Keep Some Powder Dry

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(1).  To only execute a portion of an investment plan, just in case your recommendations end up sucking.

 

“Given the markets lately, I’d like to keep some powder dry in case we see a tactical move we’d like to make down the road.  That’s okay, I’m not really sure I understand what I just said either…”

 

Keep The Lights On

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(1).  A way for members of a steady, but weak business unit to justify their continued existence to the rest of the firm.

 

“C’mon, Larry, cheer up.  Here at Best Buy, there’s no shame in being assigned to the wire department.  Sure, it’s not like it’s TVs, but it keeps the lights on!”

 

Kick The Tires

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(1). A term used in initial talks with clients to show them the benefits of working with your company.

 

(2). The process of trying to belittle and confuse a prospective employee during an interview to make sure they know what they’re talking about and are a good fit for the company.

 

“Make sure you kick the tires a little bit this time Lynne, tell him we are looking for top talent to make our sandwich shop successful….if he mentions he used to work in a deli, show him the door.”

 

Props to Mark R. for the submission.

 

Kick-Off

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(1).  n.  Football-inspired term often used to describe the first presentation of a new product or service offering, intended to provide employees with a feeling of excitement.

 

(2).  v.  To voluntarily start a conference call, mainly in an effort to look important and/or in charge.

 

“Does anyone know the date of the kick-off meeting?  Does anyone know the name of the client?”

 

Kill A Fly With A Sledgehammer

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(1).  To grossly overreact to a minor error or mishap, resulting in unproductive meetings, useless checklists, indecipherable procedures, overlapping layers of approval and other bureaucratic nonsense.

 

“Talk about killing a fly with a sledgehammer!  After Sam double-billed that client last month, they now want us to have two managers review and approve all our bills before they go out!  Why do I have to be punished because Sam can’t send out mail properly?!”

 

Kissing Frogs

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(1).  To take in a bunch of crummy accounts, hoping one of them will eventually turn into a good account.

 

“No, no … we’re definitely going to have to kiss some frogs along the way, but if just one or two of them convert … now, that’s a good business!”

 

Kissing Frogs

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(1).  Taking on a bunch of crummy accounts in hopes that one or two of them will turn into a good account.  Some do, most don’t.

 

“Look, sometimes you just have to keep kissing frogs until one of them turns into a prince!  One of these companies is bound to go public someday!  And when it does, we’ll be ready!”

 

Launch

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(1). n – The release of a new product, service offering or application, intended to get empolyees excited about something that likely has no impact on them whatsoever.

 

(2). v – To release a new product, service offering or application.  The term is most often used by IT to allow employees to pretend the application they created (which likely will be used to improve the company’s email inbox capacity) has contributed to the launch of the Starship Enterprise.

 

Let’s Take That Offline

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(1).  What the host of a conference call says to try to regain control after the call has been hopelessly sidetracked by an irrelevant issue or question.

 

“Hey Tom, thanks for raising that issue, but let’s take that offline so we can get back to actual topic of our call today.”

 

Props to Terry D. for the submission.

 

(2).  May be used to let the room know that leadership is not willing to talk about the subject at hand.

 

“This has been a great discussion, but let’s take that topic offline and move on.”

 

Props to Rob for the submission.

 

 

Level The Playing Field

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(1).  To try to make your offering measure up to your competitors.  It doesn’t.

 

“So, to level the playing field a bit, we revamped our marketing materials.  Now, we’re using glossy paper and … wait for it … color!”

 

Leverage

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(1).  To call upon the resources of other areas of the company in order to arrive at a solution for a client request.

 

(2).  To employ the assistance of other areas of the firm, usually used by H.R. or management to suggest that the firm operates as one, cohesive unit, when in actuality it operates as several, disjointed and often combative factions.

 

“Look Susan, I just don’t think your leveraging your resources here enough.  There is absolutely no reason that you can’t ask the person sitting next to you where the bathroom is.”

 

Link Up

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(1). To request a “connection” with someone on linkedin.com usually used by older, senior managers to (1) appear hip to their junior employees, and (2) keep tabs on employees’ job-seeking activities online.

 

Lob in a Call

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(1).  To follow up (again) with someone who has repeatedly not gotten back to you.  The term is usually used in response to your bosses asking for a status update.

 

“Sure, Jim, I’ll lob in a call to the attorney to see where he is with our documents.  Although, I’m starting to think it might have been a bad idea to pay him in advance.”

