Management Speak

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  • Management Speak
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    I never hear any dodgy management type speak from within my firm, but I have heard it from some clients (particularly public authorities).

    The best use of a phase i’ve ever heard was years ago when I was in Nigeria advising on something. I was with one of the proper old school equity partners, and on the first day of meetings with the other side and their advisers, the partner became a bit irritated at how they seemed to be behaving in the negotiations.

    So he told them, “I’m not sure I like what’s going on here boys. You lot don’t seem to be playing the white man at all.”

    Not the best thing to say to a group of Nigerian government officials, but we still made it to the end of the week without being arrested 😆


    My boss talks sone right old shit

    ‘pre-empt rather than be prompted’
    ‘the management pyramid’
    ‘the management monkey’

    What a ****

    Let’s pause for a bio-break

    Premier Icon Onzadog

    Embrace new ways of working.

    What they really mean is they want fewer people to do more work.

    Premier Icon martymac

    i say, ‘no, thanks, i dont want to do overtime’
    they hear ‘yes id love overtime, any time you like.’


    I bloody hate pretentious phrases designed to do nothing but confuse your peers.

    Premier Icon Andy

    “Its “baked” into the business case”;

    you mean even though its wrong and you haven’t a clue by stamping your foot and saying that it will happen….yer right

    “lets “deep dive” into this one”;

    so normally you dont give anything sufficient attention to make a sensible decision, bu in this case you are going to be terribly brave and find out WTF you are talking about first? Of course you could just trust the people you asked to do the work in the first place



    a new one appearing in my place is:

    “so thats the exam question”

    rahter than “thats the question”.


    “eating our own dogfood” is a common phrase that is somewhat meaningful – microsoft could do with doing it a bit more.

    it means using what you are producing, rather than just shoving it out there and letting your customers find all the problems with it.

    Premier Icon DezB

    They all wannabe bloody Yanks round here (why why why????)

    “I wanna give you the heads up” Your head up my ASS you pathetic wannabe

    Ah balls I can’t remember the others and don’t want to.


    One of my clients uses buzz words all the time…Could we do a ‘deep dive’ into this issue? My response – “a what?”.

    He uses the word delta a lot…as in, let compare lists and identify the delta. Why can’t he just say difference?

    Perhaps I need to start thinking outside the box a bit more.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    I hear a lot of these “run it up the blue sky flagpole and push the imagineering envelope” phrases that a lot of people find funny. I actually understand most of them, and have even used one or two myself.

    But today I heard the best one yet:

    “We’re eating our own dogfood.”

    I think he meant… well I don’t care what meant.

    I heard it while I was calling round production managers to see if they were interested in a rather excellent operations logbook application. If you’re an operations person, struggling with paper based or excel logs handling shift changeovers and machine faults – drop me an email.

    Premier Icon ART

    I used to hear loads of this cobblers in a previous life when I spent my time floating around with management in the civil service, I can’t tell you how many time I found myself dealing with ‘the wolf closest to the sledge’ … who would have thought that working in policy could be so dangerous.. 😉


    Slightly off topic, but why do people tell me they’re going “On Annual Leave”?

    You’re going on your hols mate. You dress it up whatever colour you like, but at the end of the day, you and I both know you’re going to go spend a fortnight sitting on a sunlounger, wearing the same pair of board shorts and drinking San Miguel til your head hurts.

    Or are you now too important to have a “Holiday”?

    Apparently, ideas gain traction.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    “I’m not sure I like what’s going on here boys. You lot don’t seem to be playing the white man at all.”

    Many years ago, I worked for a large Asian-owned IT company. The exec board were all members of the same family, with a mostly white middle-management team, so any inter-departmental meetings we held were a fairly broad mix of ethnicity.

    We took on a new head of sales, some annoying highly paid hot-shot, and he duly appeared at the weekly meetings we had to thrash out the ‘top ten’ problems in each department.

    His opening gambit in his inaugral meeting was to argue with something one of the directors was saying, with the immortal “well, just to chuck another nigger on the woodpile…” Then things went a bit quiet.

    Needless to say, I think that was the last time I saw him.

    “If we try and reinvent the wheel just one more time we’re going to need a wheel warehouse”

    You can have great fun with it if you work with the right bunch of knob ends managers.

    Try pulling out the pin, then over arm launching a “thought grenade” into a meeting…

    Or throwing your arms into the air and shouting “bingo” if one of your colleagues is particularly full of it…


    “Eating our own dog food” comes from Mars, I believe, where managers are encouraged to do just that as part of some sort of loyalty/quality control exercise.

