(Raise the Bar 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.)
Raise the Bar
If raise the bar was only used to describe the deliberate act of increasing a goal or target (as it’s used in sports), it likely wouldn’t have made the final cut for this book.
Unfortunately, many of the irritating types in your workplace like to utter raise the bar as a pseudo-motivational attempt to get more production out of their teams.
“We need to raise the bar this month!”
Do we? Or, more likely, do you need to raise the bar on leadership?
Others annoyingly use raise the bar to explain a product or service improvement made by their company or the competition.
“Boy, Ford is really going to raise the bar with their new F-150.”
Both instances are annoying in their vagueness and in their overuse. What bar? How high was it raised?
At least in sports (and when setting goals in the workplace) the previous and current bar placements are known and measurable.
To raise the bar in the literal sense should certainly be referred to in this manner. When the bar was and is invisible, raising it has no meaning – except to mean the person annoyingly asking us to raise the bar is an idiot.
Replacement phrases: Increase the goal; Outperform; Over-deliver
See also: Next Level
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon