Achieving Elegance

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(1).  Bringing multiple disciplines together to build a more comprehensive and competitive offering.  In other words, making your website slightly nicer-looking at tremendous cost.


“People, we want to focus on achieving elegance in the way we market our services.  I want at least one idea from everyone in this room on how we can do this.  Everyone except Greg.”


Props to Denise M. for the submission.


Blue Ocean Strategy

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(1).  An initiative undertaken by a company to produce unlimited opportunities.  It is, of course, a pipe dream that results in over-diversification and, ultimately, a reversion back to the company’s core competencies (see also cultural evolution).


“We’re planning to adopt a blue ocean strategy for 2013.  We’re now going to focus on both importing AND exporting!”


Props to Jack D. for the submission.


Client Engagement

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(1).  A fancy way to say “talking to customers”, used by consultants to push some new seminar your bosses think will make you more personable or something.


“Okay team, I want you to welcome Mitch here who’s going to be talking to us about maximizing client engagement.  Please give Mitch your full attention for the next three hours as he explains his system for making the most of your client meetings.  I’ll be available by Blackberry if anyone needs me … have a nice weekend!”



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(1).  Mysterious secrets known only to business consultants which are intended to make a company operate in a more proficient and cost-effective manner (see achieve scale).  Usually referenced by project managers to indicate to their superiors that they are adding value, when in reality, they are simply maintaining an endless “to do” list.


“Look, Tim, my job here is to find efficiencies that will make us a better business.  Now, if you don’t mind, I have to get back to re-writing our coffee break policies and procedures.”


Emotional Intelligence

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(1).  Some kind of ridiculous psycho-babble about feeling your client’s pain or some crap.


“Alright, team…this is Richard.  He wrote a book on how to improve your emotional intelligence.  I don’t know what it means either, but it sounds like something we should have, so you’re going to spend the rest of the day hearing about it while I hit the range.  Have fun!”



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(1).  The number of things you need to do to accomplish a task on your company’s computer system.  The term is usually used when proposing system upgrades that will never be approved.


“Megan, if we spend a few dollars now on this upgrade, it will significantly reduce keystrokes for the entire team, meaning we should be able to keep headcount static for at least another year.  Bangalore?  No, I wasn’t aware we were moving Operations to Bangalore…”



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(1).  Those useless reports on who does what, how many customers they work with, and so on, and so forth….  The upside: It keeps whole departments of analysts employed.  God Bless America (and/or India)!


“So, Jeremy ran the metrics on our regional sales teams.  It turns out we have more customers in densely-populated areas than in rural ones.  Go figure.”


No Names Discussion

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(1).  A call to a competitor or client by a consultant without disclosing who they are working for (and usually pretending to be a prospect) in order to get some information out of them about their business or operations.


“So, we had a no names discussion with the folks at IBM, as you requested…turns out they make computers.  It’ll all be in our final report…”


Pain Point

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(1).  A word consultants and IT guys use to identify systems or processes that decrease worker productivity, in an attempt to develop better methods (also known as efficiencies).


“So, tell me Andy, would you consider the company’s onboarding process one of your pain points?  You mentioned in your questionnaire that it takes two weeks and involves seven different levels of approval….hmm…let’s just mark that down as a ‘yes’.”



Real Life Lingo


It’s always tough to hear when someone has a pain point about something, because you know it’s never just about that one thing.  I was once in a meeting with a local nursery where everything we said and everything we recommended was one of this guy’s pain points.  “We really need to update your meta descriptions, they are currently all blank except for the homepage that simply reads, “HOME OF THE BUSH KING”, and we really don’t think you are sending the right message here.”  What does this guy say to me?  “Nope, can’t do it, updating code is one of our pain points here.”


Godspeed Bush King, Godspeed.