What category do you belong to?
Are you a trendsetter or a follower when it comes to work-related innovation?
Were you one of the first to jump on the agile train, one of the last, or do you still have to start?
And what about building a hybrid workforce culture?
Early adopter, mainstream, or laggard?
Do you still use KPIs, prefer OKR, or do you even know what I’m talking about?
What about psychological safety?
One of your initiatives, a passionate conversation, or just another hype that will go by.
Last but not least directive or participative leadership.
Just do as I say, or what do you think?
Does culture eat strategy for breakfast, or is the importance of culture overstated?
Is your profit still just profit, or do you call it underlying profit?
Many of these words are mainstream business language today.
Ten years ago, we had never heard about psychological safety or hybrid workforce culture.
There’s an element of logic to this; I get it.
The times are changing. Companies, leaders, and cultures are moving on, and new trends enter the boardrooms.
I’m not trying to say here that we should keep living in the past and ignore some of these new trends and new words entering our work life.
I have been using many of these words at some point during my recent work years.
The point I’m making here is that many of these buzzwords are often abused.
Agile is a great example.
If you believe what you hear, everyone is working agile these days.
Well, believe me or not, I can tell you there are still more companies that are not agile than those that are.
They may say they’re agile, but the reality is different.
Another example is psychological safety.
Many companies claim they have a culture of psychological safety. They talk about it in hypothetical sentences as a weekly initiative.
That’s when I like to ask the boss whether they know whether people feel safe within the team(s), they’re leading.
It’s a question I often ask these days.
Sometimes they say yes. And that may be true.
Sometimes they say I don’t know. Then I suggest they ask.
Sometimes a painful silence occurs. That’s when they know the painful truth.
When companies take measures and create a culture of agility, hybrid working, psychological safety, or all of these, the world of working becomes a better place.
But in many cases, these principles remain empty buzzwords that are only useful for playing buzzword bingo.
Just in case you don’t know what buzzword bingo is…
You write twelve to twenty business buzzwords on paper, like some of the words I’ve used above.
Please don’t forget agility 🙂
Then you go and attend meetings and cross off the words here. When you have a complete column or row, you win.
Fun to play by yourself because you always win.
But more fun to play with someone at the same meeting and just listen to the business babble.
Your turn: Buzzword or not?
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