11 Business Buzzwords That Should Stay in 2016

Your services will not be required in 2017, thank you very much.


As a year, 2016 certainly has a lot to answer for. Not only did it claim the lives of some of the most talented and beloved artists of our time (Prince, David Bowie and Alan Rickman, to name but a few), it was also a year of deep political unrest.

But whatever your feelings about a reality TV star presiding over the US or Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, we can probably all agree that 2016 also spawned a particular calibre of business buzzwords and phrases that (at best) make us all inwardly cringe and (at worst) are so misused that they are now completely devoid of all meaning.

So, let’s celebrate their ridiculousness one last time before we bury them in 2016 where they belong. Because, let’s face it, we’ve all suffered enough.


‘Culture’
A positive company culture is, of course, of the utmost importance. But do you know what else is? Context. Peppering every sentence you utter with the c-word does not a happy workforce make. Enough! As Xero’s Andy Lark would say, if culture has to be mentioned endlessly in meetings, you probably haven’t got a good one down pat.

Un-annoying alternative:
‘Hey, this office has a really [INSERT APPROPRIATE POSITIVE ADJECTIVE HERE] vibe.’
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‘S.W.A.T Team’
Unless you are actually deploying an elite team of marksmen to fix your problem then you really need to stop uttering the phrase ‘Let’s send in the S.W.A.T team.’ We also deduct points for adding ‘ASAP’ at the end.

Un-annoying alternative:
‘The printer’s broken again. Should I see if Dave from IT can take a look?’
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‘Snackable content’
This is marketing speak for fast, attention grabbing content. Alternatives include ‘bitesize content’ or ‘digestible content.’ But in our humble opinion, piquing our interest with the word ‘snack’ only to follow it up with ‘content’ is just cruel.

Un-annoying alternative:
‘We have approximately 1.2 seconds to before we lose people’s interest – let’s make it count, team.’
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‘Creative juices’
Nope. Just nope. Any turn of phrase that makes us think of your bodily fluids should be taken off the table, folks.

Un-annoying alternative:
‘It’s time to fire up our imaginations, people!’
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‘Big data’
Ooooh, big scary data! So important! Oh wait, no. It’s just an annoying phrase to describe the same old data marketers have always used. As you were!

Un-annoying alternative:
‘I’m just going to sit here and analyse a bunch of data, don’t mind me.’
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‘Close the loop’
It’s not the phrase per se that’s so irksome, it’s more the sentiment.

Un-annoying alternative:
‘I’m going to delegate you a task that I don’t want to do myself. Let me know when you’ve done it. That cool? P.S do it now.’
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‘Synergy’
Stop it. Not only are you embarrassing yourself by using a pretentious word when any number of others (see below) would suffice, you’re making us look like fools by offering us no other alternative than to nod along in agreement with your insufferable management speak.

Un-annoying alternative:
‘Should we collaborate on this as a team?’
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‘The Internet of Things’
Look, we’re not against the concept (which, on a very basic level, describes the interconnection of our devices – or something), but we do object to it being used as a weapon to promote confusion.

Un-annoying alternative:
‘I’m about to wax lyrical on a subject I don’t fully understand but am confident I know more than you. Humour me, OK?’
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‘Growth hacking’
Part of this phrase’s (un)appeal is that no one really knows what it means (something about business development or marketing, perhaps?), so the ostentatious among us can toss it around freely without fear of ever being questioned.

Un-annoying alternative:
‘Get ready, I’m about to dazzle you with my business knowledge.’
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‘Ideate’
WHY do we have to over complicate everything though? Isn’t life already hard enough?

Un-annoying alternative:
‘Hey, are you free for a quick brainstorm about [INSERT SUBJECT MATTER]?’
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‘The Uber of…’
If we had a dollar from every time we heard the phrase ‘this new app is basically the Uber of…’ during 2016 alone we would have at least $11 to our name.

Un-annoying alternative:
‘Have you heard of [INSERT NAME OF APP]? It’s so cool, it’s like [INSERT DESCRIPTION OF APP AVOIDING WORD ‘UBER’]’

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What have we missed? Let us know what other words we no longer require as we jump into 2017.

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