Keeping a meaning in daily meetings: How Genentech does it everyday

Everyday in corporate meetings we have to sit through “mindless”, “unintelligible”, and gibberish-laden presentations. Most of the times, it’s only after first 10-15 slides the actual “meat” of the presentation comes out — if not it’s covered with buzz words, marketing-speak and what not to sift through.
Genentech, a company which symbolizes itself as a “beater” of corporate bureaucracy and CYA (“cover-your-ass”) culture, has a game called gBuzz Bingo. To play:
1. An employee downloads a bingo card from the intranet. The bingo card features terms like “actionable”, “traction”, “value-added”, “win-win”, “strategy”, etc
2. The card is then taken to a meeting where a not so positive outcome is expected.
3. The boxes next to the words are checked as these words are uttered.
4. First to complete these words win — The player shouts out “gBuzz!” and is declared the winner, effectively silencing the bull-shit being discoursed.
On the side, sometimes I attend meetings where a lot of swearing and finger pointing happens — Here are my favorite phrases to be checked off a) “Where are the dates?” b) “Are you sure?” (1 point for every 3 utterances) c) “Is the project on track?” (1 point for every 3 utterances) d) “I don’t think you got it covered.” etc. etc. There are more. Shout it out and for repeat cases, gift a box of detergent soap to the person next Christmas.

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