the business of cliches

Business clichés. You really can't beat them can you? Actually, I'd gladly beat upon them.

by Darren Caveney

You know the kind of annoying phrases I'm referring to - business buzzwords. Those thrown in by people in meetings often trying to show off, or, more likely, to cover up a lack of understanding.

Here's my top five most loathed business clichés, in reverse order...

  1. "I have a window next Tuesday... " (you have a what?)
  2. "We need to step up to the plate... " (how about let's throw some plates instead)
  3. "Let's touch base tomorrow... " (like nails scratching at a blackboard)
  4. "We don't shout about things enough..." (Do you really have something worthy of shouting about?)

but my personal top of the pops, by some distance, has to be:

     5.   "What we need is a 'hearts and minds' campaign... "  

(which, roughly translated, almost always actually means - People are really unhappy with this/us, so what we need from you is a magical campaign to try to win them around from this seemingly impossible situation)


Sometimes, you have to accept that people are unhappy, understand why this is and then see where and how you may be able to address their unhappiness (and not simply try to convince them otherwise) More listening and less talking, please.

What are your faves, or should I say most disliked business bingo phrases?

Do please share any gems.

Anyway, I'm off to go pick some low hanging fruit...


Darren Caveney is co-creator of comms2point0

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