Business Clichés -- Open the Silos and Empty the Buckets

We all have them.  Those business clichés that drive us absolutely nuts.  The ones that make us cringe and want to scream out, “Oh will you just shut up!” every time our ever-so-hip boss or co-worker says them.  We don’t know where they begin or how they become popular, but there they are, in every meeting and conference call we attend.  So I stand before you with a petition to develop the Master List of Business Clichés and issue a moratorium on their use.  I’ll start with my Top Five List in the hope that you will use the “Add New Comment” link below to add yours.  

Buckets.  How could a guy like me who grew up watching the Bozo-buckets on WGN come to hate this word so much?  Because it is the most widely used word on the planet right now!  There are no longer groups of anything.  Just buckets.  Our product families fall into them.  Budgets are sorted by them.  Markets are comprised of them.  Even the lists of things we want to do before we die are named after them.  Enough already!  

Silos and Siloism.  Where buckets leave off, silos begin.  I think silos are merely buckets for negative items, and why wouldn’t they be?  Sure, silos are used for good things like drying corn, but when most of us think of silos, we think of things like missiles and Communism.  Yep, I’m pretty sure of it.  Siloism is a form of Communism, and if this is true, using the word “silo” in a business conversation makes you some sort of Commie sympathizer.  So knock it off!

Solutions.  What ever happened to products and services?  When did the survival of every business in this country come to rely on providing solutions, even when many of these businesses can’t precisely define what comprises their solution or what makes it any better that the next guy’s products or services?

Reaching Out.  What is this, a Diana Ross song?  You aren’t reaching out to me.  You’re calling me.  

On a go-forward basis.  Why use a simple phrase like “in the future” when “on a go-forward basis” is so much more cumbersome and un-communicative?

Okay, I said I’d give you my Top 5, but there is one more I need to include before I wrap this up.

Action items.  At the end of every three-hour meeting comes the time to see what was accomplished and what needs to be done.  But why say something as boring as that when you can use superhero action words instead?  Ah, I long for the days of a good old-fashioned “to-do” list.

So, I’m reaching out to all of you to take an action item of adding to this list on a go-forward basis.  Here, I’ll give you a few hints at some low-hanging fruit.  I’d love to “incentifize” you to participate, but I know you’ll give 110% from the get-go.  The deliverable is simple.  Just give me your two cents so we can take this to the next level.  As a team player, I’d be happy to talk with you offline.   Reach out to me.  Don’t drop the ball now.  Come on, this isn’t rocket science. ;-)


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