Are you sick of management speak? Do you prefer to ‘do’ things rather than ‘action’ them? Does ‘blue sky thinking’ have about as much place in your office as a pot-fuelled student jamming session?
Well you’re not in luck. 2015 looks like it’ll have at least as many needless expressions that, paradoxically, you’ve got to learn to avoid looking like a dunce as last year. Here are some of them - better get information planting.
Jack is the new hack, apparently. ‘For the last couple of years, "hack’" has made the journey from techy slang to respectable business metaphor,’ says Neil Taylor of langauge consultancy The Writer. 'We think the suffix "-jack" will make the same leap into the mainstream in 2015.’
Great. The term comes from ‘hijack’, which is appropriate enough when you consider what’s happening to the English language here. Expect horrors such as ‘newsjacking’ (firms exploiting news stories to boost their brand), ‘trendjacking’ (not entirely sure what that means) and ‘crisisjacking’ (nope…).
You’ve heard of business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C). Now you have human to human (H2H). This is where the people talking to you on behalf of companies try to sound less like soulless PR droids and more like real people. There was once a simpler time when this was just called conversation…
Now, of course, conversation means something entirely different here - brands pestering you all the time on social meeja like they’re your friends. For Taylor, dialogue is king here. If you're managing a brand, try asking your Twitter followers what they had on their toast this morning, rather than telling them about your products. It might work.
The ‘It’ Factor
We all know that some brands or indeed job candidates have a certain je ne sais quoi, and for some reason we keep on coming up with different names for it. ‘In the past it’s been called the ‘secret ingredient", "the special sauce", and of course "the X factor",’ says Taylor. Now it’s the much more original ‘it factor’, apparently.
A neologism meaning cooperative competition. It’s been around for about a century, and is often used in discussions of game theory, but somehow MT has a sinking feeling it’s going to become popular next year. Call it a frunch (a frightening hunch).