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Business language, buzzwords – what words do you hear?

September 5, 2012

After reading The Maverick* by Luke Johnson and also the article in the Financial Times titled “Beware of charisma and buzz words”  I was inspired to do some research

 Luke Johnson

I’ll quote from Luke Johnson’s article to set the scene  “They know all the buzz words – scalable, traction, leverage, burn rate, vesting”

From the Thompson Writing and Editing website I found the following – just some personal favourites and some that i have certainly used……been subject to…..

action items,


address the issue

business silo,


champion (used as a verb),

change agent (or catalyst),




gap analysis,

heads up,

health break,


in the loop,

living document,

matrix (used as a verb),

not rocket science,

Cannot understand why “networking” was in the list!,

out of the loop,


push the envelope,

quality vector,

react, used as a noun: “What are they doing for a react?”,

schedule compressed,

think outside the box,


vertical integration,

I think that you get the picture!

The challenge – people using words that they not only understand but words that make sense to the people they are talking to – putting ourselves in their shoes or should I say using their ears not our own.

Did remind me of the game that could be played during the longer meetings that are part of the corporate world – or was it just the “fun” aspect of FISH Philosophy living and breathing and creating a non silo, vertically and horizontally customer focused, vision aligned organisation that is future proofed!

Your comments and feedback would be great!

*From Luke Johnson’s book – The Maverick

For eight years between 1998 and 2006, Luke Johnson wrote a regular column as ‘The Maverick’ in The Sunday Telegraph. His short, pithy essays tackled subjects ranging from rich lists to bankrupt companies, from high finance to investment techniques, from philanthropy to trophy wives, bringing a practitioner’s eye to the commercial world and the people in it. The Maverick quickly developed a cult following among readers who wanted to understand the blunt truth about investment, entrepreneurs, business history, and corporate life. 

This book brings together 84 of the best articles, with updates, in a single volume. What makes them unique is that Luke Johnson is not just a first-class writer, he is also one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs. He made his name with PizzaExpress, has run and owned businesses in many different sectors, and now takes stakes in fast-growing businesses through his company, Risk Capital Partners. He is also chairman of The Royal Society of Arts. The diversity of his experience enables him to write with insight and perspective about the very serious matter of making and losing money. 

If you are in business, you will find The Maverick entertaining, informative and inspiring. If you are not in business, you will discover what makes business people tick, the hurdles they have to overcome to succeed, and the substantial benefits they bring to society. 

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