    As well as the eponymous bars, Mars also make Pedigree and Whiskas.

    Can’t you guys leverage this to a mutual gain point?


    My MD once accused my team of “running about like blue arsed chickens” during a busy spell. How we chuckled.

    I hate “going forward”.


    I have sent memos back for “an explanation in plain english please” when too full of buzzwords

    Too busy “socialising” my plan / idea / proposal


    All that reminds me of this:

    Written in the height of the dotcom boom but actually still shockingly accurate 12 years down the line


    It’s not on my list of deliverables, and I’m results driven.

    I’ll look where the disconnect is.


    My boss doesn’t have staff we’re “colleagues” 27 times in a 30 minutes talk and he didn’t talk for 5 of them. No definition below applie as far as i’m concerned

    associate, fellow worker
    Synonyms: aide, ally, assistant, auxiliary, buddy, chum, co-worker, coadjutor, cohort, collaborator, companion, compatriot, compeer, comrade, confederate, confrere, crony, friend, helper, pal, partner, teammate, workmate

    Premier Icon Onzadog

    I like the wheel warehouse one. I wish they’d say that at work. At least it would mean they’d finally realised that they keep trying to reinvent the wheel.


    Lets touch base – always makes me feel uneasy 😉

    Onzadog… you need to be on the inside looking out, not the outside looking in. Buy in to the culture, it may be a paradigm shift for you but you’ll be smelling the roses in no time. If you don’t know how to do it, start by picking off the low hanging fruit. Take a helipcopter view if you must, to see where they are. Palatise the fruit, synergise, then rain them down on your associates in a brain shower. Stop trying to push water up a wall, start pulling on the same end of the rope, be the ME in the tEaM. Fill yourself full of win.

    Go get ’em kiddo.

    Mr Woppit

    “I hear what you’re saying…”

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Anyone ever had a deaf manager? Do they still say that?


    “Pick the low hanging fruit”………….

    Just say, “Do the easy stuff first”. Idiot.

    Premier Icon veedubba

    @The Southern Yeti “Fill yourself full of win”

    That’s my favourite so far.

    I tend to fill myself full of hatred and despair at this sort of stuff a lot of the time.

    I particularly hate “mandrolic” at the moment, but that may be a fairly unusual word. It’s still meaninless and deeply irritating though.

    If you want a proper list of bullsh*t, try Gus Hedges from DTDD – I’m sure I’ve heard some of it in real life…


    One of the companies in our business park has in its corporate values poster:

    ‘Don’t over promise, do over deliver’

    Which sounds a lot like, aim low and exceed your goals


    One of best lines one of our managers came out with is..
    ‘you are owned and controlled by this company…’

    and another was…
    ‘if I find out who this person is I will personally kill you…’

    really, some people do have some bizarre ideas going on upstairs.



    We often get ‘the exam question is…’ or ‘what’s the exam question?’. That and ‘let’s deal with the crocodile nearest the canoe’

    There were some great ones in the Times the other day..
    Let’s take this off-line (Shut up and we’ll talk about it later)
    Let’s get the potato on the fork (Let’s get going)
    That would be like boiling the ocean (an impossible task)
    I’m coming into this with an open kimono (with everything disclosed)

    It constsntly amazes me that people use this guff…and that others pretend to undestand it. I have often asked colleagues if they can explain some of the stuff that comes across my desk because I haven’t a clue, and they openly admit that they don’t bother reading it.

    During my wedding speech, I promised not to use any buzzwords after my recent move from Engineering to Marketing, before saying “Moving forward, in this speech I’m going to leverage syngergies while going for the easy wins, grab the low hanging fruit and keep it on the radar screen”.

    Wasn’t sure how it would go down. 2/3 of the audience got it, the ones that nodded in agreement and anticipaction were never invited to a function again and the OAP crew from Norfolk just looked blank!

    DNA is everywhere now – baked into our DNA!

    Elephants are also getting an honouraty mention – this project is like eating an Elephant – one bite at a time.

    Also heard the other day – We need to chunk up the Elephant. WTF?


    “lets run it up the flag pole”
    “lets knife and fork it”
    “lets deep dive”
    “lets touch base”
    “lets talk off line”
    “we need some blue sky thinking”
    “do you embrace the change?”
    “its like herding cats”

    Just some of the bull shit that I heard today working for BT.


    Oh and I forgot one I heard last week –

    “we’ll have to engineer efficient architectures”

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