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?


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tausta vaikuttaa siihen, kuinka pätevältä näytät etä­kokouksessa
    Erikoisen taustakuvan käyttö ei kannata, vaikka sillä saa piilotettua sotkut, lapset ja lemmikit.

    PANDEMIAN aikana saimme tottua etäkokouksiin, joissa kotiympäristömme näkyi videolla kaikille osanottajille.

    Moni päätti ottaa videopuheluissa käyttöön erikoisen kuvitteellisen taustakuvan, jotta lapset, lemmikit ja kodin sotkut eivät päätyisi mukaan kuvaan.

    Ratkaisu ei välttämättä tehnyt muihin kokoustajiin hyvää vaikutusta, osoittaa brittiläisen Durhamin yliopiston tutkimus, joka julkaistiin Plos One -tiedelehdessä.

    Kävi ilmi, että taustalla voi olla voimakas vaikutus siihen, mitä ihmiset ajattelevat etäkokouksissa toisistaan.

    Selvästi luotettavimpina ja pätevimpinä pidettiin niitä, joiden takana näkyi kirjahylly tai huonekasveja. Myös hymy paransi merkittävästi arvosanoja. Surkeimmat arviot tuotti mursumaisema.

    Virtual first impressions: Zoom backgrounds affect judgements of trust and competence

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:


    A lot of big tech workers are admitting they basically had to do nothing at their jobs — though not necessarily as a shameless brag, but to spotlight their employers’ sloppy business practices.

    In a viral TikTok video, Machado claims she got paid $190,000 a year to, yes, “do nothing.”

    Industry experts aren’t exactly shocked.

    “They were hiring ahead of demand,” Vijay Govindarajan, a professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, told The Wall Street Journal.

    Like dragons slumbering on a hoard of gold, big tech firms that feared hiring difficulties during the pandemic wanted to snatch up all the talent they could, just so their competitors couldn’t — even if it meant paying money out the ass for fake jobs.

    “It kinda seemed that Meta was hiring people so that other companies couldn’t have us,” said Britney Levy, a former Meta employee hired last year, in another TikTok. “They were just kind of like hoarding us like Pokémon cards.”

    In the roughly eight months she worked there, she “had to fight to find work,” and only received a single assignment. So what did she and other newbies end up doing all day? The general consensus is meetings, meetings, thumb-twiddling, sitting around, and more meetings.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tutkimus: Emme halua kehittyä paremmiksi ihmisiksi – tärkeintä meille tuntuu olevan hyötyminen
    ”Käyttäydymme itsekkäämmin kuin meidän perusluonteemme olisi”, suomalainen tutkija kommentoi yhdysvaltalaisen tutkimuksen päätelmiä.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sam Altman says successful people ‘believe in themselves almost to the point of delusion’—that’s frightening, says expert

    Just about every highly successful person has confidence. Some, like ex-OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, believe in taking it to an extreme — and that’s when they turn from inspiring to frightening, says a leadership expert.

    “Organizations should be very frightened of having CEOs who are delusionally overconfident,” Don Moore, a leadership and communication professor at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, tells CNBC Make It.

    What’s more clear is the 38-year-old’s leadership ethos: One of his top keys to success is to “have almost too much self-belief,” he wrote in a 2019 blog post.

    “Self-belief is immensely powerful,” wrote Altman. “The most successful people I know believe in themselves almost to the point of delusion.”

    Altman is “far from the first entrepreneur to have endorsed the idea that you have to believe in yourself, above all else” to succeed, says Moore. But overconfidence can pose problems for a leader, along with anyone who buys into their delusion or is otherwise affected by it, he notes.

    Here’s why.

    The pros and cons of extreme overconfidence
    Extreme overconfidence can help people rise to lofty heights. It can also make them and the people around them prone to “dysfunctions, perversities [and] errors,” especially when they’re too arrogant to plan for foreseeable threats, says Moore.

    Overconfident leaders often convince people to follow them, from employees to investors and board members, only to eventually fall short of the outsize expectations their confidence created, Moore says.

    “That’s part of why voters are so often disappointed by the candidates that they help vote into office,” he explains. “We pick the ones who are making grandiose promises, who inspire our hopes for reform, but reality is complicated and the changes they can actually introduce often fall short of what their most enthusiastic supporters hope for.”

