Halfway through a conversation I had to refrain from punching myself in the face as I realised I was falling victim to the buzzword de jour, and in doing so devaluing my job, experience and that of my team.

The conversation went something like this:

“So this new process will mean less time spent doing X and more time spent…”

I paused… and slowly saw a smile creeping onto the face of the person with whom I was speaking.

“You were about to say ‘adding value’ weren’t you?”

“I was, and now I hate myself,” was my reply.

Like most buzzwords over time they lose their meaning and start to drift further into the ether of abstract corporate waffle.  Adding value could literally mean anything.  When I talk about my team and what we do on a day to day basis “adding value” is possibly the weakest way of describing it.

We aren’t “adding value” – we are working with our clients to help them use complicated tools in simple ways.  We are helping them to achieve their goals through intelligent marketing.  We are sharing the experience and knowledge that we have amassed over years of study, from countless books read and from the tens of thousands of client interactions.

Is that adding value?  Of course it is!  But to belittle ourselves by referring to it in such an abstract and feeble manner is not self-deprecating; it is bloody ridiculous.