Indigenous Terms Glossary
Engagement with regard to Indigenous communities refers to involving Indigenous peoples in decision-making processes that affect their lives, lands, and resources. It is about building relationships, sharing information, and working collaboratively to ensure Indigenous peoples are fully and respectfully included in the decision-making process.
Indigenous communities can be found worldwide, and they may have different names and identities depending on their location and history. These communities have a unique and longstanding relationship with the land and environment. Their cultural, social, economic, and political practices and traditions are often deeply intertwined with their natural surroundings.
An Indigenous organization is a group formed and led by Indigenous peoples to promote and protect their cultural, social, economic, and political interests. These organizations can take many forms, including advocacy groups, community-based organizations, corporate structures, and self-governance bodies.
Reconciliation refers to acknowledging and addressing the historical and ongoing injustices and harms experienced by Indigenous peoples due to colonization, forced assimilation, and systemic discrimination. It involves building respectful and collaborative relationships between Indigenous peoples and the broader society based on mutual recognition, respect, and understanding. It is also based on the principle of recognizing and respecting the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples to self-determination, including the right to govern their communities and territories and to maintain and revitalize their cultures, languages, and traditions
ReconciliACTION” is a term that combines the words “reconciliation” and “action” to refer to the process of taking concrete steps and initiatives to advance reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and the broader society. ReconciliACTION emphasizes the importance of moving beyond words and symbols towards meaningful and transformative change that addresses the ongoing impacts of colonization and systemic discrimination. It can take many forms, including supporting Indigenous-led initiatives, engaging in meaningful consultation and collaboration with Indigenous peoples, and advocating for policy and legislative changes that recognize and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples. It also involves taking responsibility for the harms of the past and working towards restitution and reparations.
Decolonization is the process of undoing the legacy of colonialism and imperialism, which involves the removal of colonial structures and systems and restoring Indigenous sovereignty, governance, culture, and ways of life. Decolonization seeks to challenge and dismantle the social, cultural, economic, and political structures and practices imposed by colonial powers. It involves acknowledging and addressing the harms and injustices of the past, including the legacy of residential schools, forced relocations, and the Indian Act, among other policies and practices that have contributed to the marginalization and oppression of Indigenous peoples.
Indigenization is the process of incorporating Indigenous perspectives, knowledge, and practices into institutions, systems, and structures that have historically excluded or marginalized Indigenous peoples. It involves recognizing and valuing the unique contributions of Indigenous cultures, languages, and ways of living and working towards creating spaces and environments that are inclusive and responsive to Indigenous peoples and their needs.
Indigenous peoples are communities and societies with a long-standing and continuous connection to the lands, territories, and resources they traditionally occupy or use. Indigenous peoples are characterized by their distinct cultures, languages, knowledge systems, and ways of life, often shaped by their relationships with their ancestral lands and waters.
“First Nation” is a term commonly used in Canada to refer to Indigenous peoples who are members of one of the recognized Indigenous communities considered to be “First Nations” by the Canadian government. These communities are often called “bands” and comprise individuals with a common history, culture, language, and territory.
There are over 630 recognized First Nations in Canada, each with a unique identity and history. First Nations people have distinct legal rights and status under Canadian law, including rights to self-government, land, and resources.
An Inuit person is a member of one of the Indigenous communities that inhabit the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, the United States (Alaska), and Russia. The Inuit are one of the Indigenous peoples of Canada and are recognized as a distinct and separate Indigenous group with their unique history, language, culture, and traditions.
A Métis person is a member of a distinct Indigenous group in Canada that originated in the 18th and 19th centuries due to intermarriage and cultural exchange between Indigenous peoples and European settlers. As a result, the Métis developed a unique culture, language, and way of life reflecting Indigenous and European influences. The Métis are recognized as one of Canada’s three distinct Indigenous groups, along with First Nations and Inuit. The Métis people have a distinct history and culture and have faced unique challenges, including ongoing discrimination based on their mixed ancestry.
