Annual List of Worst Business Cliches

Annual List of the Worst Business Clichés

Every year at this time, as a public service, we bring out our list of the worst business clichés, those fetid phrases that dull our otherwise-brilliant conversations and writing.

We’ve added some new ones from 2016, a year when—for some reason—starting every sentence with the word “So” became a thing.

Here we present The Annual RDC List of Worst Business Clichés for 2017 (and their clearer substitutes):

  • It is what it is (the facts are)
  • Circle back (discuss again)
  • Touch base (contact)
  • Close the loop (tell everyone involved)
  • At the end of the day (ultimately)
  • The perfect storm of (bad combination)
  • Brainchild (invention, idea)
  • Brain dump (briefing) 
  • Pick your brain (get your advice)
  • Brainstorm (discuss)
  • No brainer (easy)
  • Slam dunk (see “No brainer”)
  • Get my head around (understand) 
  • Granular (more detailed)
  • Take it offline (talk after the meeting)
  • The elephant in the room (unavoidable issue)
  • Win-Win (mutually beneficial)
  • On the same page (agree)
  • Task force (working group)
  • Drink the Kool-Aid (this refers to a 1978 mass suicide; let’s retire this one)
  • Leading or cutting edge (innovative)
  • Mission critical (essential)
  • Crunch time (near deadline)
  • On their radar screen (we have their attention)
  • Paradigm Shift (a change)
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