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Today's terms (Consulting and business)

David Sherry
2 min read

Not everyone in your company uses and interprets language the same, and that causes issues.

I remember this was a continual problem in trying to get on the same page with my team at Death to Stock. Miscommunications would persist until finally, we realized we were speaking about different things because of the terminology we used.

One person might use the word "MVP" or even "marketing" and you'd have a huge variation in what that person meant about it.

So, defining terms can be incredibly useful for teams trying to get on the same page and communicate well.

Language itself is powerful. You can rapidly re-align people by just using the right terms.

If there are miscommunications with your team or co-workers or co-founders, could it be that you're speaking about different things?

In my practice as a Partner to entrepreneurs, I have a variety of terms I use constantly.

I thought I would share a few of them with you because they are useful!

Try repeating them often and see if it helps you re-align.

"Project" – A project is finite, it has a clearly defined "end" to it. It can be successful or unsuccessful. A project is a specific vision about something you want to create in the future. The more detailed the better. You can paint a picture for someone by sharing all of the ways you will know whether a project is complete or not.

"How will we know when this project is completed?"

"Impact" – Impact is what happens once a project is completed. They are the benefits the company or person accrues, personally or professionally.

Impacts are the reactions of the world to your work. This could be receiving money, attention, opportunity, someone sending you an email, that you gathered data...An impact is like poking one side of a deflated beach ball and having the other side pop out.

"What do you expect the impact to be of your work?"

"Workflow" – A workflow is a process by which you consistently get a result. It's like a process except that it allows for more creativity. Workflows are the ways in which artists repeat success without getting caught in micromanagement.

"Let's design a workflow for this project so that we can ship every month on time."

"Obstacle" – Obstacles are any question, blocker, or problem we face that we are unsure about how we'll overcome. An obstacle is like a wall in front of us that we can't see how to get over.

"What obstacles are in your way from being successful with this project?"

"Institutional Knowledge"  – Institutional knowledge, I use as saying "what did the organization learn and retain?" Institutional knowledge is gained by organizations when they solve difficult problems. The people of an organization document or carry those learnings forward as a company evolves.

"How can we apply this institutional knowledge to our future strategy?"

What terms do you find yourself constantly saying?

And how would the people around you benefit from you defining them?

As always, have an amazing day ahead,

xx David

Community Building