A non-status person is an Indigenous person in Canada who is not registered or recognized as a status Indian under the Indian Act, which is the federal law that defines who is recognized as a status Indian in Canada. This includes individuals who have lost their status due to provisions in the Indian Act, which have been criticized as discriminatory.
Non-status people may have Indigenous ancestry and identify as Indigenous but do not have the same legal recognition or rights as status Indians. This includes access to certain programs and services, such as health care, education, and housing, provided to status Indians by the federal government.
TRC stands for “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” and was established in Canada to address the legacy of residential schools and advance the reconciliation process between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. The TRC was established because of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history. The TRC’s mandate was to document the history and impacts of the residential school system, educate Canadians about this history and its ongoing impacts, and support the reconciliation process by making recommendations for action.
UNDRIP stands for the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” It is a non-binding international instrument that sets out Indigenous peoples’ individual and collective rights and the standards for their treatment and interaction with states and other entities. The United Nations General Assembly adopted UNDRIP in 2007.
UNDRIP recognizes the rights of Indigenous peoples to self-determination, to maintain and strengthen their own cultures, traditions, and institutions, to protect their languages, to maintain and develop their lands, territories, and resources, and to participate fully in all matters that concern them. It also requires states to consult and cooperate with Indigenous peoples in good faith and obtain their informed consent before undertaking any activities affecting their lands or resources.
While UNDRIP is a non-binding instrument, it has become an important international standard for protecting Indigenous rights. It has influenced the development of national laws and policies related to Indigenous peoples worldwide.
Calls To Action
The Calls to Action are a set of recommendations issued by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in its final report in 2015. The Calls to Action aim to address the legacy of residential schools and advance the reconciliation process between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The Calls to Action include 94 recommendations for education, health, language and culture, justice, and other areas of concern. They have been widely recognized as an important tool for promoting greater understanding, recognition, and respect for Indigenous peoples and their cultures and for supporting the ongoing efforts of Indigenous peoples to assert their rights and achieve greater self-determination in Canada.
Business Terms Glossary
The term “5,000-mile view” describes a high-level, summary view of a situation, issue, or topic. This perspective is often taken from a great distance, literally and metaphorically, to provide a broad overview of a complex situation or system. Any large number can replace the phrase to indicate the same thing, such as “10,000-foot view” or “50,000-foot view.” The intent is to convey the perspective from a significant distance, emphasizing that the view is an overview rather than a detailed analysis.
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is a general principle that states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This rule was named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. In consulting, the 80/20 rule implies that 80% of an assignment can be finished in 20% of the time. This means that a consultant can often identify the most critical issues or opportunities in a project relatively quickly and that much of the work involved in completing the assignment may be focused on these vital factors.
An action plan is a detailed and organized outline of the steps and strategies necessary to achieve a particular goal or objective. It typically includes several key elements, such as a clear statement of the goal or objective, a list of specific tasks or activities that need to be completed, a timeline or deadline for each task, the individuals or teams responsible for completing each task, and any resources or support needed to complete the tasks successfully.
Adding value refers to increasing the worth or usefulness of a product, service, or process in the eyes of the customer or end-user.
Answer-First is based on the Pyramid Principle and is a method of communication and organization. It is widely used in business and management consulting. It states that ideas should be presented in a hierarchy, starting with a central point or conclusion at the top of the pyramid, followed by supporting evidence and details. This structure helps the audience to understand the essential information quickly and then to drill down into the supporting details if needed.
“AOB” refers to Any Other Business and is generally used in developing a meeting agenda. It denotes the time scheduled to discuss miscellaneous topics in a meeting.
“At-Cause” is a term often used in the context of personal responsibility and accountability. It refers to a mindset or approach in which individuals take full ownership of their actions and choices and see themselves as the cause of their own results rather than attributing them to external factors or circumstances.
At the end of the day
“At the end of the day” is a common idiom that means ultimately when everything is considered or after everything has been said and done. It often emphasizes a conclusion or final result after some time or activity.
Business-to-business refers to a company’s primary audience for sales and marketing.
Business-to-consumer refers to a company’s primary audience for sales and marketing.
