Thursday, October 18, 2007
"Corporate Speak" Translation Cheat Sheet
Phrase 1: "We need to get signoff on this"
Translation: "No one here, including myself, has the grapefruits to sign our names to any sort of binding resolution. So, fearing for our jobs, we should instead agree to pass this to someone with more authority so they can take the fall if this plan goes awry."
Phrase 2: "What are the key takeaways from this meeting?"
Translation: "We've basically sat around talking for the last hour and we still really have no idea what we've been talking about. So in order to explain to our superiors where we've been for all this time, let's use the next 30 seconds to pound out a few bullet points that we can neatly put into email format for wide distribution."
Phrase 3: "Let's take this discussion offline"
Translation: "None of the people talking right now really knows what we're saying. So to save us further embarrassment in front of our peers, let's publicly state that we are going to discuss this topic at another time while silently agreeing to never speak of it again."
Phrase 4: "Do we need to escalate this?"
Translation: See translation of Phrase 1
Phrase 5: "Let's have a quick breakout session after this meeting"
Translation: "I'm not completely done with hearing myself talk and I want to extend this meeting with a few unfortunate victims whereby we will scribble some random ideas onto a page, in an homage to the high school brainstorming session." (Note: this is a distant cousin of Phrase 3.)
Phrase 6: "Let's wait until we are able to complete a deep dive into the data"
Translation: "I'm not ready to tell you anything of relevance. Yet, instead of rescheduling this meeting and sparing everyone's time, I decided to save face and repeat a bunch of watered down statements over and over until time expires and I finish my latte."
Phrase 7: "We have to make some business decisions in accordance with our strategic plan"
Translation: "We're about to lay off a lot of people. So hold off on making any big purchases because you're probably better off holding on to your money right now. But in the meantime, we'll let you twist in the wind while capitalizing on your fear of being fired by asking you to work an obscene amount of hours."
Phrase 8: "We're approaching the go/no go point"
Translation: "I'm getting nervous. You all should be nervous too and this is my way of letting you know. It's time to stall until one of the higher ups steps in and takes charge. Can someone pass me that list of corporate phrases?"
Hope you enjoyed these!
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