Business Buzzwords

Top 10 Business Buzzwords

Whether you office from home or home from office, you've probably heard some of these best-of-breed words and phrases unleashed at you and wondered what exactly your boss or coworker was talking about. Whether humorous or just plain annoying, you'll probably hear some of these dynamic phrases from time to time. This list will help you translate, and maybe even repurpose a few words to grow your own business buzz vocabulary.

Drive: No, it doesn't refer to your daily commute. Drive is a multipurpose buzz word, overused in such phrases as "drive out cost," "drive the project," and "drive the organization." Last I checked, costs, projects, and organizations don't typically have wheels and a chassis.

Incent: A nonword that is often used in business as a verb. Instead of creating incentives, management types may try to incent their team to sell more by offering--you guessed it--incentives. Some other commonly verbed words: office (She likes to office from home), text (Hey, text me the address), google (I googled him before the first date).

Delayering: A newer, more PC term for rightsizing, a.k.a. downsizing. Potato, potahto. It's still a layoff.

Narcissurfing: If your coworker is late to a meeting again, it's probably because he's been narcissurfing all morning. That is, googling yourself to see where, when, and how often you show up on the Internet.

Deep dive: If someone asks you to deep dive (or drill down), they're asking for in-depth information or discussion on a subject. "I did a deep dive on the Chinese market, and I don't think we'll be able to move product there. But I'll drill down on Brazil and see what sell-through potential there may be."

Bleeding edge: The "cutting edge" is so passé. Even better is the bleeding edge. "The program Johnson's working on is bleeding edge. The concept is so new even he's not sure what the product will do yet."

Offline: To take something offline is to discuss something in person or on the phone, rather than via e-mail or instant message conversation. This phrase usually crops up when an e-mail trail gets excessively long and/or involves more people than necessary to solve the issue at hand. Also used in meetings: "We'll deal with that offline, when this meeting's over."

Ping: To get someone's attention, ping them via e-mail or IM. "Hey, ping me when you hear back from her about the off-site conference." Back in the pre-Internet era, "ping" referred to the sound of a submarine's sonar.

Al desko: To save time, I often dine al desko, usually after five minutes of microwaiting. (In other words, I eat at my desk after heating up lunch in the microwave.)

Defrag: It used to mean rearranging data files on a hard disk, but defrag can also mean "to relax." After a rough day of officing, you may want to defrag in front of the TV.

This list was architected to enable effective information deliverance while officing.

Lest my nose begins to grow ala Pinocchio, I must confess that this is not my original composition. I found this somewhere out there in cyberspace, copied it and saved it several months ago. Somewhere on this desk there is a note accrediting the source which should be posted with this blog. (Somewhere on this desk there is also a Snickers bar I lost last week.)



cathy said...

I can't object to the use of office as a verb, it did after all originate from a latin verb meaning "do work" but home! I don't think I can stomach.

Drive is also fairly legitimate as it's original meaning was to push or force something forward, then again any word that is overused becomes somewhat irritating.

Just reading incent makes me feel sick but I quite like text and google as they are new activities they need words to describe them.

I won't do the whole post though I can't say I'm thrilled by anything else I read. Maybe we are too pedantic for this fast paced, high tech lexicon to be appealing but then again somebody has to do quality control if we want our language to be meaningful.

Serena Joy said...

Good grief, I've been working my entire life and still wasn't familiar with some of those terms. I count myself lucky! I find so many of today's corporate buzzwords tiresome, pompous, and annoying. I'd like to see somebody try to incent me.:-)

Hale McKay said...

I haven't worked in the office environment in 15 years, so I am out of touch with the current buzzwords in the workplace.

I have never heard of office and home being used as verbs. And ... incent - sheesh!

Hale McKay said...

Reading it again, I think I like that "al desko" term though.

"Microwaiting?" Has the world gotten so hectic that nuking something for a minute has become a strain on one's time?