Home By Doug Rainey Journey takes the business cliche trophy

Journey takes the business cliche trophy

Journey takes the business cliche trophy

Good afternoon,

When it comes to corporate cliches, the winner is (drum roll please ) “journey.”

That’s the claim from a recent Bloomberg story and there’s little reason to disagree.


The term first gained popularity as “customer journey” – the process of getting repeat business.

Journey turns out to be a useful term for CEOs who are under pressure to deliver quarterly earnings gains.

The word conjures up an image of an individual or group setting out for a spot somewhere over the horizon.

As Bloomberg noted, the term is useful for companies in the process of making big changes, one example being drug store giant CVS, which will close 900 stores as it opens more “doc in a box” heatlh center locations.

That brings us to a couple of other cliches – sustainable and pivot.

Pivot was overused during the Covid-19 pandemic and appears to be losing popularity. Sustainable was once used to describe a move away from coal and oil. It can now used to explain an earnings decline, due to a decision to focus on a more promising but less profitable product or service.

Locally, the most popular term is “shareholder value.” Companies like DuPont and Chemours use it when selling off or acquiring businesses.

In the case of DuPont, a succession of CEOs have struggled to explain its strategy to investors as ithe company shrinks.

Current CEO Ed Breen worked to simplify things by engineering the Dow merger that combined the two companies’ seed and crop protection businesses (Corteva). Other slicing and dicing has taken place, with the end result being a larger presence on the electronic materials business with the purchase of Rogers.

Meanwhile, the Indeed job search site has assembled a collection of buzzwords to sprinkle into your next interview.

Here’s hoping you had a day that “moved the needle.” with no “pain points.” This newsletter returns tomorrow to “drill down” on the business scene. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.