My Five Best Overused Corporate Terms

1. “Thinking Outside the Box” – This basically means “We built this multi-million dollar business based on certain methods, but we want you to forego all those methods and come up with your own ideas.”  Once you get that idea down, it is time to start thinking really, really hard and not falling back on tradition to impress your boss.


2. “Paradigm”- A Paradigm is an overused term that appears in every corporate structure.  Personally, I blame Stephen Covey for introducing this term to sales people in his book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – required reading if you want to climb the ladder.  Really this is just your perspective about how you perceive something. A paradigm in the corporate world wants you to look at things a different way.  Sort of like “Thinking Outside The Box” yet with perception of something that has already happened.


3. “Viral” – Nope.  Your computer isn’t at risk nor can it give you the sniffles.  Something that is “viral” is a marketing term that gets one person to share your cool idea with someone else.  Then your idea gets passed around the world because it is just that good of an idea.  A viral idea within the corporate structure means that you want to get your idea working throughout the company.   Usually, it is the flu…not an idea.


4. “Sheeple”– This is a corporate reference to how people can be easily persuaded with fads and good marketing.  It is nice to know that corporate marketers think that the average consumer is a mindless follower.  Buy more non-thinking clones!


5. “On the Same Page” – This is a term given to employees in the corporate world who agree with their boss.  It is synonymous with “You understand me and we think the same way.”  It is very overused in both the corporate world and on the mean streets.  If you’ve heard this term and understand it, we’re on the same page.