Just means "Have another look at it".

It is used to suggest that the thing being revisited is so big that you visit it like an art gallery

(or a toilet )

Robust and Transparent

More Govspeak than business speak but seen as increasingly important.

It doesn't really matter how poorly thought out a plan is so long as it is (a) robust and (b) transparent.

When a Minister is dealing with complaints about a proposed measure, the first line of defence is to claim that it is robust and transparent even if the main complaint is of a lack of tranparency.

What is interesting is that this claim is so seldom challenged.

What does "Robust" actually mean?

It means that a procedure won't break down as soon as you look at it or it won't come crashing down as soon as the first set of CDs of vital information gets left on the Underground.

When this happens, we are immediately concerned about an excess of transparency.

The single article that best combines robustness and tranparency is a Pyrex bedpan.

Not only is it robust and transparent but it has a gratifyingly large capacity for Govspeak.


A situation. Usually a chain of events leading to the situation is described as a "scenario

"Scenarios which are incorrectly or carelessly addressed can lead to the opening of a can of worms.

Show stoppers

A "Show stopper" is the lack of a mission critical item.

Sing from the same hymn sheet.

Obvious really. We are all in tune with one another in what we are doing and how we are doing it.

Skill Set

A handy way of describing those things that someone is good at .

Everyone has a skillset regardless of their occupations.

Couch potatoes have excellent snack absorbtion skills, muggers skillsets include a convincing ability to demand money with menaces and many seemlingly hopeless cases do excellent gobbing on the ground and loud belching.

In the management area, skillsets can include being able to number a long document in Word without swearing or profanity in less than a single morning, being proficient in PowerPoint presentations and fluency in business speak.

People skills are very highly rated and rather rare.

Skillsets could frequently be seen in action in the UK series "The Apprentice"where viewers could not only admire admire the skillfull use of many of the terms in this guide but also totally convincing claims such as "I am the best sales person in Europe" and "I will give one hundred and sixty percent 24/7 , Sir Rallan."

The typical Apprentice skillset also seemed to include include having the bluest eyes you have ever seen, massive confidence and the ability to shovel the blame onto someone else early on in the task coupled with a total refusal to accept any responsibility for the project going pearshaped even though the witnesses to their blameworthiness could be counted in the millions.

Reference to skillsets can often be useful for subtle character assassination as in "I believe he has exceptional lower anatomy licking skills" as a justification for a manager's lofty position within the organisation.

SME Small to Medium Enterprise - triffic jargon acronym to keep newcomers in the dark "Look at me everyone, I'm talking marketing!"


Chairmen of companies looking to differentiate themselves from their deadly rivals have decided as one man that they are Solutions Providers.

The only trouble is that the differentiation disappeared as soon as the tenth Solutions Provider appeared on the scene. Not satisfied with offering State of the Art Products, everybody is now a Solutions Provider.

Some companies have tried to get some space between themselves and their rivals by describing the kind of Solution offered so, instead of plain old boring "IT Solutions" and "Networking Solutions", other Solutions are on offer.

A quick Google search reveals "Wedding Solutions" (we hope they won't stain the sheets) and "End-to-End Solutions" ( The same hope applies ). Inevitably we have "Solutions Going Forward". The only solution that I know that goes forward also stains the sheets.

State of the Art

Clapped-out by overuse, this is supposed to indicate that something is right up there at the front.

A quick look through a few technical journals will show just how overworked this poor old phrase is.

There was a time when it was de rigeur to include this phrase in any press release or else the MD would personally see to it that the PR consultant didn't get paid.

Now there is a dawning realisation that if it really is SOTA (aha! that's given it a new lease of life! ) then all it can be is an also-ran when what's really required is innovation. See Leading Edge.

The Rod Jones Guide to

A Guide for Newcomers to the Wonderful World of Marketing and Business who thought that they only needed English to get by..

