Business talk

Many people working in large companies speak business-buzzwords as a second language. Business language is full of pretty meaningless words. I Don’t Understand What Anyone Is Saying Anymore article tells that the language of internet business models has made the problem even worse. There are several strains of this epidemic: We have forgotten how to use the real names of real things, acronymitis, and Meaningless Expressions (like “Our goal is to exceed the customer’s expectation”). This would all be funny if it weren’t true. Observe it, deconstruct it, and appreciate just how ridiculous most business conversation has become.

Check out this brilliant Web Economy Bullshit Generator page. It generates random bullshit text based on the often used words in business language. And most of the material it generates look something you would expect from IT executives and their speechwriters (those are randomly generated with Web Economy Bullshit Generator):

“scale viral web services”
“integrate holistic mindshare”
“transform back-end solutions”
“incentivize revolutionary portals”
“synergize out-of-the-box platforms”
“enhance world-class schemas”
“aggregate revolutionary paradigms”
“enable cross-media relationships”

How to talk like a CIO article tries to tell how do CIOs talk, and what do they talk about, and why they do it like they do it. It sometimes makes sense to analyze the speaking and comportment styles of the people who’ve already climbed the corporate ladder if you want to do the same.

The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon article tells that the stupid business talk is longer solely the province of consultants, investors and business-school types, this annoying gobbledygook has mesmerized the rank and file around the globe. The next time you feel the need to reach out, touch base, shift a paradigm, leverage a best practice or join a tiger team, by all means do it. Just don’t say you’re doing it. If you have to ask why, chances are you’ve fallen under the poisonous spell of business jargon. Jargon masks real meaning. The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon article has a cache of expressions to assiduously avoid (if you look out you will see those used way too many times in business documents and press releases).

Is Innovation the Most Abused Word In Business? article tells that most of what is called innovation today is mere distraction, according to a paper by economist Robert Gordon. Innovation is the most abused word in tech. The iPad is about as innovative as the toaster. You can still read books without an iPad, and you can still toast bread without a toaster. True innovation radically alters the way we interact with the world. But in tech, every little thing is called “innovative.” If you were to believe business grads then “innovation” includes their “ideas” along the lines of “a website like *only better*” or “that thing which everyone is already doing but which I think is my neat new idea” Whether or not the word “innovation” has become the most abused word in the business context, that remains to be seen. “Innovation” itself has already been abused by the patent trolls.

Using stories to catch ‘smart-talk’ article tells that smart-talk is information without understanding, theory without practice – ‘all mouth and no trousers’, as the old aphorism puts it. It’s all too common amongst would-be ‘experts’ – and likewise amongst ‘rising stars’ in management and elsewhere. He looks the part; he knows all the right buzzwords; he can quote chapter-and-verse from all the best-known pundits and practitioners. But is it all just empty ‘smart-talk’? Even if unintentional on their part, people who indulge in smart-talk can be genuinely dangerous. They’ll seem plausible enough at first, but in reality they’ll often know just enough to get everyone into real trouble, but not enough to get out of it again. Smart-talk is the bane of most business – and probably of most communities too. So what can we do to catch it?

943 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Work Culture
    Are workplace tools making decision fatigue worse?
    https://blog.dropbox.com/topics/work-culture/workplace-tools-making-decision-fatigue-worse?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ts-conversion&utm_content=rtg

    When people have to make a sequence of tricky, demanding decisions, they slowly lose their decision-making willpower.

    But decision fatigue doesn’t just happen in high-stakes industries like medicine and law. It turns out there’s a sneakier version that’s even more common, just as draining, and increasingly, much harder to avoid.

    Workplace tools force us to make hundreds of micro-decisions

    This new kind of decision fatigue comes from all the tools we use (like email, chat apps, smartphones, and enterprise software) and the content we create (like files, folders, and documents). Thanks to the explosion of mobile gadgets and workplace software, we’re getting more alerts and notifications than ever before. According to Bain & Company, executives received about 4,000 communications per year in the ’80s. In the 2010s, that number is well over 30,000.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Dunning-Kruger Effect Shows Why Some People Think They’re Great Even When Their Work Is Terrible
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2017/01/24/the-dunning-kruger-effect-shows-why-some-people-think-theyre-great-even-when-their-work-is-terrible/?utm_source=FACEBOOK&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Malorie/#181db48b5d7c

    If you’ve ever dealt with someone whose performance stinks, and they’re not only clueless that their performance stinks but they’re confident that their performance is good, you likely saw the Dunning-Kruger Effect in action.

