Now Reading | 89 Business Cliches That Will Get Any MBA Promoted and Make Them Totally Useless.
This article from Forbes totally cracked me up. It really needs no explanation, just read and enjoy. I included 25 here. Be sure to check excuses like this at the door when you come to Fierce. Our philosophy is one lick of the lollipop of mediocrity and you’ll suck forever.
Here are the biggest cliches that will help you get promoted to middle management because they’ll make you sound like you know a lot about how organizations operate (along with my handy translations). When possible, you should use these in team meetings or in front of your bosses who will have a say in promoting you:
1. It’s a paradigm shift = I don’t know what’s going on in our business. But we’re not making as much money as we used to.
2. We’re data-driven = We try not to make decisions by the seat of our pants. When possible, we try to base them in facts.
3. We need to wrap our heads around this = Gosh, I never thought of that. We need to discuss that….
4. It’s a win-win = Hey, we both get something out of this (even though I’m really trying to get the best from you)
5. ROI [used in any sentence] = Look at me, I’m very financially-minded, even if I never took any finance classes in school
6. Let’s blue sky this/let’s ballpark this = Let’s shoot around a bunch of ideas since we have no clue what to do
7. I’m a bit of a visionary = I’m a bit of an egomaniac and narcissist
8. I’m a team player/we only hire team players = I hope everyone on the team thinks this is a meritocracy, even though I’m the dictator in charge
9. Let’s circle back to that/Let’s put that in the parking lot/let’s touch base on that later/let’s take this off-line = Shut up and let’s go back to what I was talking about
10. We think outside the box here/color outside the lines = We wouldn’t know about how to do something innovative if it came up to us and bit us in the behind
11. I/we/you don’t have the bandwidth = Since we cut 60% of our headcount, we’re all doing the job of 3 people, so we’re all burned out
12. This is where the rubber meets the road = Don’t screw up
13. Net net/the net of it is/when you net it out = I never studied finance or accounting but I sound like someone who can make money if I keep talking about another word for profit
14. We’ll go back and sharpen our pencils = We’ll go back and offer you the same for 20% less in hopes you’ll buy it before the end of the quarter
15. It’s like the book “Crossing the Chasm”/”Blue Ocean”/”Good To Great” / “Tipping Point” / “Outliers” = I’ve never read any of these books but I sound literate if I quote from them. And, besides, you cretins probably never read them either to call me out on it
16. Let’s right-size it = Let’s whack/fire a bunch of people
17. It’s next-gen/turn-key/plug-and-play = I want it to sound so technical that you’ll just buy it without asking me any questions
18. We need to manage the optics of this = How can we lie about this in a way people will believe?
19. This is creative destruction = I’ve never read Joseph Schumpeter but our core business is getting killed so it’s your responsibility to come up with a new product the market will buy
20. We don’t have enough boots on the ground = I don’t want to be fired for this disastrous product/country launch, so I’m going to sound tough referring to the military and say I don’t have enough resources
21. Deal with it = Tough cookies
22. By way of housekeeping = This makes the boring stuff I’m about to say sound more official
23. That’s the $64,000 question [sometimes, due to inflation, people will denominate this cliche in millions or billions of dollars] = I don’t know either
24. Let’s square the circle = I’m someone who can unify two team members’ views and sound important
25. It’s our cash cow/protect/milk the cash cow = If that business goes south, we’re all out of a job