I know, everybody and his brother has bemoaned the horror that is corporate speak. It's one of 7 things Jeff Stibel, president of web.com, hates about business:
Business Speak. Synergy, sell side, bandwidth, enterprise solutions, ear-to-ear, eye-to-eye, deliverable, ETA, thinking-outside-the-box, facilitate, paradigm, SWOT...need I say more?And BNET's CC Holland even wants to outlaw corporate jargon such as low-hanging fruit, parking lot, evangelize, and bleeding edge. I don't blame her.
All that said, I've found these ten concepts - and yes, the jargon that defines and describes them - to be surprisingly important management tools. And if you don't like it, let's take it offline instead of going down a rat-hole, okay?
A Lexicon of Surprisingly Useful Business Jargon
- Constructive confrontation. Defined and promoted by Andy Grove of Intel to get people to resolve issues and conflict without taking it personally: attack the problem, not the person.
- Goal alignment. One of the most critical and useful management tools for operational efficiency across organizational boundaries.
- Zero-based budgeting. A method of budgeting by prioritizing and justifying projects based on projected expense and return-on-investment.
- Strategic planning. A critical process for determining a company's future direction, including its key goals, strategies for achieving them, and business plans.
- Value proposition. What differentiates your company, products or services from the competition. An important corporate or product positioning tool.
- One-on-one. Another management tool from Intel. Periodic one-on-ones keep peers aligned and tuned into each other's issues; same goes for employee-boss, etc.
- Plan of record. Sometimes a name makes all the difference. Agree on a plan, record or document it, make sure everybody's there to change it. Eliminates plan du jour.
- Meeting etiquette. Meetings suck. To make them suck less, you have meeting etiquette: they start on time and end on time, everybody has a reason for being there or they shouldn't (be there), etc.
- What's in it for me? Whoever you're trying to negotiate with or sell to, internally or externally, put yourself in their shoes and ask WIIFM. It's a powerful tool.
- Negatron. A personal favorite - a person who finds the fly in every glob of ointment and never misses an opportunity to point it out. Also avoids cursing, as in, "Don't be a negatron!"