Sunday, January 24, 2010

Buzzing Around


At work, we’re in a huge state of transition; the company for which I’ve worked for the last 6 months lost their contract, effective 1-31-10; the new company was kind enough to offer me a job with them (same office, same everything, but February 1 I’ll be employed by a different company).  We’ve been working like demons to make sure the transition is as “seamless” as possible, but this is a whole big bunch like a divorce:  everybody’s trying to be very nice and very professional, but the old company doesn’t like it one bit and the new company is anxious to get started, with “us kids” (my staff and me) in the middle. 

We’re ripping out the old office stuff and installing new; it’s got to be coordinated like D-Day; all the old ties need to be dissolved and all the new established---not just furniture and equipment (that’s fairly easy), but mapping thousands of computer fields, transitioning to completely different vendors, computer software, trying to fit square pegs into round holes, coordinating training and “onboarding” for staff, while trying to carry on with “normal” business.  I’m not solely responsible for all of this, not by a long shot, but I am involved in every one of the decisions; I’m a guest on every one of the 10,000 conference calls; I have to try to explain to the staff where we’re going and how we’re going to do it so they can push it out to the public….I’ve been getting home around 8 o’clock every night, eating something, and crashing.


In the process, I’ve learnt many new and fun buzzerswith which you can both baffle and amuse your little friends!

Granular”---imagine yourself on a beautiful beach; the white sand, the blue sky….so when you look at the beach, are you seeing one thing (the beach) or 10,000,000,000,000,000 things (each individual grain of sand)?  If you’re seeing all the granules, you’re getting “granular”.  So to “get granular” (short for “getting down to the granular level”, which is also used and technically correct while already being a bit passé) with regard to work means you are examining a thing at the microscopic, or lowest possible, level.  We’ve been “granular” a lot these last two weeks.  Conversely, you can stop someone cold by saying, “I’m not trying to get that granular here; I’m looking at the Big Picture.”  (It is still acceptable to look at the Big Picture).

Deliverables”---I owe you an Excel Spreadsheet, or some data, or a return phone call regarding a question you asked that I can’t answer.  I have a “Deliverable” for you.  (Question asked often this week by all:  “Let’s see, do I have any Deliverables for you?”).

Onboarding” (and its kinda/sorta counterpart, “reverse takeover”).  We are “onboarding” with the new company, while experiencing a “reverse takeover” with the old one.  In order to onboard correctly, we must remember to “ramp up” our knowledge base while “retrofitting” those things that do work but must be made to fit in with the new order.

Process Map”---this is a “flowchart” with a swanky new moniker!  I’ve been designing Process Maps for YEARS and didn’t even know!

Throw (insert name here) under the bus…”---if someone has to be thrown under the bus, hope it’s not you!  This is a new expression for a time-honored human practice:  scapegoating!  “Can you believe Fred just threw Barbara under the bus during that conference call???"  “Now look, I don’t want to throw old Fred under the bus here, but it WAS his department’s failure that caused this fiasco….”  “Barbara is trying to throw me under the bus on this thing, and I don’t like it even a little bit!”

It is what it is”---ok, guilty as charged on this one, I use it 100 times a day.  “We can’t change that, it is what it is.”

Circle back”---this means, “get back with” or “meet again to discuss this issue after we’ve both had a chance to check on the things we need to find out”.  “Janet, let’s circle back on Thursday, between “Calls” (short for “Conference Call”), on this issue, ok?  Now, will you need to circle back with Pierre before you circle back with me?”

And, not exactly a buzzword, but dreaded words for everyone in business in this era of conference calls taking up most of the day (to the point where you can’t get to your email!):  “(beep) Who just joined?”  We have conference calls with 20 people in 4 time zones; most just “mute out”, that is to say, mute their microphones and go on about whatever it is they’re doing; this is exceptionally annoying when someone has asked a complicated, 5-minute question and then said, “…isn’t that right, Janet?” and Janet, who is responsible for the answer but has been doing email, says, “I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?”

Honestly, at the end of the day, in order to break through the clutter and make it “pop”, I pick the low-hanging fruit by synergistically utilizing our human assets and integrating our Best Practices into the new paradigm, while not neglecting our Core Competencies. I have to herd cats in a seamless, integrated fashion while simultaneously ensuring that mission-critical, client-focused events stay on track and are timeline-compliant going forward. In order to accomplish this fast-track infrastructure retrofit, while ensuring that the analytics, metrics and logistics are taken together in a holistic, organic manner, great care must be exercised to avoid silo mentality and ensure granular-level co-opetition between ourselves and our business partners, being ever-mindful of the long tail that, if ignored, can have a catastrophic effect on the enterprise long-term. 

In other words, I’m basting the turkey and boiling the ocean here; I don’t have time to worry about a damn blog entry!   ;-)

(Think I’ll take a little bow on those last two paragraphs; I worked hard on them and they DO actually describe reality for me right now).

For those iphone users:  there’s an app for that.


bickits and honey


  1. Okay, you could actually get a new job with the paragraph that starts with "Honestly." It's obvious you can BS with the best of them! :)


  2. About that paragraph beginning with "Honestly..." I didn't find one single grammatical error. Good job. Meanwhile, go indulge in some biscuits and honey.

  3. Oh, I see you got the logo loaded.

  4. OK, that "Honestly ..." paragraph is a work of art, and nearly unreadable!

  5. This was fantastic...loved your buzzword dictionary. Circle back is my favorite...I'm going to have my husband read this. He'll love the conference call bit!