Friday, November 17, 2006

Buzz Words

For the 10+ years I've had a "career" I've worked in the non-profit field which definitely a unique work environment. This new job is the first time I've "dipped my toes" into corporate America and it has been an education. In a future post I may spend more time comparing the two, but for now, I am going to concentrate on one difference that is most obvious to me as an outsider. Buzz words.

From the first day I was there, I would hear various words/phrases over and over again in the course of every conversation and meeting. What the heck are they talking about? What the heck does that mean? Why didn't I learn this in college? lol

It was then that I finally understood the meaning of buzz words to the full extent of definition. This linguistic "skill" is not used merely to make you sound and look more sophisticated or professional. It is not urban legend - the words and phrases are actually ingrained and mired in the crazy mesh of companies. And these suckers just fly out of mouths in normal conversation and with the ease that I have to admire, if not laugh at (in my head of course). Is it only a very Corporate America thing? Do European corporations use this linguistic style? I'd be interested to know.

Since I feel knowledge is meant to be shared, I will now commence in listing the most common (and my favorite) "buzz words" should you somehow find yourself immersed in Corporate America.

Here we go ...ahem...

1. Drive (and derivitives such as driver, driving, etc) - "in charge of; managing." Such as - Al is driving the project; Stacy, you drive this event.

2. Circle Back - "follow up; touch base with." Such as - I wanted to circle back with you and apologize for that email I sent; Did David circle back with you concerning the new program launch?

3. Push Back - "lean on, follow up but with more pressure" used when someone doesn't agree with the answer given. Such as - when a boss confronted with the fact that one of his guys backed out at the last minute from a VERY important committment - Let me push back at Ed and see if his reasons for not going remain the same.

4. Solving for - this one seems obvious - Such as - We are solving for the customer. We are solving for efficiency of resources.

5. Bandwidth - "amount of 'resources' available" - resources usually meaning employees. Such as - The program launches in a month, call customer service to make sure they have the bandwidth.

There are a couple more that stick out but I am becoming so used to hearing them, I forget what they are! (plus this post is already long and prolly boring)

More later..

PS - Lets all pray for and send good thoughts for my friend's funny dog Haley. (I swear I've heard her say "I love you.") She had surgery today and hopefully all is well. We love her!


Anonymous said...

great blog!

Anonymous said...

I've taken the "action item" of "following up" on your blog with my own list of "driving factors." I am summarily giving myself an A plus. this has been a "key accomplishment" of the day. However, I'm having trouble "getting my arms around" some of the jargon, as I've been out of the corporate world for awhile now. I may have become a "trailing spouse" in fact.

Texas Espresso said...

East of Oregon - Thanks! I'm still learning...

Jessica - Sounds like someone could give me lessons! hehe great comment and oh so true.