    Coined in 1999 by then-Cornell psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the eponymous Dunning-Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias whereby people who are incompetent at something are unable to recognize their own incompetence. And not only do they fail to recognize their incompetence, they’re also likely to feel confident that they actually are competent.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    7 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are at Work and in Life
    https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/7-signs-youre-doing-better-than-you-think-you-are-at-work-in-life.html

    Sometimes, you just need a little reassurance that you’re on target. Here it is

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Luuletko, että arjessa pitää vain jaksaa hampaat irvessä? Olet väärässä – lue 5 täsmävinkkiä uupumuksen itsehoitoon
    Jopa puolet työikäisistä ei palaudu riittävästi. Jokainen tarvitsee luppoaikaa vähintään tunnin päivässä.
    https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-10963333

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Extreme ways CEOs are testing soft skills in job interviews
    https://www.fastcompany.com/90399561/extreme-ways-ceos-are-testing-soft-skills-in-job-interviews?partner=rss&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss

    From paying candidates not to work for them to asking them to drive the CEO’s car, employers are finding unique ways to put a prospective employee’s soft skills to the test.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    I Just Discovered Warren Buffet’s 25/5 Rule and It’s Completely Brilliant
    https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/i-just-discovered-warren-buffets-25-5-rule-completely-brilliant.html

    The 25/5 rule only takes five minutes to put into practice, but it can maximize your productivity and boost your career.

    First, Buffett told Flint to make a list of his top 25 career goals.

    Then, Buffett said to circle the top five goals.

    Reportedly, Buffett told Flint to:

    1. remain focused on accomplishing goals 1 through 5, and

    2. stay completely away from working on goals 6 through 25.

    What’s the lesson?

    “It’s all about focus,” says Towson. “You’re not going to accomplish 25 things in your life. If you really focus long-term you can do three to five big ones, maybe. And the impediment to your not having focus is numbers 6 through 25, because those are the things you’re interested in. Those are your biggest potential distractions.”

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to become a better software developer: a business perspective
    https://leocode.com/blog/how-to-become-a-better-software-developer/

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Five Top Resume Turnoffs
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2013/02/19/five-top-resume-turnoffs/?utm_source=FACEBOOK&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Malorie/#487ec1ccebbe

    1. There’s not enough “white space.”

    2. You didn’t include results-oriented language.

    3. Your resume is too long. You have to sell your experience quickly. The standard resume format is one to two pages.

    4. You haven’t shown numbers. Hiring managers love numbers. They love when you are invested enough in your job to quantify your growth.

    5. You don’t sound confident enough. I’ll never forget the resume on which a job applicant basically said in the first few sentences, “I don’t have much nursing experience, but am willing to learn more.”

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Motivaatiota metsästämässä
    https://tyopaikat.oikotie.fi/tyontekijalle/artikkelit/tyokyopeli-blogi/motivaatiota-metsastamassa

    Työmotivaatiota voi joskus joutua kaivelemaan syvempääkin, mutta sitä pitäisi luoda myös työnantajan puolelta.

    Kun motivaatio liittyy henkiseen palkintoon, hyvään oloon, onnistumiseen, oppimiseen, intoon tai iloon, se on voimakasta ja sen avulla jaksaa paljon.

    Jos kukaan ei saa kiksejä saavutuksistaan ja kaikki vain puurtavat kasvot kireinä, ei ole ihmekään, ettei ketään kiinnosta.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Getting Interviews, But No Offers? This Could Be Why
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2017/03/22/getting-interviews-but-no-offers-this-could-be-why/?utm_source=FACEBOOK&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Malorie/#4702b6724c59

    Her feedback after our mock interview was “In the mock interview, you were very distant and reserved. You can speak up and share your opinions.”

    Most people can relate to your frustration! This is a very common interview problem.

    A job interview is a formal and scripted social situation. Once we’ve learned the standard script it can be hard to break away from it.

    Your job is not to answer the interviewer’s questions “correctly.” There is no correct answer to most interview questions!

    The less your interviewer has to think during your conversation, the more likely they’ll forget having met you 10 minutes after you’re out the door!

    Your goal is to stand out, not blend into the wallpaper.

    The good news is that you are aware you’re hiding your brilliance and sparkling personality under a bushel right now.

    Keep in mind that not everyone will like your brand of jazz. That’s okay, because not every organization or every manager deserves your talents anyway. Only the people who get you, deserve you!

