Admittedly, I have said this phrase far more than anyone ever should. And, it’s not a positive phrase either. It smacks of complacency and disengagement. It means you KNOW something is wrong and feel powerless to change it or, really, even try. On one team, I said this phrase so darn much I wrote it on the back of one of those Long John Silvers pirate hats and wore it so I wouldn’t have to say it. When you hear this phrase, the response should be “Why?”. When something wrong is so ingrained in the culture that “It is what it is” becomes an acceptable response, it’s time to find out why it is and make it isn’t. I know that last sentence makes no sense but, I’m certain you get my meaning. Listen for this phrase and hone in on it. If nothing else it starts a dialogue about “It” and maybe gets others questioning, searching and, I dunno, solving IT?