When your boss tells you that as a result of synergy your department is about to undergo a paradigm shift, what do they mean?
Does a sensation of numbness creep over you in meetings? If so, you are probably listening to management jargon. As bosses increasingly speak what sounds like a different language, it is important to understand what they mean. The sad fact is that your suspicions are true: what they say makes no sense at all. But it is possible to work out the effect it will have on you …

Adding value
This happens when enough people have worked on a project – and enough paper has been produced – to make it look important. It isn't.

Blue-skies research
You can see the sky, but you can't touch it. Blue-skies research is something that looks fantastic; it has very little actual effect.

Otherwise known as a career-limiting move or, more accurately, those few innocent remarks you made to the chairman's wife at the office party.

Why you can't have a pay rise.

Empowering staff
Gradually reducing a manager's workload.

When managers do nothing, but do enough of it to allow their subordinates to complete their jobs.

Long hours with no overtime pay and not knowing if you'll have a job tomorrow.

IT Solutions
Beware any firm offering, for instance, "extranet implementation solutions". Even they don't know what they do, and you don't want to know what they charge for doing it.

Anything that gives you an added advantage towards some goal. Examples are, lying, bribes, begging and long lunches.

Paradigm shift
The reason your department is obsolete.

Leaping before you look.

Profit centres
These are the bits of a company that somehow cover up the mistakes made by the rest of it.

Pushing the envelope
A great many internet companies pushed the envelope all the time. Eventually, they all contained P45s.

The act of merging two companies in order to gain a knighthood.

Systems implementation
Developing systems so awesomely complex that your employees will be kept in work for years explaining them to clients.