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Abused Words of the Day: Social Justice

January 23, 2018

“Social justice” isn’t a group of people sharing family photos in a courtroom. It has nothing to do with social media. This lofty sounding term is being used ad nauseum by academicians, activists (another abused term) and even some business people in the name of income equality and fairness.

“Social justice warriors” seek to “effect social change,” with the implication that we’d all be better off if we just did what the social justice warriors want us to do. Fair treatment of everyone would be nice, but one person’s idea of social justice is often another person’s idea of anti-social justice.

Parents are paying tens of thousands of dollars to send their kids to college to learn about social justice,. Where’s the justice in that?

If it’s really all about fairness, the word “justice” will suffice.

Cliché of the Day: Hit the Ground Running

January 19, 2017

If you “hit the ground” while you’re running, you’ve either tripped or passed out from exhaustion. But, in the business context, “running” is the key word here. Those who hit the ground walking or jogging need to get “up to speed” and learn to “run with it.” If someone coming toward you is hitting the ground running, you may want to “hit the deck.”

Abused Words of the Day: The New Normal

January 18, 2018

Forty is the new 30, 60 is the new 40 and orange is the new black. For the economy, 2% growth is the “new normal,” until the economy grows at the old normal rate of 3+%. What was once normal is replaced by a new normal, at which point the old normal becomes abnormal. But what happens when the “new normal” grows old?

Cliché of the Day: Life Is a Journey

January 17, 2018

Life is a journey, alright. And it’s an especially arduous one if you have to listen to banalities like “life is a journey,” “the journey to recovery,” “life is a journey, not a destination” and other variations. You can find many additional examples on inspirational posters, but it’s not going to inspire those of us who dislike clichés and hate to travel. “Life is a journey” has traveled far enough. Let’s retire it.

Abused Word of the Day: Interact

January 14, 2017

The workplace used to have bosses, who told their subordinates what to do. The subordinates did as they were told, because they liked to be gainfully employed. Today’s managers prefer to “interact” with their fellow employees. To “interact” is to act together, so one person can’t interact without another also interacting. It sounds democratic, but it’s pure mush. #MeToo should take note of all of this interacting and seek to extract it from the workplace. It’s a verbal assault we can do without.

Ghosted

January 13, 2018

A disturbing business practice that has become far too common during the past year or two is the unanswered email. Other small agencies and sole practitioners I’ve spoken with have also experienced this.

We’re not talking about responding to spam. We’re talking about potential clients who have requested proposals, then decided to do nothing. And I mean nothing, as in not responding to emails and not spending a dime on marketing.

We typically spend eight to 10 hours researching and writing a proposal. Yes, there’s some boilerplate, but we also do a fair amount of research. We put some thought into what we expect to do for our clients. We’re professionals and take pride in our proposals.

And yet, in several cases this past year or two, potential clients who expressed enough interest to request proposals failed to respond after we submitted them. One failed to respond after we wasted even more time traveling to two meetings. Another failed to respond after agreeing to move forward with our proposal.

If a vendor takes the time to respond to you, at least respond back. We can take “no” for an answer. Ideally, provide an explanation why you’re not moving forward. It’s rude and unprofessional to not respond to people.

One associate who has experienced the non-response compared it to “ghosting,” a failure to communicate with someone you’ve been dating and no longer want to see. The comparison is apt.

The Eyeless Generation

June 6, 2013

The eyeless people are everywhere.  Even when driving or crossing the street, they don’t look up.

They are in a trance-like state, induced by the electronic device in their hands.  Their whole world is below eye level and nothing else matters.  Not the person they’re with.  Not the other people on the crowded sidewalk.  Not the other drivers.

Want More Business? Answer Your Phone.

January 31, 2013

If we are living in a service economy, why is it so difficult to get service?  Try calling almost any company in America and you’ll see what I mean.

Con #7: The Formerly “Free” Internet

December 17, 2012

We’ve allowed the world’s most repressive dictators to take over control of the United Nations.  Now, they’re using that power to take over control of the Internet.

The Internet has become an important weapon in advancing freedom, because it enables instant communication around the world.  People who are repressed can use the Internet to organize, communicate and alert others about their situation.  But that’s about to change.