Org Vocabulary

All jobs include a vocabulary exercise, be it responding to a prospect need, or writing your appraisal or coming up with a methodology/strategy or just speaking publicly for a change especially KM jobs. What differentiates departments/companies is not their vocabularies but their stories and it takes long time to catch stories from different contexts.

Anyways problems of attrition in my industry gave rise to other problems as people migrated from company to company with their vocabulary.
To such an extent that even slidewares and pitches (to specific egos) across vendors started to sound same. I have heard vendor selectors claiming “that just changing the master layout of your presentation will make it exactly same as what I saw with the last vendor prospect”. I also know of some real stories when people moved from one large vendor to other with their slideware, actually confused these selectors because it was exactly the same “methodology”.

Second of the problem that arises from vocabulary is, for those that stuck around and got older in parent companies without switching. These seniors were stuck with limited stories in a restricted vocabulary/language of the company they are loyal to. That in itself is not the problem, it becomes one if all they have is old stories to make new changes in the enterprise, because nobody feels that story (distant in space, time and intent) and language itself has shifted to something else that these seniors cannot speak.

So sparking action internally or selling to your boss or prospect almost becomes impossible just by changing vocabulary or being stuck with one for too long.

What do you think KM Managers should do? What story should be listened? retold?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s