anything out of the meeting. Not that anyone does. These terms have lost all meaning. They are just, how shall I say, ear candy.

Turn of the crank, bottom line, P&L, block and tackle, zilch, nada, nothing. What do these mean to anyone? It's like eating cotton candy. It looks like substance but it turns to sweet air as soon as you put it into your mouth. Here are a few more:

team dynamics - team
push the envelope - be creative
best of breed - best software/hardware for a given task
drill down - understand the meaning
dog and pony show - a presentation with lots of glitz (usually a Microsoft Power Point with animated stuff)
herding cats - can't get organized
train wreck - disaster without recovery
future-proof - plan for the future, (It indicates that what is presented is a sure thing, but what is?)
vision statement - plans
think outside the box - be creative (see: push the envelope)
leverage - use
involuntary retirement - forced out of the company
dash-boarding - quick reference of key numbers/graphs
work smarter - more work with less pay
same page - understanding each other
synergy - working together

...and more. When business people string this stuff together by eyes begin to form a glaze over them. The people in the room grow out of focus, and the din of the speaker is barely perceptible. Are they talking a foreign language? What are they saying? It takes so much energy translating this stuff in my head, I just bail (tune out).

Most of it is euphemisms. An interesting exercise would be to translate each one and provide a glossary to new people to the Enterprise.

Maybe I could charge for it!

'It's not a nontrivial task." What? This is a hard way to say it's easy.