"Kaisen"? Your Guide to Modern Business Jargon

business jargon best business voip provider.jpgBusiness jargon has reached a whole new level.  You have probably noticed a few phrases popping up in emails and meetings that are simply bizarre.

For example, "Are you on all fours with that?" Or, "We should be sweeping the sheds."

And even if you haven't heard bizarre business phrases as of late, you will surely be familiar with the jargon that is plain annoying.  Here are a few that popped up in's recent research:

a quick win

level playing field

drill down

re-inventing the wheel

customer centric

blue sky thinking

no 'i' in team

close of play

to 'park' a project

You have probably even used a few of these, cringing afterwards at your assimilation to the corporate motherbrain. But fear not, you can avoid these over-used business phrases and use these new ones instead! Below is a list of the latest office jargon to help you navigate your next meeting with a bit of pizzazz. 


We have Game of Thrones to thank for business jargon sounding reminiscent of Medieval times. According to Bloomberg, “moat” is the mot du jour in Silicon Valley presentations and earnings calls. But rather than a literal body of water around a castle it is “used to describe products or services that protect a company from incursions by competitors”. The term was made well known by Warren Buffett years ago, but recently it seems that if you are not busy building a moat, you will soon be drowning. 

On all fours

Are you on all fours with that? Meaning: Should we get down on all fours and look at it from the client’s point of view?  The 'Mad Men' 1950's advertising industry in New York apparently coined this phrase first, but it is making a reappearance.

Swim lanes

There are a few sporting expressions that have made their way into business; for example, 'deep dive,' 'home run', etc. But one of the latest is 'swim lanes'. For those not in the know, a swim lane is a column or row in a flowchart, with each lane devoted to one unit or process within the business. 

Sweep the sheds

'Sweeping the sheds” also has its origins as a sports phrase, popularised by a book providing success lessons from the New Zealand All Blacks. It is meant to mean 'a humble attention to detail'. Apparently the All Blacks use brooms to sweep out their own locker room. Perhaps long ago the All Blacks used a shed for a locker room?


'Snackable content' is a marketing term, more than a pure business phrase. If you are creating 'snackable content' you are attempting to draw people in with bite-sized nuggets of text or video to boost your brand. This has led to a whole world of related terms about "hungry" consumers and those that are 'well fed'.

As a service

This is one close to our hearts at VTSL, and one we admittedly use all the time.  'Software as a service' (SaaS) you have probably heard of, and more recently 'Unified communications as a service' (UCaaS) which is what VTSL specialises in.  It means delivering communication and collaboration services through a third-party service provider, like VTSL, across the internet or other IP network.  It is usually an on-demand model so businesses can add or remove services easily.


You can accomplish transformative change through gradual improvements, or so says mystical wisdom from the east. Kaizen essentially means: Let’s try consistently to make things better. Popularised in the West by Masaaki Imai in his 1986 book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success, the word is now applied to methods of personal self-help as well as business processes, even though the Japanese word itself just means any change for the better, with no necessary implication of continuous improvement over time. 


About VTSL

VTSL is the leading business VoIP provider, specialising in Unified Communications as a service.  Offering integrated business VoIP, mobile, CRM, and soft clients for devices, all for a low per user monthly fee, VTSL simplifies what used to be complex telephony and IT.  For more information on IP telephone systems, business VoIP or unified communications as a service, please call 020 7078 3200 or email today. 


Topics: Interesting