Friday, 30 October 2015

Humour In C-Suite - Jargon is a bad habit.

Humour In C-Suite - Jargon is a bad habit.
Dhananjay Parkhe

C Suite Mentor✥Business Strategy✥Sustainability✥Leadership✥Risk Management✥Pro-Bono Advisor✥Consultant✥Educator

Humour In C-Suite - Jargon is a bad habit.

Then why do management folks use idioms and phrases in any conversation?

Consultants/ Advisors/ Mentors/ Coaches/Educators ( all of the roles I have played in my lifetime :) )  - all use jargon as if it was their second language.  It serves as a short-cut way to say the most boring things in a seemingly pseudo-intellectual way. 
Its Hep, Trendy, a chummy way to talk is what they feel.  It is as we were jealous of doctors & lawyers who have their own technical vocabulary and world famous handwriting for company! :) ! 

IMHO, Jargon is a bad habit.   It is non-sensical, it is annoying for the listener.  Having said that, jargon is still something we should know, even if you don’t use it :)

I grouped these jargons into different buckets depending on how much analysis was needed vs. how much analysis was done.  The simple box is called a “two-by-two” matrix and is a favourite among consultants.  It narrows down the key factors into the X and Y axis and forces you to group this into something easy to understand.  How I wish they were given "Forced words Association" tests like "DISC Profiling" to understand their behaviour under pressure ! I am a true believer in DISC methods and feel most would have had a Flip Score to the boot 

So here is our 2X2 Matrix -
Bottom left (little analysis needed, little analysis done):  At the beginning of a project, it is often necessary to just ballpark the number or do aback of the envelope calculation to get some initial estimates.  Sometimesconsultants guess at the answer early in the project and then continuously refine their hypotheses as they get more information.

Top left (analysis needed, but not done):  Here the consultant made a mistake.   Either they ran out of time, got lazy, or forgot to do the needed analysis.  As a result, he is taking a SWAG at the answer – which is never a good idea.  It is a lose-lose.  Either the consultant tells the client that he guessing (lose) or hides the weakness in the analysis (lose).

Top right (analysis needed and completed): These two expressions are very common.  After completing a broader analysis, it is often necessary to do a deep dive in specific areas.  You often have to drill down into the the data to really find out what is going on.   Deep dives are good things because they have a lot of rigorous analysis, but they are also very targeted.

Bottom right (analysis not needed, but done anyways):  Here the consultant is wasting time.  She has spent hours gathering data or doing analysis without a purpose.  She is trying to boil the ocean, instead of thinking through the problem in a structured way.  If the partner says you are boiling the ocean, it means that you are lost.  Not a good sign.  Frankly, all of us spend too much time in meetings – so it is no surprise that there is a lot of jargon around this topic.  Some of this jargon applies to things that happen before, during and after the meeting.  You will find this straight-forward.  .  .
  • Hope your have read the Pre-read: A document sent to the attendees before the meeting with the expectations that people come prepared
  • Lets put it in the Parking lot: A way to make note of a tangential topic (not directly related to the meeting), so that it can be discussed later.  This is a great tactic to re-direct the conversation to the main agenda
  • To table: Just a fancy way to say “postpone”
  • Hard stop: The latest that someone can stay in a meeting.  This is a polite way of saying, “I have another obligation at that time, so don’t be offended if leave the meeting or drop off the call”.
  • Let's discuss this Offline: Just a fancy way to say “Later, in private”  This is used to table a conversation until after the formal meeting.  This also prevents a conversation between 2 people monopolizing the meeting time
The list of business jargon is endless. There is a website called The Office Life, which has a reservoir to 900+ “cringe-worthy” consulting-y words.   If you listen closely, you will see how business jargon is used at your work.  It can be overwhelming.  Remember: the client wants you to speak clearly and with authenticity, not with business jargon and slang.  
Idioms: What is the meaning of the phrase "If it floats, it's a witch"?
Idioms: Why is the phrase "by heart" used for memorizing something, rather than "by brain"?  
I'll have to find some other idiom / Jargon to explain this one ! :)
I am sure the discerning readers can contribute a lot more than me thru their Likes and Comments so that we can continue our Habit and turn it into a Full Business Jargon Thesis.  So Help me Readers ! :)

Humour In C-Suite - Jargon is a bad habit.

Humour In C-Suite - Jargon is a bad habit.
Dhananjay Parkhe

C Suite Mentor✥Business Strategy✥Sustainability✥Leadership✥Risk Management✥Pro-Bono Advisor✥Consultant✥Educator✥

Humour In C-Suite - Jargon is a bad habit.

Then why do management folks use idioms and phrases in any conversation?

Consultants/ Advisors/ Mentors/ Coaches/Educators ( all of the roles I have played in my lifetime :) )  - all use jargon as if it was their second language.  It serves as a short-cut way to say the most boring things in a seemingly pseudo-intellectual way. 
Its Hep, Trendy, a chummy way to talk is what they feel.  It is as we were jealous of doctors & lawyers who have their own technical vocabulary and world famous handwriting for company! :) ! 

IMHO, Jargon is a bad habit.   It is non-sensical, it is annoying for the listener.  Having said that, jargon is still something we should know, even if you don’t use it :)

I grouped these jargons into different buckets depending on how much analysis was needed vs. how much analysis was done.  The simple box is called a “two-by-two” matrix and is a favourite among consultants.  It narrows down the key factors into the X and Y axis and forces you to group this into something easy to understand.  How I wish they were given "Forced words Association" tests like "DISC Profiling" to understand their behaviour under pressure ! I am a true believer in DISC methods and feel most would have had a Flip Score to the boot 

So here is our 2X2 Matrix -
Bottom left (little analysis needed, little analysis done):  At the beginning of a project, it is often necessary to just ballpark the number or do aback of the envelope calculation to get some initial estimates.  Sometimesconsultants guess at the answer early in the project and then continuously refine their hypotheses as they get more information.

