The Meaningless Blog

From the The Lazy Project Manager Blog
Peter Taylor is the author of two best-selling books on ‘Productive Laziness’ – ‘The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager’. In the last 4 years he has focused on writing and lecturing with over 200 presentations around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’. His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance. More information can be found at – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

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Can I borrow you for a sec because I’m stacked? It will be a win-win situation. I have been blue sky thinking and want to keep you in the loop on my thinking outside of the box, as well as picking your brains, I’m just playing devils’ advocate on this teamwork/dreamwork idea. Will it work? Well how long is a piece of string?

Have I lost you? I suspect I have as the above paragraph includes all ten of the most annoying things people say in the office according to a survey of 2,000 people by recruitment website

Rubbish aren’t they – time for a paradigm shift, we can’t boil the ocean with limited bandwidth but there is low hanging fruit out there so let’s tee it up, circle back, take it offline and do more with less. We need to break the silos to move the needle because it is what it is. What we must do at the end of the day is run it up the flagpole, bite the bullet, peel back the layers of the onion and take it, if push comes to shove, to the bleeding edge. Making sure we are not out of pocket, which is par for the course, let’s get one throat to choke whilst opening the kimono, and synergise as we all drink the Kool Aid. Awesome!

Clearer? I think not, you have no idea what I am on about do you and no surprise. That paragraph included twenty five of the most overused phrases from Business Insider UK. The thing is that they were all once a neat and creative way of expressing a thought or an idea but overuse has made them into at first clichés and then just bloody annoying things that some of our work colleagues roll out regularly on calls and at meetings, presumably because they can’t think of anything intelligent to say instead. Clichés appear to make you connected to what is going on without actually having to have any real understanding or anything of value to contribute. It is like a code that just gets you out of a tricky moment.

Question: ‘What do think of this new approach?’

Answer: ‘You have my buy-in on this particular swim lane, I like the core competency and feel empowered as a result’

Yes, I am back at it again, this time looking at the Forbes most annoying business jargon list.

There are lots of moving parts when you put your best practice ducks in a row and leverage the scalable solution from the burning platform. It is imperative that we drill down and smell the coffee in this one-stop shop because today is the day, all 24/7 of it, and tomorrow, like our children, is our future.

Oh my, it is addictive isn’t it?

So please, be a rock star … and stop! 

Posted on: December 04, 2018 07:01 AM | Permalink

Comments (12)

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Given that many of our project teams now include people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, use of this sort of language can seriously impede progress. I also think it reflects poorly on the individual who uses such phrasing, as it shows a disregard for colleagues. Thank you for this reminder.

You make a great point Peter and I agree with Glenn’s comment.

Very interesting post puts a smile. Thanks for sharing.

Real people in real jobs are sick of this kind of lingo. They just need us to talk plain and simple and get to work.

You just woke me up! It took me second read and Glen's comment to follow the post. :-(

Not being from UK but working with UK clients/team I have faced this situation a lot of times. A lot of phrases and jargon don't register easily. This leads to funny situations during conference calls. Guess using jargon is cool for some but makes life difficult for the rest!

Thanks Peter for bringing up the topic.

Great post Peter, that certainly made me smile especially as I work within the UK, don't we just love 'moving that needle'.............. please lets get back to basics

Yep. I hear many of these regularly.

Very interesting post. My reading is that we need to implement like-for-like while ensuring best practice but it is what it is! (My favorites, NOT!)

Seriously though I also agree with the Glenn's sentiment that use of this type of cliche shows disregard for others involved in a conversation or discussion. In social settings we know that using trendy phrases or ways of expressing yourself can lead to exclusion, dis-empowerment, dis-engagement and ultimately promotes cliques or "in groups". As a PMs we should be very wary of this because critical information and critical support can end up being lost.

Lets address the proverbial elephant in the room , agree to call spade a spade and err on the side of caution. That's how we ensure that The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing and we can keep up with the Jones's


Also while you are at it , please stay clear of the red herrings, don't try to fit a square peg in a round hole and....last but not the the end of the day.....don't do anything that doesn't cut the mustard or bring home the bacon

With this kind of fake involvement, no wonder everything is not performing to its potential.

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