15 Business Buzzwords We Don't Want to Hear

Actionable: A high-energy noun gone passive and flabby. Authenticity: Has become its own antonym through overuse. Best of breed: Try not thinking of springer spaniels. Brain dump: Why treat creativity like construction waste? Co-opetition: Business doesn't need a version of frenemy. Disintermediate: Has the same number of syllables as "cut out the middleman" with none of the clarity. Incentivize: First, it's not a word. Second, what's wrong with motivate? Mindshare: Our psyches are not Florida condos. Offline: Annoying in meetings ("Let's take this offline"). We're already offline! We're surrounded by human beings! Outside the box: A cliché about not thinking in clichés. Proactive: Ugly corporate-ese, but without a decent synonym. Anyone? Repurpose: You are recycling. Just say so. Solution: A shame, what has happened to this word. Synergy: This bastard child of synthesis and energy is godfather to every enigmatically named tech company. Value-add: Devalues the concept of value. Talk shouldn't be quite this cheap.

15 Business Buzzwords We Like

Angel: What better metaphor for the answer to an entrepreneur's prayers? Bandwidth: The rare tech term that translates to human beings. Big Hairy Audacious Goal: Humor makes the phrase memorable; hyperbole makes it motivational. Core competency: Ruthlessly focuses the leader's mind. Cube farm: Truthful but whimsical. Elevator pitch: A business drama in miniature. Empower: A little treacly, but also clear and authoritative. Frictionless: Great image for how processes should work. Just in time: Suggests not just efficiency but salvation. Killer app: Succinct, clear, intimidating. Knowledge worker: Judges employees not by the color of their collars but by the content of their brains. Learning organization: Celebrates both continuous improvement and humility. Management by walking around: Humble yet vivid. Push the envelope: A cliché we like. Must be the Right Stuff association. Stickiness: Perfectly describes content that compels users to return.