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Transformation: The ubiquitous, synergistic paradigm blah blah blah

Having grown up in the world of IT services, I regularly fall victim to the use of Dilbertisms (as captured here in Business Buzzword Bingo). In my world, you really can say transformation, ubiquitous, synergistic and paradigm in the same sentence without garnering a chuckle from your audience. Some of my favorite buzz words include:

  • Right size - fire a lot of people under the auspices of having more people than work to be done
  • Best shore - fire a lot of people in wealthy countries and replace them with a few people in poor countries
  • Shift left - fire a lot of expensive, highly skilled employees and replace them with inexpensive, less skilled employees who are expected to cover the same work
  • Optimize - cut costs (code for fire a lot of people)
  • Leverage - do the same volume of work with less people but tell them it's easier now because everyone will do the same thing the same way
  • Whiteboard (used as a verb) - write down what you're thinking... on a white board

So when my friends ask me what I do, I tend to say, "Ummm... I write stuff down. Or, um, type it, actually." Sometime in the late 90's, I lost the ability to discuss my job using pedestrian English. On the up side, the vernacular of the IT world is consistent from one company to the next which has made it really easy for me to work with various clients since I left #10 to become a consultant. I still get to talk about organizational transformation, governance modeling and driving change in a virtual, matrixed, global infrastructure delivery organization. 

My children occasionally overhear me on the phone, and while they may not know what I mean by organizational effectiveness or vertical delivery towers, they have rightly deduced that it's better to be the client than the consultant. (And they are correct!)

What are your favorite buzz words? Click the comment button below and share!