What’s in a name? (Part 1 of 3)

Have we short changed ourselves? Have we undervalued or underplayed our hand of cards? Should we be rebranding? What am I talking about? Change Management of course. The focus of all of the previous blog posts are a bit of a give-away on that answer! Let me expand on what I mean.

jargonMany people close to me know my irritations and opinions on the issue of many common terms. I get annoyed when people say they want others to “buy in”. Not the most irritating phrase but one that contradicts the nature of approaching engagement. Using the word buy automatically suggests sacrificing something of value – often money when really buying something, but it also suggest a choice of retailer selling the offer of the day. That is rarely a choice in change events and the cost is potentially open to some sort of discussion before commitment – not something I’ve ever seen at Walmart!

Another frustration for me is “training”. In this day and age we rarely train people to do a job, we facilitate their learning. Training originates from getting people to repeat an activity over and over again until they have the skill do it without thinking and undertake the required actions instinctively – much like the way you train your pet. Most humans have an ability to undertake reasoned thinking and embrace an educated understanding of new things. I often quote the phrase (or a variation of it) that “animals are trained but humans learn”. So if you are going to refer to a learning event for your employees, stakeholders or others try to stop saying they are going to be trained … it’s quite an aggressive, old school command and control phrase that suggests something is going to be done to someone, endlessly until they comply!

confusedSo those are two of my main gripes, but I am also getting increasingly frustrated with so many other words and phrases that are used without true understanding of their meaning or just thrown out there as a buzz word. I wish people would use simple words to explain what they are doing and why they are doing it. I am increasingly losing patience with all these transformed operational application identifiers – jobs and titles to the rest of us!

I find an increasing use of organizational everything these days – great word to use if you use it correctly but if I hear organizational change management, to name but one term, being used for all things change management I swear I will find my vocabulary using several shorter, four letter words in response. But I will expose my thoughts on this and many other annoying terms in the next post, before concluding with some of the impressive exercises that have rebranded terms for the better e.g. Financial, Procurement and Accounting Delivery Services now being called, the Money People!

More to follow ….

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