3 Buzz Words You Might Want to Lose in 2022

  1. AGILE

This started as a specific methodology to speed up software development.  It now appears as a buzz word whenever someone wants to appear to be making impressive change.  We’re moving to ‘agile HR’, or ‘we’re implementing Agile as a value’ or ‘we want employees with agile thinking’.  But what do these things really mean in practice?  What does it mean for an organisation to have a value of ‘Agile’?  Do you want them all climbing ropes in the gym?  Doing yoga at their desks?  This may be flippant but it begs the question, what is an employee supposed to think when they see a word like ‘agile’ plastered around like a new coat of paint (…it doesn’t change the underlying building)?



This is the opposite problem.  Hybrid has a basic meaning of being a combination of two things.  Gardeners will associate the word with a way of developing new plants.  Currently the word means a mix of working virtually and face to face, but with no clear view of what that mix looks like.   I have been asked to support managers of hybrid teams quite a lot in the last year – in each case the nature of the ‘hybrid’ was quite different, requiring some different thinking and approaches.   Next time you find yourself using the word ‘hybrid’, ask yourself what exactly you are trying to communicate, and if there is a better way.



This one has been around a long time and it still bugs me.  Be a better employee, be a better manager, be better at your job.  All these commands seem to be very clear – and yet they are meaningless.  I have lost count of the number of times I have been told that an organisation needs ‘better managers’.  Yet when I ask what ‘better’ means – the answers are often vague.   Using the word ‘better’ is usually a clue that more thought is required!

…and don’t get me started on ‘high performance’…!


I hope you all have a successful start to the New Year – in the way that it matters to you.