 

Make Glue Out of a Dead Horse

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(1).  To beat an issue to death over and over again, usually for the benefit of one guy on the conference call who just can’t seem to get it.

 

“Look, fellas…I don’t want to make glue out of a dead horse here, but I’m still not seeing the benefit to switching to GEICO.”

 

Make Glue Out Of The Same Dead Horse

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(1).  To keep mentioning the same thing over and over during a meeting or call.

 

“Now, I don’t want to make glue out of the same dead horse, but we really need to consider whether we should be allowing Ned to talk to clients anymore…he seems to keep telling them how great our competitors are….”

 

Make Strides

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(1).  A way to say “we haven’t made any progress” without actually saying “we haven’t made any progress”.

 

“As to our penetration into the fast-moving app space, we continue to make strides in that arena.  We’re looking for the coming fiscal year to be a major contributor to the growth cycle of that part of our business.”

 

Manage Expectations

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(1). To mentally prepare a client, staff member or co-worker for some potentially bad (see sub-optimal) news, often regarding a delay or other inconvience that, while perfectly normal, would likely anger or annoy the client, staff member or co-worker.

 

Map

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(1).  To plan out connections between systems.

 

(2).  To plan out connections between businesses.

 

(3).  To plan out connec…oh, whatever, it’s just some stupid expression tech guys use to make it sound like whatever project they’re working on is going to be way more complicated than it actually will be….

 

“Okay, so before we can get started on the functional spec for the new GUI, we’re going to have to map the current system flows, inter-custody SEFT protocols and…man, this sounds like a lot of work…any room in the budget for a consultant?”

 

Marry

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(1). To synchronize two documents or presentations in order to create a more impressive and cohesive whole.  As with actual marriages, it is often  difficult to combine documents and the creators of one or both of the originals are usually left feeling disappointed with the finished product.

 

Massage the Data

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(1).  To subtly manipulate figures to produce a more favorable outcome.

 

“Well, Nick, I’m not going to lie.  You’re going to owe a ton of taxes this year.  Let me massage the data a bit to see if we can find a more efficient way to use some of those ‘business expenses’.”

 

Memorialize

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(1).  To send the guy you just spoke with an outline of the conversation you just had to make sure he doesn’t somehow forget what you just agreed to.

 

“Yeah, so I’m just going to memorialize this conversation in an email.  You know, just so we’re all on the same page about next steps.”

 

Migration

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(1).  A word used to compare when a website switches servers, IP addresses or ports information from an old version to a new version, to the graceful Barn Swallow migrating south for the winter.

 

(2).  A process that is done incorrectly 99% of the time and rarely worth the time, effort and money it was supposed to save.

 

“Hey Tracy, I noticed that since the migration sales have been slumping. did we flip the switch too soon?  How come you didn’t warn us this may happen?  I really don’t appreciate that kind of language, Tracy.”

 

Mind The Store

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(1). To keep an eye on things to make sure someone is keeping an eye on things.

 

“Look, Jim.  I just want to make sure someone’s minding the store while I’m traveling next week.  So … be here.”

 

Moonlighting

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(1).  A term that compares taking on side work, to the 80’s TV series ‘Moonlighting’ starring the ever popular Bruce Willis & Cybill Shepherd.

 

“So I think David may be moonlighting.  I can’t prove anything, but I have found a troubling amount of graphic design work for “Blue Moon Shampoo” in his staff folder.”

 

Move the Needle

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(1).  To positively impact or move a project forward, generally used when providing negative feedback in order to imply that someone is being neither impactful nor moving anything forward.

 

“Thanks for your input here, Tom.  Unfortunately, I just don’t think adding more slides about how you are personally trying to go paperless is really going to move the needle on the firm’s cost-cutting project.  I mean, really, you work in the mailroom!”

 

Muddy the Waters

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(1).  To introduce new information into a discussion, causing confusion and distraction from the issue at hand.

 

“Not to muddy the waters here, but shouldn’t we address John’s tie?  Kids holding hands?  Really?”

 

Multi-Task

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(1).  Term used while on a conference call, paying no attention to what’s being said and working on something else completely different.

 

“Oh, sorry, can you repeat that? I was multi-tasking.”

 

Props to Kevin for the submission.

 

Neuman’d

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(1).  The process of creating slides for a deck with thoughtful insights, observations and recommendations, only to be passed over at the last minute in the meeting (which you put a suit on for) in favor of more important and relevant dependencies.

