Saturday, August 22, 2009

Laugh At The Labels

The business world is full of acronyms and phrases and lots of them make no sense. Years ago, I thought an elevator speech was called an elevator speech because the networking group I was in made you stand up when you did it.

When I heard about a SCRUM, my first thought went to rugby. Not a bad guess, since that is exactly where the term is "stolen" from.

And until recently, I misunderstood the phrase (about motivation): carrot and stick. I pictured a carrot tied to the stick, and placed just out of reach of the person, in order to urge them to move ahead. When it fact, it means to reward the good behavior (yum! carrot!) and punish (fwap! ouch!) the bad.

I think I misunderstood the carrot and stick idiom because I believe that if you praise the good behavior, offer helpful comments, have a clear vision for your team, and work hard, the punishment phase is not needed.

So, go ahead and laugh at all the labels that have been created to help our companies (the consultants and authors that keep making them up sure are. all the way to the bank in fact.) Just remember to treat others the way that you want to be treated. Nothing else really matters.
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