In business terms, bandwidth typically refers to the capacity of an individual or a team to handle a certain amount of work, tasks, or responsibilities within a given time frame. In addition, it is often used to describe the amount of time, energy, or attention a person or group has available to devote to a particular project or initiative.
This is the consulting equivalent of a game where a player is “on the bench.” The player has been taken out of play which that player may view as a punishment. As a result, it is considered with worrisome anxiety by junior consultants and relieved gratitude by senior consultants.
Benchmarks are standards or reference points used to measure and evaluate the performance, quality, or progress of a particular process, product, or organization. They are typically established based on best practices, industry standards, or other comparable measures widely recognized as reliable and valid.
Best practices are methods or techniques widely recognized as effective or efficient for achieving a particular outcome or goal. They are based on experience, research, and experimentation, often established through trial and error or by benchmarking against similar organizations or situations.
The “Big Three” is a term that refers to the three most prominent and most well-known management consulting firms in the world. These firms are McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain & Company.
The “Big 4” refers to the world’s four largest accounting and professional services firms. These firms are Deloitte, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Ernst & Young (EY), and KPMG.
Bird’s Eye View
A “bird’s eye view” is a term used to describe a view of something from a high or distant vantage point, as if seen from a bird flying overhead. In a figurative sense, the term can refer to a broad perspective that considers the larger context or scope of a situation or problem. In a business context, a bird’s eye view might refer to a high-level overview of a company’s operations, market position, or financial performance, which considers the more significant industry trends and competitive landscape.
In a business context, “bird dog” is a term used to describe a sales technique in which a salesperson or representative actively seeks out potential customers or leads and refers them to another salesperson or representative for follow-up. The term is often used in real estate, insurance, and automotive sales, where generating leads and following up with potential customers is a critical part of the sales process. The idea behind bird-dogging is that the overall sales effort can be more effective and efficient by having multiple salespeople or representatives working together to generate leads and follow up on them.
Boil the Ocean
The term “boil the ocean” is a figurative expression used to describe an overly ambitious or unrealistic goal or task. The expression implies that attempting to boil an entire ocean would be an impossible and pointless endeavour, much like trying to accomplish an unattainable or excessively complex objective.
“Bottoms-up analysis” is a term used in financial and business analysis to describe a methodology that starts with detailed, granular data and builds up to a broader, more comprehensive view of a company’s financial performance or market position. The term “bottoms-up” refers to the fact that this analysis begins at the level of individual transactions, customers, or products and then aggregates this data to develop a more comprehensive understanding of a company’s financial performance or prospects.
In strategic planning terms, “buckets” are a way of grouping action items into strategic priorities or categories.
In business jargon, to note something as “buttoned up” indicates that a task, project, or presentation has been thoroughly prepared, reviewed, and completed to a high standard and is now ready to be presented or delivered. It also indicates that a piece of work or analysis can withstand scrutiny.
“Buy-in” is reached when there is agreement or support for a particular decision or approach involving multiple stakeholders. When buy-in is achieved, stakeholders are more likely to be invested in the success of the decision, and the outcomes are more likely to be achieved.
This financial term stands for Compound Annual Growth Rate. It is a metric used to measure the annual growth rate of an investment or business over time.
A campus hire is a recent college graduate a company hires for an entry-level position. The alternative to this would be an “experienced hire,” a person with more work experience.
Capacity refers to your available time and energy for additional tasks. If you have “reached capacity,” you are unable or unwilling to take on more work.
Used in tracking expenses for accounting purposes, a “charge code” is a unique code for each project/assignment where you may charge work-related fees.
The term “circle back” is a business jargon that means revisiting a topic, issue, or task later, often after first taking care of more urgent or essential matters. It indicates that a conversation or action will be postponed and revisited later.
Close the Loop
The term “to close the loop” refers to the completion of a conversation and a mutual understanding of the plan moving forward.
“Consultancy” is a professional service provided by experts with specialized knowledge and skills in a particular field who offer advice and recommendations to individuals, businesses, or organizations needing their expertise.