 

“Well, Dave got neuman’d again.”

 

Props to the department managers at Prime Visibility, and to anyone else who has ever cut Dave off in a presentation.

 

Noodle

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(1). To think about;  a clever way for attorneys who do not know the answer to a question to buy time to have a junior associate research the issue, while still appearing thoughtful and knowledgeable to their client.

 

“I’m going to have to noodle on this a bit more before giving you an opinion, John.  Now, at $750 an hour…carry the 4…I should be able to get back to you next Tuesday.”

 

Officeflirting

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(1).  We get it.  Everyone does it.  Just take it easy on the drinks there, dad.

 

“Man, did you see Tom and Susan at the bar last night?  I think they take officeflirting to a whole new level!”

 

Onboard

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(1).  To open accounts for a new client, usually involving long, unexplained delays, endless, intrusive paperwork and little to no satisfaction once complete.

 

“Yeah, so we’re looking to onboard the Hanson accounts sometime next week.  Just need them to provide blood and hair samples and we should be all set.”

 

Optimize

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(1).  What your digital agency says they are doing on a month to month basis.

 

“The SEO team’s on-going optimizations are really starting to support the SEM team’s optimized landing pages which assist the Social Media team’s plan to optimize your site’s experience….get it?

 

Paper the File

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(1).  To endlessly add things to your records in an attempt to avoid liability (see CYA).

 

“Yeah, I have no idea what we should do, so let’s just paper the file so it looks like we made a thoughtful decision and bury the issue in a committee meeting somewhere.”

 

Partnering

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(1). A euphemism for outsourcing certain functions to another firm or service provider, intended to imply that the use of the other provider is to the customer’s benefit, as opposed to simply a cost-saving measure, which it invariably is.

 

Peel Back The Onion

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(1).  To drill down into the underlying causes of the issue you’re probably covering up.

 

“So, while our year-end numbers look a little light, if you peel back the onion you’ll see that our longer-term fundamentals are strong to quite strong.”

 

Pen and Ink

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(1).  The act of quickly revising a document by hand and then giving it to someone else to type up.  Well done, boss!

 

“Let me just pen and ink this real quick and I’ll get it right back to you.  Sorry in advance about my handwriting…I can barely make it out!  Have a nice weekend!”

 

Permalancing

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(1).  When a freelance worker is hired by a large company to work on a project for years, but is not entitled to (or offered, for that matter) health benefits.

 

(2).  Kinda like having a job….kinda….

 

Permalancing is great!  It’s like I work for the company, but I really don’t.  I mean, they can let me go at any moment, without any notice, but I still think it’s the right thing for me.  **cough** **cough** Oh this cough?  Don’t worry about it, I’ve had it for about a month but I’m sure the Tylenol Cold & Sinus will take care of it eventually.  **cough** **cough**”

 

Pick Your Brain

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(1).  A request to waste your time educating me about something you may know slightly more about.  Fortunately, your vanity allows you to take this request as a compliment.

 

“Hey, Jerry, do you mind if I pick your brain for a second?  I’m trying to figure out how you keep your hair so manageable…”

 

Pissing In The Wind

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(1). A term that compares making no progress on a particular project, to one urinating on one’s self.

 

“We’re really just pissing in the wind until you make a decision Jeff.  Now c’mon, do you like the glossy or matte finish on the new business cards?”

 

Pivot

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(1).  To opportunistically change direction or focus (see shift gears).

 

“I think we should pivot towards mobile this quarter.  Why yes, we do happen to have a mobile department!”

 

Play Devil’s Advocate

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(1).  To annoyingly raise hypothetical arguments whose only purpose is to prolong already endless conference calls.

 

“Before I let you go, let me just play devil’s advocate here…what if we didn’t change the filter in the coffee machine…?  What would happen then?”

 

Play Hide The Ball

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(1).  To omit some critical piece of information during a sales pitch (i.e. fees, your actual capabilities, etc.).

 

“Look, Dean … we’re not trying to play hide the ball here!  We can’t NOT tell this guy we don’t actually know how to build his website and that your little brother – who’s sixteen by the way – is going to be doing it for us!”

 

Play Phone Tag

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(1).  To repeatedly go back and forth on voicemail without ever actually connecting.  You eventually just email the guy with whatever it is you want.

 

“Hey, it’s Phil again…sorry for playing phone tag the last few days…give me a buzz when you have a moment…well, I’ll be out of the office the rest of the day, so try you on Monday…”