25 Indispensable Business Terms

Business School Reunion - BTVS-style. Back row: Tara (Amber Benson), Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Xander (Nicholas Brendon), Anya (Emma Caulfield), Wesley (Alexis Denisof), Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), Oz (Seth Green), Angel (David Boreanaz), Spike (James Masters), Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) & Joyce (Kristine Sutherland). Front row: Creator/Writer/Director (Joss Whedon) & Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar). Absent Giles (Anthony Stewart Head)

The first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired on 10th March 1997. To commemorate its 20th anniversary – and of course to celebrate 1st April 2017 – peterjamesthomas.com is pleased to present this comprehensive – and wholly indispensable – illustrated list of business terminology, Slayer-style:
 
 
1. Stakeholder [1]

Stakeholder

“The Freshman” – Season 4, Episode 1.

2. Stakeholder Management [2]

Stakeholder Management

Promotional shot.

3. Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement

“Something Blue” – Season 4, Episode 9.

4. Cross-functional

Cross functional

“Consequences” – Season 3, Episode 15.

5. Cross-functional Team

Cross-functional Team

“The Wish” – Season 3, Episode 9.

6. Institutionalise

Institutionalise

“Normal Again” – Season 6, Episode 17.

7. Presentation Deck

Presentation Deck

“First Date” – Season 7, Episode 14.

8. Playing Hardball

Playing Hardball

“The Gift” – Season 5, Episode 22.

9. Key Player

Key Player

“Buffy vs Dracula” – Season 5, Episode 1.

10. Platform

Platform

“The Gift” – Season 5, Episode 22.

11. Think Outside the Box

Think outside the box

“Bargaining, Part 1” – Season 6, Episode 1.

12. Vision Statement

Vision statement

“Restless” – Season 4, Episode 22.

13. Machine Learning

Machine Learning

“Intervention” – Season 5, Episode 18.

14. Doing the Heavy Lifting

Doing the Heavy Lifting

“The Gift” – Season 5, Episode 22.

15. Town Hall Meeting

Town Hall Meeting

“Band Candy” – Season 3, Episode 6.

16. Empower

Empower

“Chosen” – Season 7, Episode 22.

17. Drinking the Kool Aid

Drinking the Kool Aid

“Destiny” – Angel, Season 5, Episode 8 [3].

18. Bleeding Edge

Bleeding Edge

“This Year’s Girl” – Season 4, Episode 15.

19. Best Practice

Best Practice

“Once More with Feeling” – Season 6, Episode 7.

20. Animal Spirits

Animal Spirits

“The Pack” – Season 1, Episode 6.

21. Change Management

Change Management

“Checkpoint” – Season 5, Episode 12.

22. Face Time

Face Time

“Who Are You?” – Season 4, Episode 16.

23. Scalable

Scalable

“The Gift” – Season 5, Episode 22.

24. Take Offline

Take offline

“I, Robot… You, Jane” – Season 1, Episode 8.

25. Wow Factor

Wow Factor

“Tabula Rasa” – Season 6, Episode 8.

 
With inspiration drawn from Business Buzzword Bingo and Forbes Most Annoying Business Jargon, as well as the author’s own experience. With love (and of course enormous apologies) to everyone who worked at, or for, Mutant Enemy.

Except for the banner photo, which is © Entertainment Weekly / Time Inc., all images most likely © Warner Brothers Entertainment, but sourced from all over.
 


 
Notes

 
[1]
 
I must admit that it was the word “stakeholder” which first planted the seed that grew into this article. Whenever I hear the rather vapid term in a business context, an image of Sarah Michelle Gellar wafts unbidden into my consciousness; which is no doubt what the person using the term intended all along of course.
 
[2]
 
This image already crept into the notes section of Themes from a Chief Data Officer Forum – the 180 day perspective.
 
[3]
 
OK, I may have cheated here, though it could be argued that Angel also “started” on 10th March 1997 rather than 5th October 1999. I’d welcome any suggestions for a more BTVS-themed image.

 

 

Google Fools Day

Happy April Fools Day from Google

A nice touch – pointed out by @CurtMonash (who seems to be cropping up on my blog quite a bit at the moment):

  • Results 1 – 10 of about 63,300,000 for peter thomas. (2.00 shakes of a lamb’s tail)
  • Results 1 – 10 of about 63,300,000 for peter thomas. (0.10 microfortnights)
  • Results 1 – 10 of about 63,300,000 for peter thomas. (1.21 gigawatts)

and so on…

Try it yourself here .

Though I suspect you have only a few hours left.
 


 
Also worth checking out:

  1. The burgeoning NoData movement, led by revolutionary in chief @merv.
  2. The cutting-edge concept of Subterranean Computing, championed by @ocdqblog – so much more substantive than The Cloud.

 

No-fooling: A new blog-tagging meme – by Curt Monash

Software Memories - a Curt Monash blog

By way of [very necessary] explanation, this post is a response to an idea started on the blog of Curt Monash (@CurtMonash), doyen of software industry analysts. You can read the full article here. This is intended as an early April Fools celebration.

A summary:

[…] the Rules of the No-Fooling Meme are:

Rule 1: Post on your blog 1 or more surprisingly true things about you,* plus their explanations. I’m starting off with 10, but it’s OK to be a lot less wordy than I’m being. I suggest the following format:

  • A noteworthy capsule sentence. (Example: “I was not of mortal woman born.”)
  • A perfectly reasonable explanation. (Example: “I was untimely ripped from my mother’s womb. In modern parlance, she had a C-section.”)