The term “core client” can refer to a company’s most important or strategic clients, customers, or accounts. These clients contribute the most revenue or profit to the company and are often seen as critical to the business’s success. Core clients may receive priority treatment, special perks, discounts, or personalized service. The company may also work closely with these clients to understand their needs, preferences, and challenges and tailor their products or services to meet their specific requirements.
In business, core competencies refer to a company’s unique strengths, capabilities, and expertise, which sets it apart from its competitors and enables it to create and deliver value to its customers. They are often closely aligned with a company’s strategic goals and objectives and may guide decision-making around investments, partnerships, and resource allocation. Companies can position themselves for long-term success and growth in their respective industries by focusing on their core competencies.
The C-Suite, also known as the executive suite, is a term used to refer to the top executives of a company. The exact composition of the C-Suite can vary from company to company, depending on the organization’s size, structure, and industry. However, the most common members of the C-Suite include the CEO, CFO, COO, and CTO, along with other senior executives responsible for critical areas of the business, such as marketing, human resources, and legal affairs.
In business, “the deck” and PowerPoint are interchangeable terms. When referring to a PowerPoint presentation, you may also call it “the deck.” The term “deck” can also be used more broadly to refer to any materials or documents presented as part of a more extensive presentation or proposal. For example, a salesperson might refer to a collection of marketing materials, product specifications, and case studies as a “sales deck.”
In business, a “deep dive” refers to a thorough and detailed analysis or investigation of a particular topic, issue, or problem. The term is often used in strategic planning, project management, or problem-solving, implying a comprehensive and in-depth examination of the subject matter. The goal of a deep dive is to gain a thorough understanding of the topic being studied, identify any underlying issues or challenges, and develop insights and recommendations that can be used to inform decision-making and improve outcomes.
A deliverable is anything that is owed by you to your manager or team or owed by the team to a client.
In business (and similar to deep dive), “double-clicking” may refer to drilling down into a particular area or aspect of a project or initiative better to understand its workings, challenges, or potential opportunities. This term is often used in strategic planning, project management, or problem-solving, implying a more detailed and comprehensive subject matter analysis.
As part of a business proposal, this refers to a comprehensive study or investigation of a company or asset to set clear expectations, risks, and dependencies. The due diligence process typically involves a detailed examination of the company’s financial statements, operations, management, legal and regulatory compliance, and other critical aspects of its business. And due diligence aims to uncover any potential risks, liabilities, or issues that could impact the value of the investment or acquisition and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.
In financial terms, EBITDA is an acronym for “Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization.” It is a financial metric used to evaluate a company’s profitability by measuring its operating performance.
The elevator test, also known as the elevator pitch, is a business concept that refers to the ability to describe an idea, product, or business proposal in a concise and compelling manner, using the time it takes to ride an elevator as a time limit. You need to effectively communicate your message in the time it takes to ride an elevator to get people interested in your proposal. Therefore, the elevator pitch should be clear, concise, and compelling, highlighting your idea or product’s unique value proposition and emphasizing the benefits it can provide to the listener.
The acronym refers to “End of Day” and should occur in the time zone of the person asking for it. For example: “Please get that report to me by EOD.”
In a business context, an engagement typically refers to a formal agreement or contract between a company and a client, where the company agrees to provide specific services or deliverables to the client. For example, engagement is commonly used in consulting, accounting, and law, where clients hire firms to provide expertise and specialized services.
An experienced hire is someone hired for a job based on relevant work experience rather than being hired straight out of college or university as an entry-level hire. Experienced hires are typically sought after for their industry-specific expertise and experience. They may be recruited from various sources, such as companies, consulting firms, or government agencies. See also “parallel hire.”
In business, this refers to a “pack” of information that provides the essential “facts” on a project, sector, or industry.
A Gantt chart is a bar chart commonly used in project management to illustrate a project schedule visually. A Gantt chart consists of a horizontal timeline that represents the duration of a project, broken down into increments of time such as days, weeks, or months. Along the timeline, individual tasks or activities are represented as horizontal bars. Each bar’s length corresponds to the task’s duration, and the bar’s position on the timeline indicates when the task is scheduled to begin and end.
