Crippled CEO Blog #063:
Michael McGahee and I have been compiling a list all year of cringe-inducing “corporatespeak” — buzz words typically sprinkled into Zoom meetings and emails by young professionals of huge companies (often companies who view themselves as hip and modern). I believe they do this as a form of signaling, letting you know how up to date they are with the current corporate lingo.
You know some of the classic ones: let’s circle back, paradigm shift, synergy, and so on.
But over the last year, we have compiled many, many more.
My goal is to write a (fictional) memo using all 39 of them — the cringiest corporatespeak email of all time.
Because this is how we are ending 2020.
The full list will new below the letter. Feel free to use it to see how many of these terrible phases are in your vocabulary. And if you have any more, PLEASE let me know in the comments.
Let’s do this.
Dear team (and remember, we are a team, not staff, because staff is an infection):
I just wanted to touch base about the great meeting today discussing the email about the phone call that originated from last week’s video conference. We managed to really set our intentions and think outside the box.
However, I think we need to button some things up. It’s critical that we bird dog the project thoroughly to truly ensure that we are all aligned on this.
If we can get our ducks in a row and focus exclusively on our North Star, there’s no reason why we can’t move the needle in a serious way.
Let’s unpack that for a minute.
Does it scale?
That’s the question we most really drill down into and figure out. If I can piggyback on what Karen said earlier in the text message about the voicemail about the talk at the team building exercise, we MUST do a deep dive to make sure all of this is brand-aligned for us and our clients.
Just to clarify, we are going to have to take a hair cut on this. The margins are very thin, so we really need you to sharpen your pencils on the pricing. Let’s put a pin in that for now.
If we are going to be successful, we must pivot.
What is the one thing I can do to make your day better?
That’s one question I use to shift the paradigm and to level up my thinking.
But I can’t do this alone. If we are going to make this work, we need each and every one of you to be a cheerleader for this initiative. Please, wrap your arms around this for me and help me understand what’s needed.
Let’s loop back in order to loop me in so that we can close the loop on this. Because if we all work together, we can create an amazing synergy. We just need some boots on the ground.
Let’s take this conversation offline. Why don’t we table this and revisit it later? And then can circle back at the beginning of next week and jump on a call to flesh this out. Just remember that I have a hard stop at 5 pm to meet with the annual trust fall event planning committee. I’ll follow that call up with an email, of course, so be on the lookout for that.
Thank you so much, everyone. I think we are all in alignment on this.
We’ll speak soon, and don’t forget: stay POSITIVE and test NEGATIVE!
Senior Executive Vice President Director of Employee Compliance, Development, and Accountability
Here is the full list:
Take a haircut
Sharpen your pencil
Think outside the box
Shift the paradigm
We’re aligned on this / alignment
Does it scale?
Close the loop
Move the needle
Loop me in
Set your intentions
Why don’t we table that and revisit it later
What’s the one thing I can do to make your day better?
Just to clarify
Flesh it out
Let’s make sure this is brand-aligned
I have a hard stop
Put a pin in this
Let’s jump on a call
Button some things up
Ducks in a row
Let’s unpack that for a minute
Let’s take this conversation offline
Stay positive and test negative
Wrap your arms around that for me
Boots on the ground
Let me piggyback
(Happy New Year, y’all. Thanks for doing 2020 with me. If my posts brought you inspiration or info or a laugh this year, maybe subscribe by sending a text with the word CRIP to 484848. I’ll send one message per week with a link to the latest blog post. Complete satisfaction or your money back. Also, it’s free.)