Where Can I Find the "Best Practices" in Business Cliches?

In my “Lessons Learned” post from a few days ago, I buried a link in one of the paragraphs to a cool Squidoo lens that Seth Godin created called the Encyclopedia of Business Cliches (Sue Pelletier pointed to it as well). It lists all those phrases that you hear that frequently mean nothing, but get uttered all the time. The current top five are:

  • Thinking outside the box
  • Win-win situation
  • At the end of the day
  • Best practices
  • Paradigm shift

I say “current” because one interesting part of the page is that you get to vote on each item. You can move it up or down one vote (as a conflict resolution professional, I tried to move “win-win” down on the list, but hey, I’m biased). Of course, I was glad to see best practices in the top five. And Godin started with only ten phrases on the list, and there are now 174 because anyone can add one.

You do have to register with Squidoo to have your vote count. I assume that’s pretty easy. I was already registered because I have created two Squidoo lenses (one on organizational conflict and one on generational diversity).


  1. 23.08.2007 at 1:48 pm

    This is great. During my MBA program, I came up with a board game where you would roll dice with these types of words on them, then have to define the phrase you rolled. If your teammates guessed the meaning, you got to move forward. I can see it now – making millions off of people rolling “strategic change agent.”