Worthy-Pedia

Buzzwords and daily business theatre phrases easily explained.

Welcome to Worthy-Pedia, my “living” glossary for current BUZZWORDS and basics out there all around change management, and my reference page for some of the BUSINESS BULLSHIT TERMS and what I think about them. Enjoy!

I appreciate any comments, amendments and inputs you would like to share. You can submit these in the box at the bottom of this page. Having said this, please keep me in the loop, let me know your priorities asap so I can optimize my work flow and scale all synergies…blablabla

Agile Management
Business Coaching
Deep Dives
Digitization
Disruption
Diversity
Hands-on-mentality
Mentoring
Networking
New Work
Soft Skills

Agile Management

…is a hot topic without a doubt. However, the underlying concept leads back to software engineering. In general, agility is defined as the ability to rapidly respond to change, to think, understand and move quickly.

Today, it is a project management method as well as an established leadership and organizational concept. Agile leadership for example, represents a culture of trust and ownership among employees. In my opinion it’s mainly about attitude and mindset of each participant in the business game.

Business Coaching

…is a solution-oriented dialogue format for business owner, decision maker, managers and teams as well as for individuals in organizations. It refers to one’s tasks and resources in daily work life.

It helps to enhance personal skills and increase options for action. It supports the personal and professional development of people in their work environments. All relevant system levels in an organization are being considered. The client takes the center stage in the respective role in the organization. A successful coaching requires a great coach, and even more importantly the right mindset, attitude and resources of the client. Freewill, motivation, potential and time are the absolute basis for success.

Deep Dives

…is a term that originated in aquatic sports. In a business context it describes an in-depth examination or analysis of a certain topic. Usually that happens if managers join together in meetings and fail to make a decision despite all available facts and data.

Then a number of employees are being sent off for these so-called deep dive analyses in order to enhance the decision process. Beware: in most cases these actions lame daily business and productivity. Oftentimes hundreds of power point slides are being produces with facts and figures, which lead to even more confusion in the next meeting!

Digitization

…still seems strange to many people. This term has several meanings. The simplest definition is that analog content or processes are being transformed into a digital form a workflow. In business this has major impacts on the traditional workplace and operations.

New technologies are being developed or purchased, and daily procedures to some extent change drastically. This is why many people fear digitization. Traditional workplaces and activities are obsolete, and it is uncertain how many and which kind of new employment will arise. In my opinion, however, just as much as the industrial revolution digitization will not dispose human work.

Disruption

…means that an existing business model or a whole economy is disrupted by a very strong and growing innovation. In essence, existing or traditional business models, products, technologies or services are being removed by innovative solutions. This term is very common among start-ups. It expresses the revolutionary mindset of business founders.

Diversity

…is a very controversial and interesting topic. It is a concept based on applied social studies and social psychology. In Germany, it is being used mainly to differentiate between and acknowledge characteristics of induvial persons and groups of people.

Diversity of persons is commonly considered based on culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or philosophy of life. But there are more differentiating social and cultural factors such as way of working, perceptual patterns etc., that enhance diversity in the sense and context of work life.

From my perspective, a diverse team within an organizational context consists of individual team members with different views, inputs and solutions towards a concrete business challenge. This is much more important than differences in age, gender, culture or something like that. Different views, inputs and solutions significantly complete or even increase my options on measures and actions. That is the diversity I am looking for!

Hands-on-mentality

…is a common requirement you can find in job ads. It simply describes the ability to walk the talk. Frankly speaking, companies seek for team members that practically get things done.

Managers for example are required to tackle daily issues at work instead of delegating everything. In my opinion, this requirement is just an empty notion of no relevance. There is no such thing as a job where you can decide not to get your work done. However, many job ads even ask for people with “distinct” or “remarkable” hands-on-mentality in order to add some relevance to it. One could have the impression that business owner and managers silently cry for help as it seems as if it is not a matter of course for employees to get things done.

Mentoring

…is a tool used in human resource development. An experienced colleague (mentor) acts as an advisor towards a junior staff member (mentee) by sharing her or his experiences and expertise. The mentor further connects the mentee with formal and informal contacts within the organization.

This form of relationship does not only exist in work life. In order to support the mentee on a professional and a personal level, other topics outside of work and career can be touched on, such as recreation, belief or spirituality.

By the way: in Greek mythology Mentor was a friend of Odysseus and the educator of his son Telemach.

Networking

…describes the active organizing, maintaining and expanding of personal and professional relationships and contacts. Goal-oriented networking provides the basis for participants benefiting from each other.

Related participants keep each other up to date. Based on their network, they are able to provide each other with advantages or even career boosts irrespective of their actual performance and skills (however, they would never say this out loud). Back in the days this used to be called nepotism. Nowadays, the principle of social networking is based on online communities such as facebook, LinkedIn and XING.

New Work

…now it is getting interesting. New Work summarizes several, mostly alternative working methods and organizational approaches. The term goes back to the social philosopher Frithjof Bergmann, who developed the theoretical concept of new working principles by mid the 1970s. Thus, New Work isn’t really new. However, it is important for the so-called working environment 4.0.

All the new working approaches (holacracy, agile, dynamic networks) have one thing in common: the role of manager and their team members must be redefined. This does not imply lean management structures per se, but the traditional hierarchical organizational structures are not in accordance with the ideas of New Work.

My personal opinion about New Work

New Work is not a theory or method. It is a movement that takes place since many years. The direction that organizations and their managers are moving towards, is very positive in my view.

Its goals are among other things: less complexity, faster decision making, more innovation and higher work efficiency and satisfaction. That is why this is one of the favorite topics in the world of business since many years. However, during my tenure as a business manager I have also seen the downsides of this movement.

Thesis 1: “New Work requires a significant agile mindset. Not everyone strives for self-management and ownership.”

I have seen many cases of managers and staff facing difficulties in becoming more “agile” after working in traditional and hierarchical organizations over years. And not everyone seeks autonomy at their workplace. Many people are lost at work without clear guidance and leadership. Current studies show that about 50 per cent of them are happy following instructions and direction.

Thesis 2: “The elimination of old hierarchical structures will lead to chaos unless new structures are being established, that allow everyone in a team to act in clear roles and make reasonable decisions.”

Soft Skills

…are all characteristics and abilities, that relate to the personality of a human as opposed to his expert knowledge (hard skills).

Soft skills can be classified into social competencies and personal capabilities:

  • Social competencies (e.g. communication skills, empathy, team playing) have massive impacts in business regarding one’s relationship with other colleagues, superiors and customers.
  • Personal capabilities on the other hand are related to one’s own approach and attitude towards work (motivation, organizational skills, accountability and ownership, creativity, etc.).

Soft skills are becoming more and more important in today’s business world, e.g. if you look at the increasing relevance of these skills in recruiting processes and people development approaches.

And now it’s your turn!

Please feel free to submit your ideas, amendments and comments. If your input is valuable, I am happy to publish it under your name or anonymously:

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