(C) Rod Jones - All Rights Reserved

- with added Art Pretentiousness, Menu Twaddle and PR speak

"Revisit" to "State of the Art"

"Synergies" to "World Class"


Synergy is a phenomenon where the sum of two parts is greater than two. This is usually seen when two organisations merge and produce a much stronger and more competitive organisation as a result.

Example: The England/Italy Cricket Team.

Taking ownership

Means wanting to be involved with something or acknowledging responsibility for something.

Some people loudly proclaim in meetings that they would like to take ownership of something then quietly dump it on someone else at the earliest opportunity until it is finished and then reclaim ownership.

I'm naming no names...

The view from 10,000 feet.

Of course! Its an overview!

If "someone asks you "What's the view from 10,000 feet?" you get a wonderful opportunity to criticise company economies on air travel by replying " Search me, Alistair, the company's put me in economy again - the view is blocked by the wing."

Think outside the box.

Think creatively without consideration of established rules.The "box" is a set of laws or rules or conventions which may inhibit creative thought.

Dr Edward de Bono was a pioneer of thinking outside the box with his promotion of the concept of lateral thinking which sometimes reaps dividends.

(Examples: the clockwork radio and the Dyson vacuum cleaner )

Many management training courses specialise in promoting thinking inside the box by getting course students to follow acronymic procedures like "SWOT" analysis (Strengths/Weaknesses/ Opportunities/Threats ) which, while providing students with useful check lists, tend to keep them thinking deep inside the box.

"Many management training courses specialise in promoting thinking inside the box by getting course students to follow acronymic procedures like "SWOT" analysis" (Strengths/Weaknesses/ Opportunities/Threats ) which, while providing students with useful check lists, tend to keep them thinking deep inside the box.

Thorough Detention

PoliceSpeak. The Times recently had an article on "Al Queda's 007", Younes Tsouli which, as well as showing a "normal" black and white photograph of him, also showed a Metropolitan Police picture of him in glorious Technicolour sporting a startling array of red marks and scratches on his face.

In the text of the article, a Metropolitan Police spokesman is quoted as saying that he (Tsouli) had been "Thoroughly Detained".

In happier times, he would simply have "fallen down the steps on his way to the cells" but now in these enlightened times where transparency is everything, "Thorough Detention" is the preferred option.

In strategic terms, the apparent PR gaffe of releasing the photograph is probably seen by the Metropolitan Police as serving as an awful warning to other would-be "detainees".

Perhaps "Thorough Detention" is the logical precursor to the "Extraordinary Rendition" said to have been practiced by the CIA where interrogators earn extra airmiles by taking suspects on long flights to exotic locations like Prestwick while they ask them interesting questions.

The expressions are so similar that they can probably be found in the same procedural handbook.

Ticks in boxes

If someone is said to be putting "ticks in boxes" this means that they are following a procedure in a mechanical way without the application of too much thought.

This can be a good thing if it relates to a procedure designed by management to help the less empowered employees since it means that that procedure is very easy to follow - "Just a process of putting ticks in boxes" .

Win-win situation.

Both parties are happy with the deal.

So that's alright then.

There's little to beat the warm glow of declaring that something is a win-win situation.

It's so good that it can often lead to everyone trooping off to the pub.

This in turn can lead to a gin-gin situation.

With the Greatest Respect

This expression is different from most of the others on this page inasmuch as it is not strictly managementspeak.

In fact, it's true to say that it is insubordinationspeak.

People who use it a lot fondly believe that using it to prefix insults gives them carte blanche to be as outspoken or rude as they like.

Savvy managers will take offenders to one side and point out that they are only too aware that no respect whatever is intended and that, if the speaker wants to say something disrespectful, they should consider whether they are brave enough to so so without the imagined protection of using "with the greatest respect" since so little respect is ever detectable.

This approach seems to work like a charm as a means of quelling disruptive elements in meetings.

World class

Usually used of companies to describe their standing in the business community but often used of people as in "He is a world class bastard".

Means that it is a company (or bastard ) recognised as a key player throughout the world.

British Airways reckons it is a world class airline. Following the opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow, it's Lost Baggage Bank is definitely World Class.


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