Friday coffee break sorted.
2016 was the year of excessive buzzwords. Yep, I’m calling it. We officially lost the run of ourselves when the term millennials crept in pre Christmas to define a generation of people.
1. A person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century."the industry brims with theories on what makes millennials tick"
The ability to speak in plain English is quickly escaping us. A very relevant example to myself; I am a consultant who advises business on ecommerce and how to build a strategy. I call myself a freelance ecommerce strategic advisor. I got thinking even more about “elevator pitches” and I wasn’t even in an elevator. We have taken things a step too far. So it got me thinking.
Every Friday as a mentor to several businesses, I do an exercise in mindfulness (not a buzzword, is it?) I send a quiz with the express idea to take time out of a busy week and refocus on yourself.
Today, I’m slightly changing it and inviting you all to get in on the fun. I am giving you BuzzWord Bingo. Every time someone in your office today mentions one of the words, mark it off your card until you have none left. The person who gives you your card filler has to buy you either A. Lunch B. Pint C. Coffee or if it really offensive like “helicopter view” a week of making the tea is in order.
To get you started, I’m giving you the full Alphabet of examples, just to show what a crazy language we are creating. (if struggling, use “Alphabet not Google” to figure it out). As a freelance strategic ecommerce advisor, my job is supposed to be de-mystifying the industry I am in. Some folk may think the shroud of mystery helps keep ones value – it doesn’t. Keep it simple and make it authentic – regardless of your role, it will make you appear knowledgeable, in control and if nothing else, speaking in simple English forces you to think, what is it I do as Global VP of Customer Platform Engagement ReDesign Technology Office.
First up for you are some of my favourite buzzwords, then download your bingo card and play away. Alternatively blow this up and put it on the office wall. Every time your Chief Product Office, Alan Partridge uses one, put money in the Friday Beer kitty fund – It is beyond doubt that each month, you will have enough for a team lunch with change for the bus home. Add your buzzwords here with comments of just start using plain English, have fun.
Scroll to the bottom for a bigger version either.
A – Actionable Analytics - For more than just the sake of analytics, “actionable analytics” provides data and insight you can take action on and make real, significant changes based off of
B – BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal – my personal fav water cooler convo. Ultan, “ Did you see the BHAG this year? Man, I’m psyched.” I did want to use bootstrapping, but I felt too dirty doing it.
C – Clickbait - Clickbait titles capture audience interest by driving mystery, but the content itself is subpar. The Sun newspaper headlines have been “buy bait” for years. Clickbait is the online version.
D – Disruptor – you will have a field day with this one.
E – Exit strategy – I can see your Ethiopian blend ethical coffee spill as you chuckle to yourself on this one. We used to build businesses to keep jobs, not end them.
F – Framework – I just bought a domain with frwamework in it – Facepalm – incidentally – Facepalm made it into the Collins dictionary last year. FML (another) surely an intern working in the dictionary house last year? Paid intern I would hope.
G – Growth hacking – finding a way to grow one’s business creatively.
H – Holistic – sorry boss, I don’t go to mass.
I – IoT Let me connect the dots for you via Bluetooth or wifi.
J – Jumping off point – stop, wait a minute.
K – Knowledge information asymmetry - I know something you don't
L – Low Hanging Fruit – more citrus than saccharine and an easy one to pick off for your Bingo board.
M – Millennials – I am SORRY. No getting around it. This one seems to me to be “mission critical”
N – NextGen -
O – Omnichannel – yes, guilty as charged. It’s 7.25 AM and I’ve thought about using this word twice on mails already.
P – Pain Points – I think it’s the alliteration on this that makes it sound so “wanky”. Good alternatives – Paradigm Shift. A doozy !
Q – Quality, Not Quantity. This is often used when referencing content marketing, as some brands believe posting multiple cruddy blog posts a day will somehow boost their credibility. Everyone knows this, but we fail consistently to start with this in our heads.
R – Reach out – Your buzz word bingo Banker
S – SoLoMo – The unholy marketing triumvirate – Social, Local, Mobile. This is too much. Though I did have a friend refer to SoCoDo recently – South County Dublin !
T – Take Offline – Let’s never speak of this again.
U – Unicorns – they don’t even exist – case closed on this one Sherlock. It’s like Upselling a broken horse.
V – Vis a Vis – a retro contender – should be used more vis a vis a great way of sounding smarter than you think you are.
W – Win Win – no one does, ever.
X – X functional strategy – so, everyone speaks to everyone?
Y – Yahoo – Sorry boss, let me Yahoo that one – said no one, ever.
Z – Zero Sum Game – You’re fucked
Feel free to add your favourites here in comments, it's great fun thinking about how stupid we sometimes all sound. It's a wonder business ever got done!