Buzzwords are an unavoidable part of professional life – the weasel words of the corporate world. Love them or hate them, it pays to understand them.
You may still be recovering from the corporate jargon served up in 2016 and 2017 but the time has come to look at the “best” buzzwords that are emerging as frontrunners for 2018.
It remains to be seen which of these will have the most legs:
Game changer: A person or company that has managed to “change the playing field” and holds considerable influence in their chosen market or profession.
Disruptor: Also known as a “game changer”, albeit an arguably trendier term.
Incentivise: To wave a proverbial carrot under someone’s nose; to entice consumer or stakeholder action in exchange for a specified reward.
Flearning: Failing at a task but learning a valuable lesson as a result.
Tribe: To “find your tribe” means to seek out like-minded collaborators, with added cliquey connotations.
Omnichannel: A fancy way to describe an integrated sales and/or marketing approach that leads a consumer through various stages or “touchpoints” (key interactions or milestones).
Vlogger: A noun mashup to denote a blogger who publishes video, touted as the Next Big Thing for content marketing in 2018.
Mumpreneur, seniorpreneur, photopreneur, hairpreneur, etc: Tack “preneur” on the end of any noun that best describes a startup founder, and voila! The possibilities are endless.
Lean: A term that can denote a business model that eliminates waste, but it has become somewhat bastardised in practice. “To keep things lean” can signify a more diplomatic request for you to achieve more with fewer resources. Read between the lines.
Snapshot: A cross-section or slice of information that is supposed to represent the whole.
Ninja: Often used affectionately to describe someone who specialises and/or is very proficient at using a specific program or completing a certain task: “She’s an Excel ninja”.
Guru: Used in a gushingly similar fashion to “ninja”, to praise someone’s knowledge or skill in a certain area: “He is an absolute guru when it comes to data analytics”.
Capture: “Let’s capture this.” “Do you mean write it down?” “Yes.”
Drilldown: A “deep dive” or further in-depth analysis into a particular subject matter. Getting into the nitty-gritty details.
Journey: Often heard in reference to plotting out a customer’s experience of interacting with a brand or product. Includes “touchpoints” along the way.
Roadmap: Because you’ll need a plan before you set out on your “journey” or project.
Low-hanging fruit: Why aim high when you can settle for the “easy wins”? To opt for “low-hanging fruit” means to focus on achieving the most uncomplicated or straightforward task or goal from the available alternatives.
Take it offline: To avoid running overlong in a meeting, or involving those outside of the stakeholder circle, a topic that has inspired impassioned discussion may be “taken offline” to be raised later with relevant colleagues. A wonderfully tech-inspired derivative of “parking an idea”, a concept meaning to put a discussion on hold for revisiting later.
Touch base: A variant of “reaching out”, meaning to check in with someone regarding progress on a project or to maintain cordial relations.
Come-to-Jesus meeting: A showdown disguised as a civilised mediation; a meeting called to finally unravel and settle a fraught issue or ongoing matter.
Flick through an email: A rather delightful way of telling a colleague you’ll “send through an email”. Similar premise to “pinging” someone.
Traction: To be gaining “traction” means progress is being made in regards to launching a project, reaching a milestone or cementing a valuable relationship.
On my radar: “It’s on my radar” is code speak for telling your colleague that you are aware of what they’re talking about.
All hands on deck: Derived from an old naval call to arms to inspire colleagues of varying rank to band together to achieve a lofty or intimidating goal.
Has legs: Often used to describe a concept or plan that is inherently credible or enduring, supposedly one that can “stand on its own merit” or “stand the test of time”. Cute.
Like a boss: To handle a task with impressive aplomb: “You handled that negotiation like a boss”.
You’ve got this: A supremely condescending phrase to affirm your belief in a fellow colleague. Best used in a playfully ironic fashion, if at all.
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