See also “Big 3, ” the Global Management Consultancy, is the world’s most well-known management consulting firms. The Big 3 firms are McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain & Company. It may also refer to the Big 3 plus the Big 4, the latter referring to the four largest accounting and professional services firms in the world, Deloitte, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Ernst & Young (EY), and KPMG.
In business, the term “granular” refers to a level of detail that is very specific. When information or data is described as granular, it has been broken down into individual components or units and presented in a way that allows for a more detailed analysis.
“Greenfield” generally refers to a new, undeveloped, or unexplored market, industry, or project. The term is often used in the context of expansion or investment, where a company is considering entering a new market or launching a new project from scratch.
Often prefaced with ‘client,’ this phrase indicates an individual’s interpersonal skills about a particular group of people, as in, “That manager sure has great client hands.”
In a business context, a “hard stop” usually refers to a strict deadline or a definitive endpoint beyond which something cannot continue. It is often used in meetings, negotiations, or project management. It means that a specific activity or process must end at a predetermined time, regardless of whether it is finished.
In a business context, “high level” usually refers to a perspective or level of detail that is broader and more abstract than a detailed or specific view. It describes discussions or communications focusing on overall strategy, goals, or concepts rather than specific tasks, details, or processes.
In a business context, if something is described as “key,” it generally means that it is crucial, essential, or significant to the success of a project, business, or organization. It can refer to various things, such as a key performance indicator (KPI), a key stakeholder, a key feature of a product, or a critical decision that needs to be made.
KPI stands for “key performance indicator.” In a business context, a KPI is a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an organization, a particular department, or an individual employee in achieving specific objectives or goals. KPIs can be used to monitor progress, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.
To leverage something means to use it to its maximum advantage. “Let’s leverage these resources to grow our business.”
“Low-hanging fruit” is a metaphor that refers to tasks, goals, or objectives that are relatively easy to achieve or attain, often with minimal effort or resources. The term is often used in business to describe opportunities or projects that can be pursued quickly and easily, with a high probability of success. It is derived from the idea that fruit that is low on a tree is easier to reach and pick than fruit that is higher up.
MECE stands for “Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive,” a problem-solving and management consulting framework to organize information and ideas into distinct and comprehensive categories. The MECE principle involves breaking down a complex problem or issue into separate, non-overlapping categories and ensuring that all possible options are accounted for. Each category should be “mutually exclusive,” meaning there is no overlap between them, and “collectively exhaustive,” meaning that they account for all possible options or outcomes.
My Plate Is Full
The phrase “my plate is full” is a common idiom that means that someone is very busy, already has many things to do or deal with, and cannot take on any more work or responsibilities.
To be “on board” is a common expression of agreement, enthusiasm, or willingness to participate in a project, plan, or idea. It means the person supports the idea or plan and is willing to participate.
Opportunity cost is a term used in economics and business to refer to the benefits that could have been obtained from a choice or option that was not pursued. It is the value of the next best alternative foregone to pursue a particular choice or action. In other words, it is the cost of choosing one option over another. Opportunity cost is an important concept in decision-making, as it helps individuals and businesses to evaluate the cost and benefits of different options and make more informed choices.
In business, the term “optics” refers to how a situation, decision, or action is perceived by others, particularly by the public or key stakeholders. It is often used in public relations, marketing, and political communication. For example, a company may improve its public image “optics” by promoting its social responsibility initiatives, improving its environmental practices, or responding effectively to customer complaints.
In business and other fields, the term “paradigm” describes the dominant or prevailing way of thinking or doing things within a particular industry or field. This can include the shared values, assumptions, and practices that shape how people approach their work, interact with each other, and make decisions. Paradigms are essential because they provide a framework for understanding and solving complex problems and can help shape the direction of an industry or field.
In business, a parallel hire refers to hiring an employee from a competitor or a similar company, typically for a similar role or position. Parallel hires are often sought after by companies looking to quickly gain access to experienced and skilled professionals with a proven track record in a particular industry or field.
