Do You Have A Sense of Humour? Really?

intentional practices Feb 13, 2024
Do You Have A Sense of Humour? Really?


I am categorizing this blog as “intentional practices.” Avoid corporate speak! Here is what we hear too often! Have a good laugh if you recognize yourself, your CEO or your consultant!


  • In lieu of making a decision, we’re going to develop a decision-making framework. And that will be an iterative process.
  • My job here is to think of new forms for staff to fill out.
  • We’ve decided to close the office 30 minutes early today to allow our colleagues to get a head start on the holiday.
  • This isn’t the first time we’ve exceeded expectations. In fact, we never have.
  • Our vision is audacious, bold, inspired, forward-thinking, ground-breaking, and transcendent—completely without precedent in human history.
  • There have been some complaints about the tone of your tracked changes.
  • We’re calling this a toolkit, but it really doesn’t have any tools in it. It’s a PDF.
  • Our Return to Office Policy is being drafted by our Associate HR Director who “has a pretty good idea about what you all are trying to pull.”
  • The person who called this meeting is no longer able to attend, but let’s hold it anyway.
  • We are low on funding, but there’s no limit to the amount of staff time we’re willing to waste.
  • Per tradition, we have chosen the least convenient location for the staff retreat as humanly possible.


Admin #1: I just placed an order for new binders. Admin #2: You realize we have infinity used binders in the storeroom? Admin #1: Oh well, we can always use more binders. I also ordered more paper clips.


  • I'm calling it a site visit, but I'm really just driving to another office across town.
  • Wait, not another move without a SWOT analysis.
  • We are developing our learnings through talking's with groupings over lunching's and walking's.
  • My door is always open. I mean, not literally. You’ll need an appointment.
  • My presentation includes a number of videos that have exactly zero chance of playing correctly.
  • The first day of our strategic planning session will be a deep dive into why we ignored our last strategic plan.

Share this article with your friends and colleagues!



  • If this board member is going to be so wrong about everything, she is going to have to donate a lot more.
  • We are not seeking a leader. We are seeking a fundraiser.
  • We provide most of our services now in Word or PDF.
  • Let’s go around the room and get updates on what everyone is working on with no consideration of spending more time on things that are important.
  • Due to budget constraints, we would like employees to voluntarily not use their vacation time until further notice. Also don't get sick.
  • Even though you have told me that you cannot read any of my slides on this Zoom call, I will continue with my presentation undaunted.
  • Of course, we’re not a business, but we’re calling it a Business Plan so funders will know we’re serious. Unlike our Strategic Plan.
  • People will criticize us for extravagant spending if we pay our employees a living wage.
  • I’m sick, but not miss-this-subcommittee-Zoom-meeting sick.
  • The older white man was underperforming and was a bit iffy with his female coworkers, so it was necessary to promote him so he would interact with fewer people.
  • I was attracted to nonprofit work because I wanted something more soul-crushing than teaching.
  • Calendaring an off-site to plan our next retreat.
  • There’s a concern that any action of any kind will jeopardize our nonprofit status.
  • I'm going to note here in a comment a slight change in wording to this line in the document that I could easily just make myself but won't because, well, I don't know.
  • If you need the money, you are not eligible for this grant. If you are already funded, you are not eligible for this grant.
  • We regret that, due to budget concerns, we will no longer provide Kleenex or Advil to staff. Paper towels are also under evaluation.


Thanks to “Shit Nonprofits Say” @nonprofitssay @shitnonprofitssay

Committed to capturing the “aesthetic beauty of nonprofit organizational expression”. You can follow them on X, formerly known as Twitter.


What are your main “pain points” dealing with corporate speak?

What advice would be most helpful to you?
And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!


Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.




Tired of Corporate Speak?

Online Board Improvement Programs with Ken Haycock


The Board Member 101:

Your accelerated path to competence and confidence.

In this one-month course, you will move from feeling reticent and tentative to competent and confident, asking good questions and making great contributions. The course complements and reinforces your on-site orientation and opens new channels of communication and discussion. Four weeks. Two brief video lessons (watch at your convenience) per week plus downloadable handouts. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Register Now.




The Board Leader Academy:

A step-by-step guide to higher performance and impact.

Our spotlight course is designed for CEOs/Executive Directors, Board Chairs, and those who are interested in leadership positions on not-for-profit, for-impact boards. Six weeks. Three brief video lessons with handouts per week (watch at your convenience) plus additional downloadable resources. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Register now.






P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.

Share this post:

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. 

Don't worry, your information will not be shared or sold for any reason.