“Worst Business Speak” from 2010

The editors of Focus.com, a free blogging site that covers business and technology topics of all sorts, recently posted their list of the “10 Worst Business Speak Terms of 2010.” Take a moment to guess what’s on the list. Then read on to see the winners–er, losers:

  • boil the ocean
  • disambiguate
  • game-changer
  • moving forward
  • net-net
  • socialize internally
  • value add
  • low-hanging fruit
  • screw the pooch
  • action items

If you’re like me, you expected to see some of these (e.g., “low-hanging fruit,” “moving forward”), you’ve never heard some of them (“screw the pooch”?), and you wonder why some made the list (is “action items” really so bad?).

See if your students know these terms, and, if not, have them visit the website to see what they mean and why the Focus editors don’t like them. You can then have a good discussion about when (if ever) to use such terms, and why.

By the way, Focus.com has many useful posts for bcomm students. For example, today I emailed my students the link to the topic “If You Were Teaching a Class of Future Managers, What Would Your Top ‘Pitfalls to Avoid’ Be?” The posted responses attest to the critical importance of skillful communication, and I’m hoping they’ll also help my students more comfortably play the role of manager in the current case they’re working on.

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