Business jargon--corporate lingo, management speak, whatever you want to call it--provides a shortcut word or short phrase for the communication of a bigger idea within the world of business. Unfortunately, most business jargon is vague in meaning so not everyone understands what you're talking about, and it tends to be exaggerated and pompous.
Some of today's most popular business jargon has been around for so long that it has become stale and extremely out-of-date. While there is a lot more bad business jargon out there, here's a quick A-to-Z list of terms you should remove from your vocabulary beginning today (and replace with the things the members of your team really want to hear you say). You can take on all the other pointless business jargon tomorrow.
Actionable. Something that you can take action on.
Baked in. Built into.
Career-limiting move. Doing something bad that could limit any future promotions.
Deep dive. Examining a business proposal or results in great detail.
Eat the elephant one bite at a time. To break a large task into smaller ones.
Flavor of the month. Latest management fad hitting the business landscape.
Gain traction. Become more popular.
Herding cats. Managing a group of people who don't necessarily want to be managed.
In the cards. It is inevitable.
Jockey for position. To try to move yourself, your company, or your products into a better position than your competition.
Low-hanging fruit. Easiest targets or goals to accomplish with minimal effort.
Marinate. To privately consider an idea further.
Ninth inning. At the last minute.
On the same page. When two or more people are in agreement.
Passes the smell test. Something that is morally acceptable.
Quick fix. Putting a temporary patch on a broken process or system.
Reinventing the wheel. Develop something that's already been done before.
Think outside the box. Thinking outside your standard paradigm in uncommon ways in hopes of arriving at a creative idea or solution.
Upshot. The final outcome.
Verbiage. The use of too many unnecessary words.
Whitewater change. A fast-changing and unpredictable business environment.
Xerox. To copy something.
Your take. Another person's perspective or opinion.
Zombie project. A project that can't be gotten rid of, no matter how hard you might try to kill it.