These are commonly found uses of the expression ‘they’ within organizations.
They wont approve this
They don’t get it
They don’t listen
I don’t know what they would think of this
They are bad at execution
They haven’t said anything yet
They really don’t know.
And numerous others. The use of ‘they’ is almost mythical.
I have heard ‘They won’t approve this” in the context of leadership teams referring to the Board of Directors, even when two members of that leadership team were also members of the Board of Directors.
I have heard ‘They are very bad at execution” used by management teams to refer to their troupes, even when every single member of that collective ‘they’ reported into somebody in that management team. So, if ‘they’ report to you, then the problem is you, not ‘they’! So, you, actually, are bad at execution.
I have heard ‘they don’t really know’ in a Board of Directors meeting, referring to both, external investors and employees. I have also heard the mythical ‘they’ in the same Board of Directors meeting, with no obvious reference to anybody, leaving me with the question of whether the real ‘they’ that they were referring to was the Holy Trinity or any other supernatural entity. I left the meeting with no clarity.
If anybody knows of a ‘they’ category (and a Social Security code?) please let me know, so that I can incorporate it to my organizational work. I would not like to miss them. They will never forgive me.
I once had the thought of copyrighting “They, Inc.” and then collecting a royalty everytime someone use the term “they . . . “. I would be a gizillionaire by now! What’s worse than using “they …” is that the rest of the group accepts it!