Saturday, January 12, 2013

Modular Housing is Not the Best Fit for MBA Types

I've worked for several large corporations over the years serving the home building industry. At one, the entire management staff was replaced with MBA types and at another, the President, VP and others were replaced with non-modular housing industry types.

The one thing that both groups had in common was how they used MBA jargon to get their ideas across to us lowly underlings. Some of the sayings were new at the time and others were just a rehash of what I'd heard for years.


Here is just some of the words of wisdom they dropped on the rest of us. BTW, just about every single one of those people have either moved on or were fired while all us grunts remained. Doesn't say much for MBA types diving into the modular housing business.

  • It’s a paradigm shift = I don’t know what’s going on in our business. But we’re not making as much money as we used to.
  • We need to wrap our heads around this = Gosh, I never thought of that. We need to discuss that….
  • It’s a win-win = Hey, we both get something out of this (even though I’m really trying to get the best from you)
  • Let’s blue sky this/let’s ballpark this = Let’s shoot around a bunch of ideas since we have no clue what to do
  • I’m a bit of a visionary = I’m a bit of an egomaniac and narcissist
  • Let’s circle back to that/Let’s put that in the parking lot/let’s touch base on that later/let’s take this off-line = Shut up and let’s go back to what I was talking about
  • We think outside the box here/color outside the lines = We wouldn’t know about how to do something innovative if it came up to us and bit us in the behind (my personal favorite)
  • This is where the rubber meets the road = Don’t screw up
  • We’ll go back and sharpen our pencils = We’ll go back and offer you the same for 20% less in hopes you’ll buy it before the end of the quarter
  • Let’s right-size it = Let’s whack/fire a bunch of people
  • We don’t have enough boots on the ground = I don’t want to be fired for this disastrous product/country launch, so I’m going to sound tough referring to the military and say I don’t have enough resources
  • Deal with it = Tough cookies
  • Who’s going to step up to the plate? = One of you is going to do this and it’s not going to be me
  •  It was a perfect storm = We really screwed up but we’re going to blame a bunch of factors that are out of our hands (especially weather)
  • At the end of the day…. = OK, enough talking back and forth, we’re going to do what I want to do
  • Let’s put lipstick on this pig = plug your nose
  • It’s a one-off = Do whatever they want to close the sale
  • We’ve got to do a little more due diligence there = Don’t have a clue but does that legal term make me sound detail-oriented?
  • Don’t leave money on the table = Be as greedy with them as possible
  • We take a “ready, fire, aim” approach here = We totally operate on a seat-of-the-pants basis
  • 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
  • Good to put a face to the name = I’d really rather talk to that person behind you
  • Let’s take the 30,000 foot view… = I like to think I see the big picture
  • It’s the old 80-20 rule = I really have no idea what the rule was, but I just want to focus on the things that will make us successful
  • I’m going to sound like a broken record here… = I want to clearly point out to you idiots that I’ve made this point several times before
  • We’ve got too many chiefs and not enough Indians = I want to be the Chief
  • My people know I’ve got an open door policy = I’ve told my direct reports to come to me if they have a problem, so why should I feel bad if they complain I’m too busy to talk to them?

1 comment:

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