(Back to the Drawing Board is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
Back to the Drawing Board
In today’s workplace, no one is still using a drawing board, are they? In this case, saying, “Back to the whiteboard” might be more appropriate if it wasn’t also annoying.
Like back to square one, back to the drawing board is often an attempt to revel in the misfortunes of others. In some perverse cases, this can also be the office equivalent of Munchausen by proxy. Your boss sees himself as the savior of the team – and he can only be the savior if the rest of you are in need of saving.
If this is how most annoying managers use back to the drawing board – he or she has a sickness; one that no encyclopedia of annoying phrases is going to cure.
However, back to the drawing board is also ancient; and likely confusing to Millennial and Gen Z employees. While it’s been a few years since either of us remembers hearing back to the drawing board, friends report differently.
It seems many managers – those frustrated with their team’s progress – still (almost proudly) announce, “It’s time to go back to the drawing board.”
Ugh, truly annoying.
Of course, back to the drawing board implies completely starting over… from the very beginning… with a blank canvas, if you will. This, even if the issue is merely a roadblock or hiccup. The reality is project roadblocks and hiccups are common, and if we went back to the drawing board each time we faced some adverse condition, we’d never accomplish anything at work.
Instead of going back to the drawing board, what if we just solved the current issue and moved ahead? Now there’s a novel concept.
Of course, since merely solving a minor issue and moving ahead is missing the drama associated with scrapping everything and starting over, your annoying boss won’t be able to enjoy that satisfied feeling he gets by declaring the efforts to this point as wasted.
Replacement phrases: Start over
See also: Back to Square One
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon