Buzzwords: You either love them or you hate them, and we bet we can guess which category you fall into based on your job title. Managers and CEOs love a good buzzword. They streamline communication by creating a common language and foster inclusivity within corporate culture. Workers will often use buzzwords to align themselves with leadership and to feel like part of the team. This is an effective system until buzzwords are used so often that they take on a life of their own. When a buzzword reaches its threshold, it no longer conveys its original intent but instead becomes meaningless to the point of being annoying. Just try to say, “I’m out of pocket today, let’s circle back tomorrow and really deep dive into that project,” without cringing. You can be sure that the person on the receiving end of a buzzword-laden statement is doing the same! Don’t worry; we’re here to save you from buzzword monotony. We’ve rounded up a few lesser-known business terms that will give you insight into some emerging language and keep you ahead of the trend:
- Carefrontation – A good manager’s priority should be to face issues as they occur and act on them in a constructive, objective way. Carefrontation is an emerging technique that unites traditional confrontation with an element of empathy. Instead of talking at the person in question, the manager would explain how they observed the situation, the feelings they have as a consequence of that situation, and provide clarity on appropriate alternative behavior. Many people withdraw when being confronted, but “carefronting” them may help them stay present and more readily accept criticism.
- Coopetition – Blending “cooperation” and “competition” to describe when business competitors work together in the hope of mutually beneficial results. One of the better-known examples of coopetition is between Microsoft and Intel. When Microsoft creates more powerful software, the demand for Intel processing chips increases, and when Intel produces faster chips, Microsoft becomes more valuable. This win/win relationship boosts revenue for both companies who would otherwise only be looking out for their self-interests and losing potential market share to each other and their competitors.
- ROR (Return On Relationship) – While ROI is tangible in dollars and cents, ROR provides value in the form of loyalty, sharing, and recommendation. In this age of social media and globalization, strong relationships with your customers, suppliers and partners are key for sustaining growth.
- Acqui-hire – Portmanteau describing a talent acquisition strategy. Merging “acquisition” and “hiring”, it’s the act of buying out a company primarily to recruit its employees rather than for the company’s products or services. In this acquisition structure, employees that don’t join the acquiring company are usually laid off.
- Datafication – Turning activities that were previously unrecorded into data which is then used to predict or shape behavior. On a personal level, wearing a FitBit datafies your movements, heart rate and steps so you can decide if you need to amp up your exercise program. Businesses are using datafication to learn about their customers’ behavior and optimize their processes. Datafication has propelled the formation of an entirely new industry that focuses solely on capturing and managing Big Data.
- CDO (Chief Data Officer) – Datafication has given rise to a new executive role responsible for providing vision and strategy for all data management activities. A CDO oversees and reports on data metrics and defines what kinds of information the company chooses to capture, retain and capitalize on. They are also accountable for all enterprise information/data management budgeting and initiatives. The rise of digital has given companies access to an exponential amount of information, and CDOs will be crucial in guiding and optimizing future business decisions.
- Conscious Capitalism – Refers to businesses that serve the interests of both human beings and the environment. These businesses choose to recognize and serve the interests of all major stakeholders: Customers, employees, investors, suppliers, communities, and the environment. The “Conscious Business Movement” values economic policy that addresses social and environmental concerns at both local and global levels. John Mackey, Whole Foods cofounder and co-CEO, and Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, helped to popularize this business strategy.
What buzzwords do you use around the office? Do you have any terms you think we should know? Tell us about them in the comments!