Ladder up! The business jargon you need to learn for 2016
Published 06/01/2016 | 13:50
"Amplify", "ladder up" and "ecosystem" are the business buzzwords that will barge their way into the boardroom this year, a language consultancy has predicted.
The Writer, who said its mission was to rescue the corporate world from the tyranny of linguistic mediocrity, tracks words that are on the rise in boardrooms around the world.
It predicted that "amplify" would enter the mainstream lexicon this year after noticing its increasing use in presentations and speeches, in TV shows like The Apprentice.
Business buzzwords of 2016
2 Ladder up
People are using 'amplify' as a synonym for 'improve' or 'increase', but they think – probably subconsciously – that it’s cooler, because its use really took off to describe messages on social media being picked up and repeated," said Neil Taylor, creative partner at The Writer.
"Traditional businesses hope that by borrowing the lingo of more fashionable companies, some of that cool will rub off on them."
Mark Wright, who won the Apprentice in 2014 and is now a business partner of Lord Alan Sugar, said of entrepreneurship: "You are born with it or without it, but you can amplify what you have got."
Bank of England governor Mark Carney used the word last month when he unveiled a new global taskforce to increase transparency around the way businesses disclose climate change risks.
"Having that information out there will amplify that success because it means markets will be able to move quickly," the former Goldman Sachs director said.
The Writer, the world’s largest business language consultancy, bases its predictions on the millions of words it reads and writes every year for its clients, who are Fortune 500 companies from around the world, as well as analysis of the common words used in CEOs’ speeches, business websites and corporate literature.
Mr Taylor said the firm has a watchlist of words and phrases that are starting to spread in the world of finance or are changing meaning in business circles.
"When we spot one of those on the lips of the governor of the Bank of England, we know it’s on a roll," he said.
Another word that is set to rise in prominence this year is "ladder up", a term used to connect one specific thing to a grand theme.
For example, Kimberly Whitler, assistant professor at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, said: "Purchase decisions are more often emotional than rational – this is especially true in healthcare, where even routine decisions subconsciously ladder up to survival."
This word was closely followed by "ecosystem", a biological term that has become particularly popular in technology when talking about how different system works together.
"The word is so prevalent in the tech world, even Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder couldn't help but use it to criticise the company," Mr Taylor said.
Mr Wozniak panned Apple's lack of interoperability with other company’s products by saying that he didn't like "being trapped" in the "Apple ecosystem".