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Even if you hate your job, you can use it to build a career you love
    https://www.fastcompany.com/90396641/even-if-you-hate-your-job-you-can-use-it-to-build-a-career-you-love?partner=rss&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss

    Building three companies where I struggled to find meaning taught me that even the most vacuous undertakings can help you build a career you care about.

    The first problem is figuring out what you love in the first place. The second is that the economy isn’t built on hopes and dreams. The supply/demand equation is about the desires of others, not our own, so we can’t all simply follow the path that our heart has set out for us.

    PAY ATTENTION TO MOMENTS OF PASSION
    If you’re feeling frustrated by the sort of work you’re doing, pay attention to those moments when you feel excited and time passes effortlessly. Make a mental note so that you can build more of whatever that is into your career in the future. At the same time, don’t discount the parts of your work life that seem boring and monotonous, so long as you’re still learning. They’re likely providing you with the knowledge and experience you’ll need in the future.

    LEARN HOW TO BUILD A TEAM
    When the subject matter of your work doesn’t drive you, building the right team can. If you make your team your North Star, you’ll be able to carry out high-impact ideas on a greater scale.

    LEARN TO TAKE RISKS
    If you aren’t doing what you love, embrace any role that will push you beyond your limits. Doing impactful work in any context depends on your ability to think creatively and be nimble.

    Every time you emerge on the other side of a great challenge in your career, you build resilience and gain perspective. You come back better equipped to anticipate a problem and tackle the next one.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What Not To Ask In An Initial Job Interview
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2017/08/17/what-not-to-ask-in-an-initial-job-interview/

    Ideally, your discussions should be shaped so that you can determine as well as possible if you’re a good fit for the role

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    34 Words And Phrases That Scream ‘I’m a Leader’ On Resumes
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2017/11/27/34-words-phrases-that-scream-im-a-leader-on-resumes/

    It’s one thing to be good at tasks, projects and areas of specialization, but if you’re aspiring to manage teams, you simply can’t stop there. You also have to position yourself as an inspiring, effective leader.

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The real reason you’re not allowed to work from home is that managers at all levels are fearful of change and especially fearful of change that requires them to step out of their comfort zone.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2017/03/15/the-real-reason-youre-not-allowed-to-work-from-home/?utm_source=FACEBOOK&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Malorie/#46345d007084

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Self-made millionaire: The simple strategy that helped increase my odds of success by 42%
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/13/self-made-millionaire-how-to-increase-your-odds-of-success-by-42-percent-marie-forleo.html

    An often-cited study done by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, shows the true power of writing down your goals.

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5 of the most important resume tips according to Google recruiters.

    Formula’ on Your Resume Will Improve Your Odds of Getting Hired at Google
    https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/google-recruiters-say-these-5-resume-tips-including-x-y-z-formula-will-improve-your-odds-of-getting-hired-at-google.html?cid=sf01002

    Alternative: Reverse engineer their advice and improve recruitment at your business

    1. Basic formatting

    key rule is to keep things simple when it comes to format

    2. Customization
    You should write a new, tailored resume for every position you apply for. Also, the Google recruiters advise keeping it under a single page.

    3. Use the X by Y by Z formula

    Google describes this as: “Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y], by doing [Z].” But just to make it easier to remember, let’s shorten it to X-Y-Z.

    4. Advanced formatting

    5. For technical applicants

    The first is to include your Github link, or equivalent, at the top with your contact information.

    as you list projects and experience — either in a separate section or as part of your employment history — include programming languages you used for each project.

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    real life black mirror “hack”: sell decades of your future! =D

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mIl5Lz0iMUw

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Want To Be Successful? Quit Working So Hard
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2017/03/16/want-to-be-successful-quit-working-so-hard/?utm_source=FACEBOOK&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Malorie/#72a7e0111bb8

    The old adage “Hard work brings success” is no longer true, if it ever was.

    We are too goal-oriented.

    We don’t ask the question “I’m goal-oriented — but what does that get me? Why is the goal I’m working toward the best goal for me?

    When you are working your hardest, are you working toward your own goals or somebody else’s goals? Many of us go to work and plod forward on a path we didn’t choose.

    Your To-Do list will always be there, and it will never get any shorter

    Obviously working hard on your To-Do list is not the path to success — so what is?

    The path to success leads in a different direction.

    Yes, it will require hard work to realize your vision

    The first step on your path to success is to stop working, stop stressing, and let your mind wander.

    Some people do it on a bicycle or in the tub. They take off their mental shackles and ask “If it were totally up to me, what would I do with my life?”

    It is totally up to you. For many people, that’s the scary part!