The term “ping” means to check in or reach out to someone, typically via email or an instant messaging system. When used in a business context, “pinging” someone can be just touching base to see how they are doing. It can also be used more casually to initiate a conversation or ask a quick question.
The acronym PIOUTA stands for “Pulled It Out of Thin Air.” It references a thought or concept that does not connect to reality or facts.
A client pipeline refers to the series of stages a potential client goes through as they progress toward becoming a customer. It represents the company’s steps to identify, engage, and convert prospects into paying customers. It can also describe the current and upcoming client engagements for a firm.
POA is an acronym for “Plan of Action” and is a detailed strategy or set of steps that outline achieving a specific goal or objective. It typically involves breaking the goal into smaller, more manageable tasks, identifying resources and potential obstacles, and determining timelines and priorities.
The production department is responsible for physically producing advertising, presentation, or marketing materials. This can include creating print ads, designing websites, making videos, and developing other digital media. In addition, the production department is typically responsible for coordinating with creative teams to ensure that their ideas and designs can be executed effectively and efficiently.
A progress review is a process of evaluating and assessing progress toward achieving a specific goal or objective. It typically involves analyzing data, reviewing accomplishments, and identifying areas where goals still need to be met. The purpose is to help ensure that all stakeholders know how well a project or initiative is progressing and identify any issues or concerns that need to be addressed.
Push Back (verb form) or Pushback (noun)
In business terms, pushback refers to resistance or disagreement with a proposed idea, plan, or change. It can come from various stakeholders, including employees, customers, partners, or suppliers. Pushback can take many forms, ranging from mild skepticism to outright hostility or refusal to cooperate. It can arise when stakeholders feel that a proposed change or decision is not in their best interest, is too risky, or goes against their values or beliefs.
Quality control, or “QC,” is a process used in business to ensure that products, services, or outputs meet specific quality standards. It involves evaluating these outputs at various stages to identify defects or errors that could affect the final product or service. The primary goal of quality control is to ensure that the final product meets or exceeds customer expectations and is consistent with the organization’s quality standards.
Often considered a euphemism for downsizing, right-sizing is a strategic approach to managing an organization’s resources to help it remain competitive, adapt to changing market conditions, and achieve its desired level of performance. This can involve downsizing or restructuring, such as reducing the number of employees, consolidating departments, or outsourcing certain functions to third-party providers. It can also include expanding or increasing resources, such as adding staff, investing in new technology, or developing new products or services, to support growth and new opportunities.
In business terms, a “rock star” typically refers to a highly talented, skilled employee with a proven track record of success. The term often describes top performers, high achievers, and individuals who consistently exceed expectations.
The sandwich method is a communication technique often used in business and personal relationships to deliver constructive feedback or criticism in a way that is more likely to be well-received. It involves “sandwiching” negative or constructive feedback between two positive statements or feedback.
Scope refers to the range of activities, tasks, and goals of a project, product, or service. It defines the boundaries of what is and is not included in a particular initiative. The scope of a project or product is typically determined during the planning phase and outlines the specific goals and objectives to be achieved. This includes the tasks and activities that need to be completed, the required resources, and the timelines for completion.
A “sea change” refers to a significant transformation or shift in how things are done, often resulting in a fundamental change in perspective or approach. A sea change can refer to various changes, such as a major shift in how an industry operates, a significant change in consumer behaviour, a change in the political landscape, or a shift in technology that fundamentally alters how business is conducted.
“SME” stands for “Subject Matter Expert.” A SME has specialized knowledge or expertise in a particular area or subject and is often consulted for their expertise on a specific topic. They are typically found in enterprise companies that have very niche roles.
The “sniff test” is a quick and informal evaluation to determine whether something is likely successful or acceptable. The term comes from the idea that if something smells bad, it probably is bad. The sniff test is often used as a preliminary evaluation to help determine if a more formal and detailed analysis is necessary. It is commonly used in various business settings, such as evaluating potential investments, assessing the viability of a new product or service, or screening job candidates.
