Reach Out and Draw Down our Buzzwords Content...


If you’ve spent any time in the emergency services, you’ve probably answered the phone at home by saying “go ahead”, or asked the other person if they’re “free to speak” – terms which sound fairly ridiculous to the outside world. When you start looking at a career change or engaging more with the private sector, you’ll find they have their own language too. Here’s our guide (both practical and light-hearted) to some of the key phrases you’ll encounter…

Bandwidth – how busy you are. “Tom, do you have bandwidth to action any points this week?”

Boiling the ocean – doing more than necessary. Often said when solutioning.

The C Suite (also CxO) – Anyone whose job title starts with “Chief” and ends with “Officer”. Extra points for replacing the usual middle words like “Finance” with something more like “Vision”.

Lipstick on a pig – making something a bit rubbish look passable, also known as repurposing

Strawman – a rough outline of a plan, not much detail (also quick and dirty)

Helicopter view – when you don’t want your strawman too closely scrutinised

30,000 feet view – when your strawman barely exists

Solutioning – coming up with a solution. Clearly not a real word and should be outlawed along with

other nouns as verbs such as “to medal” and “to action”

Pipeline and funnel – might be sales opportunities, might not. Can’t commit right now.

Deck – whatever you do, don’t just call it PowerPoint.

Content – what your deck is made of

Cascade – because everyone knows sh*t flows downhill

Downstream – see cascade. A bad place to be.

Deep-dive – working out what’s wrong will take us a while and cost you a lot

Reach out – see attached flow chart

Offline (“let’s take this offline”) – usually one of two things. A) you’ve embarrassed me on a conference call and a bollocking will follow in private B) I don’t know the answer but can’t say that in front of all these people

Virtual teams – when no-one wants to go to the office unless they really have to

Low-hanging fruit, aka quick wins – the contractual equivalent of 2am in any nightclub in Britain

Traction – crucial to going forward

Device-agnostic or vendor-agnostic – what we’ve got will work with anything (we’ll work out how to do it later, maybe by creating a helicopter view of our strawman for you…)

Bleeding edge – so cutting edge it hurts

Skin in the game – an incentive or motive to see things through, possibly caused by the bleeding edge being so sharp

Seen better ones? Let us know in the comments!

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