Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Brush Up on Your Corporate Jargon

Air Cover: When a senior manager agrees to take the flak for an unpopular decision, while someone lower in the chain of command does the dirty work. As in: "The CFO will provide air cover, while you reduce staff by half." (A term borrowed from the military.)

Alpha Pup: A market research term referring to the "coolest kid in the neighborhood." As in: "If the alpha pups go for it, we'll sell millions of them."

Bleeding Edge: Beyond cutting edge. So new, its creators aren't entirely sure where it's headed.

Business Ecosystems: When companies in the same markets work cooperatively and competitively to introduce innovations, support new products and serve customers.

Chips and Salsa: Refers to computers. Chips = hardware; Salsa= software.

Co-Evolution: A theory that a company can create new business, markets and industries by working with direct competitors, customers and suppliers.

Cookie Jar Accounting: An accounting practice where a company uses reserves from good years against losses that might be incurred in bad years.

Defenestrate: A 17th century word, now back in fashion, that means to throw someone or something out the window. As in: "Let's defenestrate this marketing strategy."

Dial It Back: To tone down. As in: "Your sales pitch is too aggressive. Dial it back."

800-Pound Gorilla: A company that dominates an industry short of having a complete monopoly.

End-to-End: Used largely by technology vendors to imply that whatever they build for one part of your organization will work with whatever they build for another.

Future-Proof: To create a product that won't be made obsolete by the next wave of technological advancements.

Ideation: Brainstorm session.

Living Document: A document intended to be continually revised and updated.

Market Cannibalization: When a company's new product negatively affects sales of its existing, related products, i.e., it eats its own market.

Optics: How things appear.

Pain Points: A favorite of consultants used to describe places where an organization is hurting due to poor operating structure, technology or inefficiencies.

Pockets of Resistance: Another borrowed military term that describes a person or group that attempts to stall, block or kill a project.

Reaching Critical Mass: Having enough customers or market share to become profitable.

Repurposing: Taking content from one medium (books, magazine, etc.) and repackaging it to be used in another medium.

Reverbiagize: To reword a proposal with the hope of getting it accepted by people who didn't like it the first time around. As in: "It's the same concept, we've just reverbiagized it."

Tszuj: (Pronounced "zhoozh") To tweak, finesse or improve.

Value Stream: Six Sigma term that encompasses every step in the process of producing and delivering a product or service (whether it adds value or not).

Value Migration: Used in industries where there is little market growth, the term refers to the movement of growth and profit opportunities from one company to another.

White Space Opportunity: New high-potential growth possibilities that are related to but don't quite match the capabilities and skills of the organization.

Thanks, MSN.

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