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  • The C-Suite Minimalists

The Five BIG Words In Corporate Language In 2018

Learn what key messages to expect from boardrooms across the globe.

Corporate language, like many things in life, is subject to fashion. In 2017 we heard a lot of C-Suite level talk about transformation, agile, big data, digitisation, building ecosystems, etc. These concepts will still be popular around the boardrooms in 2018. Along with them several other key messages.


The idea of simplification is part of the strategy of anybody who wants to remain somebody in the long run — from the grey T-shirts of Mark Zuckerberg, aimed to simplify his daily decision making routine, through the hit Netflix series The Minimalists with Joshua F. Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, to the vision for a simple pan European bank that the CEO of one of the biggest banks in Europe Jean Pierre Mustier has adopted for UniCredit. Simplicity gives the investors confidence in the business model, clients — the perception of transparency, employees — motivation and empowerment, society — trust in the company. Being simple seems to be a win-win strategy that cuts costs, increases flexibility and speed and boosts revenues from happy customers. Although achieving simplicity is easier said than done in a big corporations, this aspiration will be on the rise in 2018. As Leonardo Da Vinci eloquently put it: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.


If big corporations wants to adopt the simple, start-up way (do check the new book Startup way of Erik Ries, the author of the Lean Startup!), they need to remove — be it unnecessary layers in the organisational structure that do not bring additional value, inefficiencies, non-performing units, people or activities. Remove will be a key message in fashion of the top managers in 2018. In the words of one of the most famous fashion designers in the world: 

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”, Coco Chanel.

In the big corporate word only one will not be enough. And it will take continuous and consistent efforts to built such a remove culture in the big companies.


Nowadays companies no longer sell products and services. What they say they sell is experiences — both to customers and employees. It is even better if the customer experience is omni-chanel — same seamless look and feel in the different channels, being them online or analogue with no compromise in compliance with the ever increasing regulations. The smart C-Suite managers will make sure they are personally familiar with the customer journey and experience they offer to clients. The managers who chose to remain high above in their ivory towers of power and ignore the customer experience of their company, are most likely to update their CVs for new job opportunities.


Those companies who are “too big to fail” are the ones with a biggest need to remind again the communities what exactly is the value and the positive impact they bring daily to the social table. This is why social will be mixed with messages about purpose and sustainability for the long-run. The trend will likely be valid not only for what is considered more traditional businesses like banks and manufacturing enterprises, but also for those who were once the cool startups and now are ever-growing corporate giants like Google, PayPal, Facebook and Apple.


The cataclysmic messages of 2017 for the robots taking over people’s jobs and world as we know it, will give way to more subtle wording like automation. It is likely to help both the trends to remove and simplify. Oddly, exactly the automation will raise the value and the price of a quality HUMAN contact. In the rise of automation, it seems, for us, regular people, the most valuable skill will be learning to learn new things, enriching our employment value through quickly acquiring new skills and abilities.

The key message to remember about fashionable corporate slang is: words and concepts may come and go in fashion, common sense is eternal.
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