5 Worthless Acronyms to Ban From Your Business

Last Updated Jun 24, 2011 2:50 PM EDT

Think you're stout of mind and strong of stomach? Let's find out.

See if you can make it to the end of the following list of business acronyms without recoiling in horror:

  • TQM
  • 5S
  • CI
  • QFD
  • JIT
  • QF
  • Six Sigma (granted not an acronym, but still)
If you didn't break into a cold sweat you obviously never worked for a big company.

In the 80s and 90s at R. R. Donnelley we started and abandoned so many improvement programs some of us quit learning the names and just called them YADA, or Yet Another (Darned) Acronym. (Imagine how well that went over in kickoff meetings.)

Each new program was touted as the ultimate path to improvement salvation... until the next breakthrough initiative came along, of course. While long-term success was limited, the programs weren't really the problem. The problem was a lack of commitment and follow through at the senior level. (Am I preaching to the choir yet?)

Acronym skepticism is automatic as long as we see the acronym coming. Unlike canned improvement programs, some acronyms are invisible but their effect on your business is all too real.

Let's take a look at some acronyms that might be killing your business -- or your career.

CLICK for the first business-killing acronym >>

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    Jeff Haden learned much of what he knows about business from managing a 250-employee book manufacturing plant. Everything else he picked up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest CEOs and leaders in business. He has written more than 30 non-fiction books, including four Business and Investing titles that reached #1 on Amazon's bestseller list. Follow him on Twitter at @Jeff_Haden.