50 corporate cliches you secretly love

Textio reveals the most distinctive jargon in each state

Marissa Coughlin
Textio Blog


Have you ever defined a strategic communications plan to achieve alignment and increase productivity resulting in a win-win outcome? Chances are good that you’ve been tasked with at least one of those things, but which one might just depend on where you live.

Textio culled through its database of over a quarter billion job posts to find which corporate cliches were the most distinctive jargon phrases for each state in the U.S.

And hey, if I had to choose anywhere to work based on this list, it would be Hawaii — because that’s where the magic happens, more frequently than anywhere else. I would probably avoid Michigan, where I need the eye of the tiger. Where does one pick up such an item before work? And, if I had to manage escalation every day in New Hampshire, or possess strength in Kentucky, I’d sure get tired fast.

Click to enlarge the map. The most distinctive corporate jargon in every U.S. state, from textio.com

We also found a few patterns among the most common cliches:

  • There are a host of bodily functions in there: In Indiana you need fire in the belly, but in Minnesota they prefer face time, Whereas New Jersey is most concerned with what is in our DNA.
  • Opposites attract: while companies in Washington want their employees to go through the roof, employers in West Virginia prefer people off the floor. (I guess that leaves them dancing on the ceiling?)
  • And there’s the always-popular sports metaphors: Ohio must love their Cleveland Indians because out of the park reigned supreme. And it is no wonder California ranked #3 in “golfiness” by Golf.com, since tee up is tops for that state.
  • Technically, there are actually 51 cliches, because Washington, DC is always looking for people to shift the paradigm.

Corporate cliches comprise one of the language categories that are called out as “orange phrases” by Textio’s predictive engine. These are key phrases that are negatively impacting your Textio score, which means your job will fill slower and attract fewer good candidates than it would if you were to replace that language with something better.

The full list of states and their most distinctive cliches:

  • Alabama — Value add
  • Alaska — Corporate values
  • Arkansas— Driven results
  • Arizona—Build synergy
  • California — Tee Up
  • Colorado — Change driver
  • Connecticut — Leverage expertise
  • Delaware — Exhibits good judgement
  • Florida — Win-win outcome
  • Georgia — Hit your numbers
  • Hawaii — Magic Happens
  • Iowa — Exit strategy
  • Idaho — Achieve alignment
  • Illinois — Be action-oriented
  • Indiana — Fire in the belly
  • Kansas — Identify opportunity
  • Kentucky — Possess strength
  • Louisiana — Synergize
  • Massachusetts — Thought leaders
  • Maryland — Corporate alignment
  • Maine — Goes the extra mile
  • Michigan— Eye of the tiger
  • Minnesota — Face time
  • Mississippi — Bring to the table
  • Missouri — Company value
  • Montana — Strategic initiative
  • Nebraska — Overachiever
  • Nevada — Increase productivity
  • New Hampshire — Manage escalation
  • New Jersey — In our DNA
  • New Mexico — Close the loop
  • New York — Herd cats
  • North Carolina — Good practice
  • North Dakota- Drives change
  • Ohio — Out of the park
  • Oklahoma — Bleeding edge
  • Oregon — Revolutioneering
  • Pennsylvania — Message alignment
  • Rhode Island — Push the envelope
  • South Carolina — Buy in
  • South Dakota — Reach out to you
  • Tennessee — Touch base
  • Texas — Statement of duties
  • Utah — Learnings
  • Vermont — KPIs
  • Virginia — Not intimidated
  • Washington — Through the roof
  • Washington DC — Shift the paradigm
  • West Virginia — Off the floor
  • Wisconsin — Blaze the trail
  • Wyoming — Strategic communications

Learn more about how language impacts your hiring at textio.com



Marissa Coughlin
Textio Blog

Comms for @textio, all around geek, burgeoning soap maker, Alaska grown. Likes: puns, alliterations Dislikes: vegetables, mornings. Pronouns: She/Her