In business, “space” refers to a particular industry or market segment characterized by a specific product or service type. For example, “the technology space” refers to the industry or market segment that includes companies that provide technology-related products or services. Using the term “space” allows people to refer to a particular area of business activity more broadly and abstractly. It can be used to describe a wide range of industries and market segments, such as “the healthcare space,” “the retail space,” “the finance space,” and so on.
Stand Up/Stand Up Meeting
A “stand-up” (also known as a “stand-up meeting” or “daily stand-up”) is a regular, brief meeting — usually no more than 15-20 minutes — in which participants give updates on their work and discuss any issues or obstacles they are facing. The stand-up meeting is typically held standing up to encourage brevity and keep the discussion focused. It is often held daily, although the frequency and duration of the meeting can vary depending on the team and the nature of the work.
A “straw man” is a preliminary proposal or idea for discussion and feedback. The term comes from creating a straw model, a rough and temporary representation of a more complex object. In a business setting, a straw man is often used as a starting point for discussion and collaboration, especially when generating new ideas or solving a problem is needed. Presenting a straw man is to give others something concrete to react to and improve upon. The group can then discuss its strengths, weaknesses, and potential improvements by presenting a preliminary proposal or idea.
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT analysis is often used in business planning and marketing to help organizations identify their core competencies and determine where to make improvements or changes. It is valuable for evaluating a company’s position and developing strategic plans to achieve goals and objectives. The results of a SWOT analysis can be used to identify growth opportunities, improve organizational performance, and mitigate potential threats.
A takeaway typically refers to the key points or lessons learned from a particular situation, presentation, or event. It is often used in meetings, conferences, or training sessions, where attendees are expected to take away important information or insights they can apply to their work.
Company targets are similar to goals but are typically smaller, interim steps towards the goals established by the organizational leadership.
Think outside the box
“Thinking outside the box” is a phrase that means to think creatively, unconventionally, and in a non-traditional way. It is a metaphor that suggests the need to approach a problem or challenge from a fresh perspective and to consider solutions that may be unconventional or beyond the obvious answers.
To Be Transparent
To be transparent means to be open, honest, and straightforward in communication, actions, and decision-making. Transparency involves providing information that is easily accessible, accurate, and understandable and being willing to disclose information that may be relevant to others. In business, transparency can refer to a company’s willingness to share information with stakeholders, including employees, customers, investors, and the public.
Up Or Out
“Up or out” is a term used in some professional services firms, particularly in law and management consulting, to describe a career progression model in which employees are expected to advance or leave the company.
Also known as 360-degree feedback, upwards feedback is when an employee provides feedback to their manager or supervisor. In contrast to traditional performance evaluations, which are typically top-down, upward feedback is designed to allow employees to give their managers feedback on their leadership, communication, and management style.
Utilization rate refers to the percentage of time that consultants or lawyers spend on billable work for clients. A high utilization rate is generally considered a positive indicator of productivity and efficiency, as it suggests that employees are working effectively and generating revenue for the firm.
Value-add, also known as value-added, is a term to describe the extra value that a company or product provides to its customers beyond the expected basic features or functions. This can include additional services, features, or benefits that enhance the customer experience, improve quality, or differentiate the product from its competitors. In business, providing value-add is a way for companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a competitive advantage. Companies can increase customer loyalty, build brand awareness, and generate additional revenue by offering something extra that customers value.
To “wordsmith” something in writing and editing refers to revising and refining written work to improve its quality and impact. For example, a business professional may wordsmith a proposal or presentation to make it more persuasive and engaging.
A workstream is a specific set of activities or tasks focused on achieving a particular goal or objective within a larger project or initiative. Workstreams are typically organized around a particular aspect of the project or area of expertise. They are often designed to be completed independently or in parallel with other work streams.
Zero-Defect or “ZD”
Zero-defects is a quality management concept that aims to achieve perfect performance and eliminate all defects in a product, service, or process. It aims to achieve 100% error-free output in every aspect of an operation. The idea behind zero-defects is that any deviation from perfection represents a potential cost, whether in rework, waste, or reduced customer satisfaction.