You all know how it is used to introduce change:
"Since the recent economic downturn, law firms have significantly reduced / restructured / altered (yada, yada, yada) the way it does business."This phrase isn't the first of its kind, nor will it be the last. Remember such similar introductory phrases as:
- Since the collapse of Brobeck/Howrey/Dewey...
- Since 9/11
- Since the Dot Com bubble
- Since the collapse of the Soviet Union
- Since the S&L crisis
- Since the oil bust (insert relevant decade)
- Since the OPEC embargo
- Since the Great Depression
- Since Noah landed the Ark
- and so on...
I am all for leveraging a bad situation to help change bad or outdated behavior. As Rahm Emanual, and other politicians are fond of saying, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste." The problem with "recent economic downturn" is that it has run its course. It doesn't have the punch it had five years ago, and I have started seeing smirks and eye-rolling whenever a speaker starts a discussion with that phrase. (Okay... maybe it's just me that smirks and rolls my eyes.)
So all of you presenters out there who are writing your discussion points and filling in the bullet points of your PowerPoint slides, get out your red pens and cross off the phrase "recent economic downturn." Find something a little fresher to put in its place. We'll all be better for it.
In the meantime, I'll start drafting next year's blog post for outdated phrases. I think I'll start with such things as "iPads" and "Bespoke."