    It takes courage to dream expansively, because your conscious mind wants to break into your dream to say “Forget your dream — it’s not practical!”

    Your job is to envision your future first.

    Later, you can refine the vision and start to see how it can become reality.

    Quit working so hard, and give yourself the gift of imagining your future in brighter colors than you do now.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The 80/20 Rule And How It Can Change Your Life
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2016/03/07/80-20-rule/?utm_source=FACEBOOK&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Malorie/#2c5c42ec3814

    He investigated different industries and found that 80% of production typically came from just 20% of the companies. The generalization became:

    80% of results will come from just 20% of the action.

    387 169 views|Mar 7, 2016,8:23 pm
    The 80/20 Rule And How It Can Change Your Life
    Kevin KruseContributor
    Careers
    This article is more than 2 years old.
    TWEET THIS
    80% of results will come from just 20% of the action.
    Are you trying to grow your current business? Would an 80/20 mindset help you to stay focused on your strategic plan and spend less time chasing endless new opportunities?

    What is the 80/20 Rule and could it actually make 80% of your work disappear?

    If you’ve studied business or economics, you’re well familiar with the power of the Pareto Principle.

    The Man Behind The Concept

    Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was born in Italy in 1848. He would go on to become an important philosopher and economist. Legend has it that one day he noticed that 20% of the pea plants in his garden generated 80% of the healthy pea pods. This observation caused him to think about uneven distribution. He thought about wealth and discovered that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by just 20% of the population. He investigated different industries and found that 80% of production typically came from just 20% of the companies. The generalization became:

    80% of results will come from just 20% of the action.

    Photo: Pixabay/Kaboompics
    Photo: Pixabay/Kaboompics
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    Gallery: 10 Easy Ways To Be More Productive At Work
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    Pareto’s 80/20 Rule

    This “universal truth” about the imbalance of inputs and outputs is what became known as the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule. While it doesn’t always come to be an exact 80/20 ratio, this imbalance is often seen in various business cases:

    • 20% of the sales reps generate 80% of total sales.

    • 20% of customers account for 80% of total profits.

    • 20% of the most reported software bugs cause 80% of software crashes.

    • 20% of patients account for 80% of healthcare spending (and 5% of patients account for a full 50% of all expenditures!)

    On a more personal note, you might be able to relate to my unintentional 80/20 habits.

    handling every task that gets thrown their way—or even every task that they would like to handle—is impossible. They use Pareto to help them determine what is of vital importance. Then, they delegate the rest, or simply let it go.

    Are you an executive? You’re surely faced with the constant challenge of limited resources. It’s not just your time you need to maximize, but your entire team’s.

    Are you a freelancer? It’s important to identify your best (and highest-paying) clients.

    Are you an entrepreneur? The temptation always exists to try the new and exciting. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it boils down to your goals. Are you trying to grow your current business? Would an 80/20 mindset help you to stay focused on your strategic plan and spend less time chasing endless new opportunities?

    So, what 20% of your work drives 80% of your outcomes?

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Can You Spot Really Good Leaders? They Do Any of These 7 Things Daily
    With some things in life, like exceptional leadership traits, you can’t just “fake it till you make it.”
    https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/7-ways-to-tell-someone-is-a-really-good-leader-and-not-just-faking-it.html?cid=sf01002&sr_share=facebook

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    7 Warning Signs Your Boss Disrespects You
    When managers treat you this way, you haven’t earned their respect.
    https://www.inc.com/jt-odonnell/7-warning-signs-your-boss-disrespects-you.html?cid=sf01002&sr_share=facebook

    Right now, employee frustration is at an all-time high. Workers are feeling fed up with their employers and wondering if the grass could be greener elsewhere.

    While pay and opportunity for growth are the top two reasons people claim they want to find a new job, our research shows that what ultimately pushes a person to seek a new job is feeling disrespected by their boss.

    you have to recognize the signs that your manager doesn’t respect you. Here are seven to consider:

    They call you in a panic about an ASAP task — only to go silent on you.
    They change their mind daily about what they want you to work on.
    They ask to review every task you complete.
    They tell you to do unnecessary, tedious work.
    They constantly cancel and reschedule meetings with you.
    You have to chase them down for answers and approval.
    They dismiss your questions and concerns.
    I could list more, but if you can say “yes” to more than two of the above, it’s safe to say your boss has concluded that you aren’t a trusted resource. Which means, it’s time to work on a communication strategy to turn things around.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Should I Fire This Employee? 9 Sure Signs the Answer Is Yes
    http://on.inc.com/Ov4PXPF

    Reply

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