They’re nothing illegal or fraudulent. Nothing like “We’ll never make quarterly earnings – we need creative accounting” or “I’ve got some terrific inside info on that IPO.” No, they’re more mundane, even meant at times to be helpful. Which is exactly why they’re dangerous.
The nine words? “This is the way we’ve always done it here.”
Especially common in organizations with longstanding well-entrenched cultures, these words, often spoken to newer employees or to those thinking outside the norms, do a disservice to a company on multiple levels.