Every one of us has been an email chain which is borderline unintelligible for the amount of corporate lingo thrown in there. At City A.M., we’re taking a stand and calling out the worst jargon which travels around the City faster than you can drink an overpriced pint. This week: the huddle.
What does it mean?
According to The Great Game of Business, it’s a model for increasing employee engagement and workforce potential, achieved through a regular discussion in which attendees address key performance indicators and areas of improvement. Others simply call it a meeting.
Worryingly, the phrase ‘huddle’ has spawned a thousand likenesses. Also cited alongside the original huddle is the pre-huddle, the workgroup huddle, the management huddle, and the company-wide huddle.
Who uses it?
Middle managers who want to be your friend (yikes) and who once dreamed of bigger things. Sadly, those dreams were scuppered by the rat race, but they’ve convinced themselves that fostering team spirit can add meaning to the 9-to-5. It can’t, but that’s for their therapist to help them reckon with that in ten years time.
Offenders are likely to also organise regular team building days and probably volunteered to be your company fire warden.
The term is also used by (and arguably originated from) the penguin community. The aquatic creatures are lucky enough to have multiple collective nouns, one of which is the huddle – it’s a key component in penguin culture as they must literally huddle together for warmth. Like the Greeks with the Elgin Marbles, they want it back.
Should we be worried?
Undoubtedly. Not only is the term spine-chilling when used in the workplace – nobody wants to huddle with their boss – it has also been grossly appropriated from innocent flightless birds who want no part in this monkey business. Shame on you.
What could it be confused with?
- Penguins keeping warm
- A halftime team talk over oranges
- A cuddle (ew)
How do we get rid of it?
Cut. It. Out. And. Call. It. A. Meeting. Or better yet, send an email.
And if you have personally been an offender, you can sponsor a penguin here as a first step to repairing relations.
Corporate ick rating:
8.5/10 – here at City A.M. we are pro-business, but above all we are pro-penguin. We stand with Pingu, Pinga, the penguins of Happy Feet, chocolate biscuits with jokes, the penguins of Madagascar and all other flightless birds who have been victimised by corporate doubles.