A Field Guide To Workplace Terminology – THE SEQUEL

As we’re continuously adding to the lexicon of corporate jargon, I thought it might be time for a Part II to a post from the archives.

Continuous improvement – What you say you’re doing to excuse repeated cock-ups
Diversity – A differing of views over whether to introduce quotas in the board room
Divergent thinking – Coming up with a stupid idea right after someone says “There’s no such thing as a stupid idea”.
Emotional intelligence – The art of never showing your feelings at work
110 percent – The inverse amount of humility required for a job in sales
Honest and open – The type of chat that results in a written note on your employee record
Reach out – Having to finally talk to that person you’ve been studiously avoiding
Telework – They tell ‘im, ‘e works.
Anonymize – Taking your name off of a project update that paints you in a bad light
Ready, aim, fire – Instructions to HR from the CEO for the latest round of employee negotiations
At the end of the day – That which never arrives in modern business
Baked-in – The feeling you get after too many cupcakes at an HR meeting
Balls in the air – Left hanging after a car park conversation
Bandwith – The CEO’s waistline after a long lunch meeting
Baseline – The minimum effort you can put in and still get away with it
Best practice – After repeated failures, what you are told to go away and do
Bleeding edge – What you get from banging your head on the desk in frustration with your co-workers
Boiling the ocean – What the intern feels she’s doing when being made to prepare hot drinks for a board meeting
Seat at the table – Musical chairs for the irrelevant
Buy-in – Bribing a colleague to do the work you can’t be bothered to
CFO – A person in a race to the bottom line
COO – Chief Obfuscation Officer
Chinese wall – What you cite to avoid having to deal with awkward internal comms issues
Town hall – A place CEOs go to in order to patronise the workforce
Cross–training – Sending Bob from Finance to shadow the sales guys so you don’t have to deal with his body odour
De-layering – Having one less filling in your sandwich from Pret
Big Data – A great opportunity to make up for an even greater lack of insight
Deep dive – What you’re told someone is going to do before they fail to set aside enough time
Dialogue – Verbal diarrhoea suffered by focus groups
Disenfranchise – The fate of Blockbuster
Dovetail – What you see right before the bird craps on you
Due Diligence – All the stuff you then ignore
Facetime – Time spent with your head in your hands in frustration after another pointless meeting
Facilitation – A cologne that smells of scented pens
Fishbowl – Customer insight that you ignore until the fish dies and has to be flushed down the toilet
Full optics – Setting up the bar the night before the annual sales conference
Going forward – Direction of travel for a business with regressive management practices
Hacking – The kind of cough you hear in a meeting when someone suggests an employee engagement programme
Human capital – The CFO’s chess set
Ideation – The differentiation of ideas thought up by consultants versus things you could have come up with yourself
Lean in – Getting closer to the toilet bowl to throw up after hearing the CEO speak at the latest Town Hall
Low hanging fruit – Where you feel you’ve been kicked after your latest pay review
Lunch and learn – An opportunity to do the former at the expense of the latter
Prayer meeting – What happens right after you’ve submitted a proposal to the client
Matrix organisation – A business where the CEO tries to subdue dissent by taking the job titles off the org charts
Holocracy – An optical illusion used to disguise your Taylorist leanings
Meritocracy – An organisation in which mediocrity rises to the top
Move the dial – A term used by the kind of person whose only real responsibility in the office is to adjust the AC controls
Offline – Code for something you don’t want to discuss in front of a superior or client
Onboarding – The first three hours in a new job where you sit in a windowless room and read reams of company policy manuals
Organic growth – The unidentifiable thing left in the back of the communal fridge
Peer review – Your co-workers get together to highlight your shortcomings
360 degree review – A performance review that makes your head spin
Presenteeism – The whip round for whoever celebrates their birthday this week
Powerpoint – A presentation by management to demonstrate their superiority
Scope creep – The person who moves the goalposts halfway through a project
Reverse-engineering – Dissecting a failed project in an attempt to find someone to blame
SME – The smartest guy who’s never in the room when the decisions get made
Strategic planning – Navel gazing by people who get paid more than you do


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