Friday, September 18, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Harpo Marx -- posted by Momma

On August 27, Accountemps released a survey revealing the most overused workplace cliches. I realized then and there that my husband is Cliche Boy (which makes me Mrs. Cliche Boy) so I set out to deliver him (us) from his (our) embarrassment. In case you haven't yet seen it...

From Accountemps:

Executives were asked, “What is the most annoying or overused phrase or buzzword in the workplace today?” Their responses included:

Leverage: As in, “We intend to leverage our investment in IT infrastructure across multiple business units to drive profits.”
Reach out: As in, “Remember to reach out to customers impacted by the change.”
It is what it is: As in, “The server is down today, and clients are irate. It is what it is.”
Viral: As in, “Our video has gone viral.”
Game changer: As in, “Transitioning from products to solutions was a game changer for our company.”
Disconnect: As in, “There is a disconnect between what the consumer wants and what the product provides.”
Value-add: As in, “We have to evaluate the value-add of this activity before we spend more on it.”
Circle back: As in, “I’m heading out of the office now, but I will circle back with you later.”
Socialize: As in, “We need to socialize this concept with our key stakeholders.”
Interface: As in, “My job requires me to interface with all levels of the organization.”
Cutting edge: As in, “Our cutting-edge technology gives us a competitive advantage.”

Accountemps conducted a similar survey in 2004. The following “Hall-of-Fame” buzzwords were cited in both surveys:

At the end of the day
Think outside the box
On the same page

Some phrases cited in the most recent survey suggest executives are suffering from recession fatigue, including:

Do more with less
Gloom and doom
Pay freeze

I dutifully scoured the Internet for more:

Your call may be recorded for training purposes
Going forward
Don’t get me started
Tell me about it
It’s not rocket science
As you do
Have a good one
Working families
Not ruling anything in or out
No magic bullet
Can I just say
The jury is still out on that one
No brainer
Having said that
At this point in time
When it comes to...
Calling to touch base
Push the envelope
Think outside the square
Let’s do lunch
Key learnings
Hit the ground running
Let’s unpack this
Take it offline
Redeployed people
Core Competency
Generation X
going forward
low-hanging fruit
can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs
"you can't make eggs out of an omelete" meaning that some situation was too far gone to start over
Throughout the Enterprise
Using "task" as a verb. E.g. "I am going to task you with this project.
touch base
I don't have the Bandwidth to take this on
feel/have/take "ownership"
out of pocket

That should be enough, as Cliche Boy (and Mrs. Cliche Boy) are too paranoid to write or say anything now.

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