Top left (analysis needed, but not done):  Here the consultant made a mistake.   Either they ran out of time, got lazy, or forgot to do the needed analysis.  As a result, he is taking a SWAG at the answer – which is never a good idea.  It is a lose-lose.  Either the consultant tells the client that he guessing (lose) or hides the weakness in the analysis (lose).

Top right (analysis needed and completed): These two expressions are very common.  After completing a broader analysis, it is often necessary to do a deep dive in specific areas.  You often have to drill down into the the data to really find out what is going on.   Deep dives are good things because they have a lot of rigorous analysis, but they are also very targeted.

Bottom right (analysis not needed, but done anyways):  Here the consultant is wasting time.  She has spent hours gathering data or doing analysis without a purpose.  She is trying to boil the ocean, instead of thinking through the problem in a structured way.  If the partner says you are boiling the ocean, it means that you are lost.  Not a good sign.  Frankly, all of us spend too much time in meetings – so it is no surprise that there is a lot of jargon around this topic.  Some of this jargon applies to things that happen before, during and after the meeting.  You will find this straight-forward.  .  .
  • Hope your have read the Pre-read: A document sent to the attendees before the meeting with the expectations that people come prepared
  • Lets put it in the Parking lot: A way to make note of a tangential topic (not directly related to the meeting), so that it can be discussed later.  This is a great tactic to re-direct the conversation to the main agenda
  • To table: Just a fancy way to say “postpone”
  • Hard stop: The latest that someone can stay in a meeting.  This is a polite way of saying, “I have another obligation at that time, so don’t be offended if leave the meeting or drop off the call”.
  • Let's discuss this Offline: Just a fancy way to say “Later, in private”  This is used to table a conversation until after the formal meeting.  This also prevents a conversation between 2 people monopolizing the meeting time
The list of business jargon is endless. There is a website called The Office Life, which has a reservoir to 900+ “cringe-worthy” consulting-y words.   If you listen closely, you will see how business jargon is used at your work.  It can be overwhelming.  Remember: the client wants you to speak clearly and with authenticity, not with business jargon and slang.  
Idioms: What is the meaning of the phrase "If it floats, it's a witch"?
Idioms: Why is the phrase "by heart" used for memorizing something, rather than "by brain"?  
I'll have to find some other idiom / Jargon to explain this one ! :)
I am sure the discerning readers can contribute a lot more than me thru their Likes and Comments so that we can continue our Habit and turn it into a Full Business Jargon Thesis.  So Help me Readers ! :)

Ministry-wise PIB releases

Ministry-wise PIB releases

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

In C-Suite - The Aesop's Fables - a short Series.

In C-Suite - The Aesop's Fables - a short Series.
Dhananjay Parkhe

C Suite Mentor✥Business Strategy✥Sustainability✥Leadership✥Risk Management✥Pro-Bono Advisor✥Consultant✥Educator✥

In C-Suite - The Aesop's Fables - a short Series.

Aesop's fables

Aesop's Fables are great stories and analogies for training and communications in General Management and very relevant In C-Suites.


Aesop's Fables date from the 6th century BC.  Aesop was supposedly a Phrygian slave, and met his end when thrown over a cliff at Delphi for being ugly and deformed.  Whatever the story of Aesop, the fables that bear his name (Aesop collected the fables, he didn't write them) contain timeless lessons.
Aesop's Fables also gave rise to and reflect many of today's expressions and cliches.
Aesop's Fables total more than 300. Here is presenting to you a short series of  best of Aesop's Fables.
Whatever people may say, Boss Bashing is Universally popular Corporate Sport (?) and can not die a Death.   When not a boss, I confess having indulged in it, When I became a boss - those in the peer group still indulged in it and I was an active partner;  (although, there was a greater secrecy).  I know that,  In C-Suite usually the BOD or the Chairman especially the NED's who ask tough questions are the target of boss-bashing which is again a favourite Corporate Sport, sometimes played offline on Golf  Courses or while playing Cards. But to criticise and make fun of people 'Especially' behind their back is So much Fun ! :)

The Story of Belly and the members (also known as quarrel between the body parts)

One day the various parts (Aesop says 'members') of the human body, including the brain, arms, legs, eyes, feet, hands, lungs, etc., got together to discuss the body's belly and what they thought about its contribution to the group efforts on behalf of the body.
The body parts were all unhappy and resentful for various reasons, and chose to target their collective anxieties at the belly, in a rather bullying way. The unhappy body parts decided that the belly was not doing enough towards maintaining the body's operations, and accused the belly of spending its time lazily consuming food and allowing other members to do all the work. "We have decided that we will no longer do what we need to do in order to feed you," they said to the belly, "Because you do nothing to help us, and you are lazy and unproductive."
And they stopped feeding the belly.   The belly soon starved.    But then so did the body and all of its parts starve too.   The unhappy body parts now realized - too late unfortunately to save themselves and the body - that although the belly seemed to be doing nothing, it had in fact been fulfilling a vital function necessary for the wellbeing of the body and all of its parts.
Moral: Very Often group efforts include certain members whose contributions may seem inconsequential or less valuable than others, and whose behaviours may seem different and less worthy than other louder more obvious contributors, ( for e.g. Sales People) but it is not generally such a simple matter.
Group dynamics are complex, and it is easy to misinterpret and undervalue other members' efforts when we do not understand the entire situation, and particularly when we do not understand how individual members might be crucial to overall teamwork and results.
When we target and victimise group members we weaken the group, and all of its members.

Did you know...

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