Rule 2: Link back to this post. That explains what you’re doing.
Rule 3: Drop a link to your post into the comment thread. That will let people who check here know that you’ve contributed too.
Rule 4: Ping 1 or more other people encouraging them to join in the meme with posts of their own.

*If you want to relax the “about you” part, that’s fine too.

I won’t be as dramatic as Curt, nor will I drop any names (they have been changed to protect the guilty). I also think that my list is closer to a “things you didn’t know about me” than Curt’s original intention, but hopefully it is in the spirit of his original post. I have relaxed the “about me” part for one fact as well, but claim extenuating circumstances.

My “no-fooling” facts are, in (broadly) reverse chronological order:

  1. I have recently corrected a Physics paper in Science – and please bear in mind that I was a Mathematician not a Physicist; I’m not linking to the paper as the error was Science’s fault not the scientists’ and the lead author was very nice about it.
  2. My partner is shortly going to be working with one of last year’s Nobel Laureates at one of the world’s premier research institues – I’m proud, so sue me!
  3. My partner, my eldest son and I have all attended (or are attending) the same University – though separated by over 20 years.
  4. The same University awarded me 120% in my MSc. Number Theory exam – the irony of this appeals to me to this day; I was taught Number Theory by a Fields Medalist; by way of contrast, I got a gamma minus in second year Applied Mathematics.
  5. Not only did I used to own a fan-site for a computer game character, I co-administered a universal bulletin board (yes I am that old) dedicated to the same character – even more amazingly, there were female members!
  6. As far as I can tell, my code is still part of the core of software that is used rather widely in the UK and elsewhere – though I suspect that a high percentage of it has succumbed to evolutionary pressures.
  7. I have recorded an eagle playing golf – despite not being very good at it and not playing at all now.
  8. I have played cricket against the national teams of both Zimbabwe (in less traumatic times) and the Netherlands – Under 15s and Under 19s respectively; I have also played both with and against an England cricketer and against a West Indies cricketer (who also got me out), but I said that I wasn’t going to name drop.
  9. [Unlike Curt] I only competed in one chess tournament – I came fourth, but only after being threatened with expulsion over an argument to do with whether I had let go of a bishop for a nanosecond; I think I was 11 at the time.
  10. At least allegedly, one of my antecedents was one of the last hangmen in England – I’m not sure how you would go about substantiating this fact as they were meant to be sworn to secrecy; equally I’m not sure that I would want to substantiate it.
  11. And a bonus fact (which could also be seen as oneupmanship vis à vis Curt):

  12. One of the articles that I wrote for the UK climbing press has had substantially more unique views than any of my business-related articles on here (save for the home page itself) – sad, but true, if you don’t believe me, the proof is here.

 


 
Other Monash-related posts on this site:

 

Pigeonholing – A tragedy

Introduction

Pigeon/Hole

Way back when I wrote Vision vs Pragmatism I mentioned that:

There is nothing that homo sapiens likes more than to pigeonhole his or her fellows. We tend to take a binary approach to people’s skills. Fred is a visionary, but you wouldn’t want him to run a project. Jane is brilliant at the details, but she doesn’t see the big picture. Perhaps we are more comfortable with the idea that the strength of any colleague is automatically balanced by a weakness; it brings them back down to a reasonable level.

This topic came up again in a follow-on discussion I had with a CIO who had attended the Chase Zander IT Director Forum last week. During this chat, we spoke about the benefit of having a broad set of skills, but recognised that it was not always easy to find roles that allowed a significant number of these to be used.

My thoughts went back to a conversation I had had with a prospective employer a few weeks earlier. In pondering this, as sometimes happens with me, it became somewhat expanded, embellished and took on the form of a scene in a play.
 
 
Act II. Scene 1. An office in a major capital.

Prospective employer: So you are a business intelligence person?
The hero: That’s right.
Prospective employer: But you are also involved in change management?
The hero: Yes, I have worked a lot on cultural transformation.
Prospective employer: And it says here that you have also developed and implemented financial and other systems.
The hero: Yes I have done all of that as well.
Prospective employer: And that you were one of the people who ran a start-up organisation.
The hero: Yes I did that, it was a really interesting part of my career.
Prospective employer: Also you have both run multiple IT departments, managing a significant number of staff, and have acted as a one-man-band in internal consulting positions?
The hero: Those are both true assertions, yes.
Prospective employer: And here there is some experience working in Operations, oh and Finance as well. You seem to have got around.
The hero: Well, I have done a lot of different things over the years and managed to be successful in many of them.
Prospective employer: Your CV also mentions strategy development, monitoring budgets, being a trainer and mentoring developing managers..
The hero: Those are all things that I have done it’s true.
Prospective employer: Well this is all very interesting, but I’m not really sure whether you are a business person, an IT expert, or just a Jack-of-all-trades and master of none.
The hero: Well I suppose I have worked more in an IT context than most other things, but those the achievements that I have been most proud of have crossed multiple areas.
Prospective employer: IT eh? OK I understand that, if you could rewrite your CV along those lines then I’ll have a think about what opportunities we may have in that department..
The hero: Um… OK… I’ll do that. Thank you for your time.
Exit Prospective employer, stage left.
The hero takes centre stage for his big soliloquy.
The hero: IT, or not IT? That is the question…

 
I had always thought that being pigeonholed was a negative thing to happen to someone. I now know better, it is apparently the key to getting a new job!
 


 
Readers are cordially invited to check the date of this blog posting.