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Meet the big corporate buzzwords of 2017

They’re agile, disruptive, and as Next-Gen as how’s your father. Growth hack these holistic suckers and you’ll leverage next year’s Alpha pups into drinking your Kool-Aid.


Peak Stuff

Market saturation point for all the “stuff” we’ve been buying. Ikea’s head of sustainability, Steve Howard, used it back in January when he revealed to a surprised conference that we now live in a peak-stuff world. “In the west we have probably hit peak stuff. We talk about peak oil. I’d say we’ve hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak stuff.” Can also be used as an exhausted call to down tools, e.g.: “Well, gentlemen, I think this meeting’s hit peak stuff. Anyone for a beer?”


Like a forecast, except concerned with predicting the now instead of the future. First used by weather men in the 80s, “nowcasting” morphed into a deep macroeconomic theory that was reworked for dummies, raised into the open during the US election and is coming to a boardroom near you. Can be used broadly by business leaders, e.g.: “A bright future was forecast for you in this firm, son, but the nowcast is … you’re fired.”

Push Tolerance

The capacity of a strategy or idea to withstand resistance, usually from someone further up the hierarchy. An amalgam of “pushback” and “fault tolerance” (a techie’s term for describing a system’s ability to survive failure), it’s an appeal to HTFU, e.g.: “Better build some push tolerance into your argument before you take it upstairs.” Is bound to be misused by certain wolfish executives, e.g: “So what’s the PT data on the new girl in accounts?”


Exciting, manipulating. Began its current usage in October as an ordinary noun when Michelle Goldberg of Slate wrote that “Donald Trump is a human trigger”, then away it went; “The Moment I Realised Trump Triggers Men Too” (The Huffington Post), “Donald Trump Is More Triggering Than The Most Misogynistic Of Rap Lyrics” (BET), “El-P Vows to Stop Wearing ‘Triggering’ Red Hats After Trump Election” (Pitchfork), etc. So, “This campaign triggers the consumer,” the creative executive is now saying, or: “We need to start triggering the sales team.” This one’s bound to have a short life, as it’s already annoying people, so use it while it’s hot.

Kill Chain

The sequence of a strategy. An old US military term based on the “four F’s” of attack (FIND, FIX, FIGHT, FINISH), the phrase was adopted by Lockheed Martin as a name for a cyber-defence system, and has been known to gamers for a few years. Basically a sexy replacement for “strategy”, encouraging a more step-by-step analysis, e.g.: “What’s our kill chain here?”, or, if you really want to impress the troops: “Gimme’ the nowcast on the push tolerance in our kill chain.”


An obvious bastardization, an “intrapreneur” is an entrepreneur who uses his or her initiative within a larger organisation to perform a stand-alone “feel good” enterprise. This term has been around for a few years but, with the US poised to become a “greed is good” paradise, young green-leaning intrapreneurs are breeding like rabbits in civic and corporate organisations. Can be used affectionately in human-to-human office intercourse, e.g.; “Would you like one of these kale and quinoa muffins I baked, Dick?” “How very intraprenuerial of you, Peggy. No thanks.”


An urgent exit strategy from a done deal or established relationship. An obvious reference to Great Britain’s self-extraction from the European Union last June, Brexit is a noun (“What’s our Brexit from these clowns?”), but can also be used as a verb, e.g.; “We need to Brexit that chump in accounts”, or, “The boss’s here, boys … drink up and Brexit!”

Spend culture

The reason why billion-dollar companies are hitting the wall, apparently – not the high salaries of the upper management, but the lights left on and excess milk drunk by the interns in a catastrophic example of “trickle-up” economics. A great breakdown by NITANT on Procurify last September described “spend culture” as “poised to become the hottest buzzword in corporate America”, so watch those dud photocopies, ‘cos every sheet in the bin could be your wage slip. “Everybody needs to watch the spend culture around here. Anyhow, I’ll be back from lunch in four hours.”


A form of self-censorship imposed on a quoted word or notion utterly unpleasant to the ears of the utterer, e.g.; “The boss has shafted me because I’m ‘not economically buzzword’, apparently.” This new usage had its genesis when gay billionaire Peter Thiel responded to criticism from the left that he was “not really gay” because of his open support for Donald Trump. “The lie behind the buzzword of ‘diversity’ could not be made more clear,” he told the National Press Club on October 31. “If you don’t conform, then you don’t count as ‘diverse’, no matter what your personal background.” Twitter has since gone ape with Conservatives replacing any word routinely used by lefties – “diversity”, “tolerance”, racism”, etc – with “buzzword”. Thus “buzzword” has become a buzzword. Surely this is the end.

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