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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline

« The Cream Rises to the Top, But So Does the Pond Scum | Main | Dead Reagents, Dead Reactions »

June 20, 2012

BS Your Way Partway to The Top

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Posted by Derek

If you're looking for the master list of business-speak cliches, look no further. That article has 89 of them, and if you can get to the end without shedding neurons from your frontal lobes, you're tougher than I am. (Note that the author of the piece recognizes this danger himself). It's a value-added, win-win paradigm shift, net-net, at the end of the day, sure to move the needle going forward. Dang. There go some of those neurons right now.

Comments (20) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


COMMENTS

1. Will on June 20, 2012 9:56 AM writes...

speaking of, very recently a hedge-fund managing alum orchestrated the ouster of the president of U Virginia, citing the need for "strategic dynamicism" three times in an email that was inadervently sent to the wrong people

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2. Hap on June 20, 2012 10:03 AM writes...

I think someone's buzzword bingo generator has a lot of new phrases to choose from. Meetings should be much more fun now.

1: Apparently, his definition of "strategic dynamicism" was "having the students, faculty, and administration riot while the rest of the board tries to avoid getting burned at the stake". I hope that works out as well for him at his real job. Maybe Cuccinelli has friends elsewhere?

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3. Student on June 20, 2012 10:04 AM writes...

Reminds me of: whatthefuckismysocialmediastrategy.com/

Apologies for the profanity, but this is an actual website.

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4. anon on June 20, 2012 10:48 AM writes...

This is one of our VP of research's favorites, among many. We're not allowed to say the word "hope".


46. Hope is not a strategy = I don’t have a strategy, but this makes it sound like I’m above people who also don’t have a strategy

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5. drug_hunter on June 20, 2012 11:36 AM writes...

This list is hysterical. The problem is that some of these are legitimate under the right circumstances, but we are all so used to idiots using them for bogus reasons that we have an allergic reaction.

"We need to do more due diligence" is a reasonable thing to say if your company is about to do something stupid and you think that you can prevent it by digging deeper.

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6. anon on June 20, 2012 11:38 AM writes...

i like the hope one, thats good. now ill stop using it :). i like the idiots that use 'data-driven' for everything. as if the rest of us would rather just guess at things blindly.

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7. Anonymous on June 20, 2012 11:44 AM writes...

@5 - This is why scientists seldom get promoted to high-level management positions anymore - I admit I also roll my eyes whenever I hear any of this stuff, which probably doesn't ingratiate me to MBA-types!

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8. MolecularGeek on June 20, 2012 12:07 PM writes...

as an aside, when I went to forbes.com to find this, I also saw an opinion piece on whether pharma can fix its research labs. More grist for the mill on that ongoing conversation. Personally, I think that as long as the leadership in the labs doesn't know any of the 89 phrases given, then there may be the basis for guarded optimism.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2012/06/20/can-drug-companies-fix-their-broken-research-labs/

MG

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9. anon on June 20, 2012 12:11 PM writes...

No 6:

Another good one is "hypothesis driven", often used by our come-from-Pfizer director, as if the rest of us are just making random compounds.

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10. brian on June 20, 2012 12:13 PM writes...

I would include: "Let's talk about that offline" = that is a dumb question that you shouldn't have wasted everyone's time with in this meeting so let's not talk about it.

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11. Curious Wavefunction on June 20, 2012 12:38 PM writes...

It's weird how very general and otherwise common phrases like "keep your eyes on the ball" have been hijacked by management and turned into grotesque instruments of authority.

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12. SteveM on June 20, 2012 2:40 PM writes...

That list reminds me of the Bullshit Generators popular during the dot-com era:

http://startupista.com/corporate-bullshit-generator/

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13. heretic on June 20, 2012 2:41 PM writes...

power points and buzz phrases
it doesnt get any better that that

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14. Anonymous on June 20, 2012 5:57 PM writes...

"Hope is not a planning tool."

This was my (excellent) manager's saying. It means that I better have plans for what happens if the reaction/tool/batch/etc doesn't go the way I think it should. Frankly there is nothing wrong with having back up plans. And Luck is not a planning tool either.

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15. Wil on June 20, 2012 6:56 PM writes...

My favorite, not on the list, was the one used by a former supervisor that went something like: You have to anticipate all the unexpected outcomes.

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16. Anonymous on June 20, 2012 7:43 PM writes...

One of my favorites for those "Sr management" sitting in the project meetings: " this is just my suggestion to the team. It is up to team's decision" = you better follow my instructions.... If it works, it is my idea. If it doesn't work, it is your fault...

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17. Anonymous on June 20, 2012 11:04 PM writes...

76. It’s a [Insert Company Name] killer = Did I get your attention yet with the Freddy Kreuger imagery associated with the company who’s currently eating our lunch?

90.Eating our lunch = ......

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18. Paperbagface on June 21, 2012 11:29 PM writes...

Strangely this is the exact language I heard from a lot of upper management all the time where I worked last. For some reason everyone thought these were the extra smart guys and kept promoting them

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19. Cellbio on June 22, 2012 8:58 AM writes...

@brian

That phrase, 'let's talk about that offline', also means, 'don't bother me with technical detail that undermines my ability to do a deal', or some such thing that enables business leaders to shut down a scientists who speaks honestly about 'deal killers'.

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20. twocents on June 25, 2012 5:11 AM writes...

My #1 favorite is, "FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION."

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