I hate them.
But, I’ll admit, it’s kinda fun to look back on the buzz words of the day and remember.
After all, I have spent most of my adult life in Corporate America.
I must confess, I didn’t really pay attention to buzz words until the 1980s. After divestiture, or the break UP of Ma Bell, buzz words seemed to come to the forefront.
Take Wing – any of you Bell heads remember that one?
I still don’t know what it meant, I just remember that when they replaced the word processing system with a new one, the boss said, “Well, the took Wang!”…I don’t think the two were connected.
In the 80s, there were words like “relentless pursuit”. Relentless pursuit of perfection, relentless pursuit of excellence, but in reality, it was the relentless pursuit of cash!
The 90s brought “passion”. I was asked in an interview for a promotion, “What’s your passion?” Frankly, I thought that a tad personal, but I answered nonetheless.
And I got the job!
What’s your passion, greed is good, robust, breaking barriers, thinking outside the box…I mean really, every time I left the cubicle or office as it would later on become, I was thinking outside the box!
Have you seen the rest of the world?
Do we really want to be world class?
Change the culture. That was huge at the Phone Phactory back in the day. Everyone wanted to Change the Culture. Didn’t Judge Green do that?
I had a boss once who interjected, “at the end of the day” into nearly every conversation. Frankly, at the end of the day, I just wanted to get the hell away from her!
Multitasking – that was big in the 70s, and guess what…it doesn’t work. If you doing two things, one of them is going to suffer! You can’t really multi-task and have relentless pursuit of perfection. Gosh, who do you think I am, Sybil?
Proactive – a zit medication.
Synergy – c’mon!
Integrated or integration – didn’t the Civil Rights Act fix all that?
Leverage, the big idea, resolve, branding, putting UP silos!
What are we, farmers?
Breaking down barriers is just a nice way of saying “give me what I want!”
Value added – OMG, that was huge in the 80s and 90s, and I confess…I used it. I took it as a philosophy. If I wasn’t adding value to something by doing what I was doing, frankly, I shouldn’t have been doing it! But the phrase lost its lustre.
Which is another one, lost its lustre. So polish it!
Emails, memos, notes, post-its – they all have buzz words.
Here’s a robust idea, business it UP, use proper English in a business email once in while!
Now that I think about it, wouldn’t it be nice if this went viral?