Monday, August 06, 2007

A Corporate Speak Glossary

To provide some relief from all the recent long serious posts, here is something fun; from Conde Nast's Portfolio magazine comes this "Corporate Speak Glossary". Here are a few of my favorites for you to enjoy:

action item - An urgent task requiring immediate action—from someone else.

assign ownership - To dump responsibility on someone else as quickly as possible.

branded - Pre-DCE (dotcom era), this described the status of a steer after a rancher burned his symbol of ownership into the animal’s backside; now connotes how the public perceives a company’s image. In the company’s mind, though, that poor steer will always be you.

core competency - Depending on your company’s stock price at the time, your shareholders describe this as either your ability to run a company or to play a low-scoring round of golf.

deliverables - Stuff you owe your customers before they owe you a lawsuit.

dress-down Friday - The day your boss pulls out a sweater that cost more than your suit.

driver - The key factor in getting something done; what you can afford when you get enough things done.

empower - The process by which the powerful dribble out bits of power to the powerless.

fast track - A type of professional advancement that leads most quickly to divorce and personal despair.

first mover - A nice epitaph for a company that goes bankrupt for being two years ahead of its time.

low-hanging fruit - The part of a project your boss completes before handing it over to you.

outside the box - Ironically, an expression used most often by people who will never understand it.

overhead - The fixed costs of running a business (such as rent, heat, and electricity) that must be paid, making them very different from your salary.

paradigm shift - What you want your foot to give the V.P. of marketing when he overuses this term.

take it offline - The “let’s take this outside” of the business world; often thrown around when people begin to disagree too openly in a large meeting.

team player - An enthusiastic co-worker who some say can’t get hired anywhere else.

upsell - To peddle expensive add-ons to an otherwise useful but inexpensive product.

OK, you get the idea, read them all and start thinking of the ones you could add.

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