Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Silliest Buzzwords You’ll Encounter in B-School

The Silliest Buzzwords You’ll Encounter in B-School


August 8, 2012

Impactful. Shave the baby. Make it pop. Are people actually saying these things with a straight face? Chances are, you have heard or will hear someone say these phrases, whether you’re in b-school or in business. And you’ll probably think that the person saying them is a complete tool. We’ve discovered 18 of the silliest buzzwords and their meanings that really need to be put to bed. What’s your favorite silly business buzzword?
  • Make it pop:

    Who knows what this really means? Often used in reference to design, “make it pop” typically conveys that the person using it can’t really articulate what they want. But they’ll be sure to tell you if you get it wrong.
  • Eating your own dog food:

    Well, this is a lovely phrase, isn’t it? It’s quite fun to imagine eating dog food, especially in a business setting. This silly phrase means that a company uses its own product to demonstrate its quality, but all it demonstrates to us is weird people eating dog food.
  • Drinking the Kool-Aid:

    By far one of the worst buzzwords of all time, this phrase that’s meant to point out mindless following stems from an incident in which hundreds of cult followers committed suicide using cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.
  • It is what it is:

    A favorite of reality show contestants, in the business world, “It is what it is” seems to be a nice way to say “screw it.”
  • Shave the baby:

    When you absolutely must get super streamlined, you’ll have to “shave the baby.”
  • Impactful:

    Here’s what you need to know about impactful: it’s not a real word. Try actual words like “powerful” or “influential” instead.
  • Synergy:

    Does anyone actually know what “synergy” means? This buzzword is a favorite of upper and middle management when used to describe teamwork.
  • Smell test:

    Parents know the “smell test” as something you do to check for poo in a baby’s diaper. In business, it means to determine whether a product is crappy or not. So, pretty much the same thing.
  • Brain dump:

    A great way to bring toilet humor to the office, “brain dump” is meant to convey an unloading of information, but often brings up images of a less wholesome manner. See above; “smell test.”
  • Where the rubber meets the road:

    In business, “where the rubber meets the road” is all about the moment of truth, but really, all we can think of isMeatloaf.
  • Disruptive:

    Outside of business and technology, “disruptive” is a negative thing. But somehow, business minds have determined that this disruptive is good, as in, something so innovative that it disrupts the market.
  • Open the kimono:

    Pretty much one of the most inappropriate phrases for business, this open-data phrase stems from Japanese women “opening the kimono” to reveal a naked body to their husbands.
  • Prosumer:

    This amazingly awkward buzzword blends together professional and consumer to create “prosumer,” often overused by marketing departments shilling high-level consumer technology.
  • Boil the ocean:

    As the least efficient way to create a pile of salt, “boiling the ocean” is a commentary on one’s productivity. But this silly buzzword turns in on itself: wouldn’t it be more efficient just to say that a worker is “unproductive?”
  • Mission critical:

    This phrase might have alarm bells and military missions swimming around in your head, but it’s not at all related to actual missions. Instead, “mission critical” is often about insanely expensive business computer hardware.
  • Soup to nuts:

    Uh, what? This unusual term is meant to convey the building of a product or project from beginning to end, but really, it just sounds stupid.
  • Bio break:

    Also known as visiting the bathroom during business hours, “bio break” just shares too much. As your peers have to think about what “bio break” might actually mean, they have the unfortunate pleasure of thinking about you visiting the bathroom.
  • Bleeding-edge:

    What happens when you want to take “cutting-edge” to an EXTREME level? You go “bleeding-edge.”

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