    How to balance confidence with self-awareness
    In Altman’s blog post, he identified the No. 1 thing any overconfident leader needs to do to prevent catastrophic mistakes or widespread alienation: Get better at accepting criticism.

    Seeking out valid criticism can be “hard and often painful,” but it’s necessary because “it is what separates self-belief from self-delusion,” Altman wrote.

    Moore agrees. He also says it’s easy for leaders to “pay lip service” to the idea of accepting criticism, and much harder to actually follow through.

    “I think this is a challenge for every leader,” Moore says. “Courageous leaders need to seek out that sort of criticism, ask themselves how they’re messing up, anticipate the errors that they’re most likely to be making, and listen hard when criticism comes their way.”

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ex-OpenAI CEO Sam Altman wrote in 2019 that “almost too much self-belief” was a key to success. That presents problems, says a UC Berkeley leadership expert.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Koulutuksella on merkittävä vaikutus työn miellekkyyteen, motivaatioon ja työntekijöiden sitouttamiseen. Työnantajan kannattaa siis tehdä aloite kouluttamiseen ja säästää työntekijöiden kuormituksen lisäksi selvää rahaa.

    #aikuisopiskelu #sytytäkipinä #kaupanalankoulutus #nykyaikainenjohtaminen #mercuriapro #mercuriasome #esihenkilökoulutus #työhyvinvointi #esimieskoulutus

    Aloite koulutuksesta tulisi olla työnantajalla, sillä muuten motiivina on todennäköisesti työpaikan vaihtaminen

    Työn kuormitus kasvaa suoraan suhteessa työ- ja ikävuosiin – kuormitus on myös päämotivaatio aikuisiän opiskeluun. Työllisyysrahaston teettämän tutkimuksen mukaan 58 % vastaajista hakeutui opiskelemaan nykyisen työn kuormituksen vuoksi ja lähes 60 % ilmaisi tavoitteekseen alan vaihtamisen kokonaan.

    Luvut voivat kuulostaa synkiltä, mutta juuri koulutuksella on merkittävä vaikutus työn miellekkyyteen, motivaatioon ja työntekijöiden sitouttamiseen. Työnantajan kannattaa siis ottaa aloite kouluttamiseen ja säästää työntekijöiden kuormituksen lisäksi selvää rahaa.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jeff Bezos calls work-life balance a “debilitating” phrase. TIAA’s CEO calls it a “lie.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella prefers “work-life harmony.”

    Some business leaders like Jeff Bezos hate the phrase ‘work-life balance.’ Here’s what they prefer instead.

    Over the years, CEOs and business leaders have shared their thoughts on the phrase “work-life balance.”
    Some aren’t a fan of the phrase and think workers should take a different approach or view.
    Jeff Bezos, for example, thinks the relationship between work and life is a “circle” instead.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to Build Positive Relationships at Work

    In brief
    Technology can work to your advantage—use it.
    Cast a wide net to develop good working relationships.
    Do your research and make sure it shows.
    Whether you are working remotely, from an office or picking up part-time gig work and odd jobs, it is crucial to network so you can forge and strengthen positive relationships with your colleagues.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blogissa kirjoitan asiantuntijayrityksen tyypillisimmästä tulostuholaisesta ja miten siitä pääsee eroon (ja ei, en pidä kyykäärmettä tuholaisena).

    Puutteina voivat olla: Ammattitaidottomuus, visioiden puuttuminen, huono johtaminen ja markkinointi, fokusointi kirjavaa, menetelmien ja välineiden puutteellinen käyttö tai kehittymättömyys, avainhenkilöiden rekrytointi

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kaksi väsynyttä ajatusta, jotka voivat paljastaa uupumuksen – psyko­terapeutti kertoo tyypillisestä kuviosta

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Monelle yrittäjälle konkurssi tulee yllätyksenä: ”Asioiden annetaan mennä aivan liian pitkälle”
    Asiantuntijat muistuttavat, että ennen konkurssiin ajautumista on mahdollista tehdä monenlaisia korjausliikkeitä. Sitä ennen pitää kuitenkin tunnistaa yrityksen talouden kompastuskivet.


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