Business Decoder

Remember my recent Charles Handy post: “One bank is currently claiming to ‘leverage its global footprint to provide effective financial solutions for its customers by providing a gateway to diverse markets.’ I assume that it is just saying that it is there to ‘help its customers wherever they are.'”

Well, Charles got me thinking. Hence I offer, in his name, the beginning of “Tom’s New Biz Decoder”:

“Disruptive technology.”
“Seriously cool shit” (Model T, Debit cards, Corvettes, iPods, Cirque du Soleil, Google, etc)

“Seriously cool shit”

“Competitive advantage”
“Seriously cool shit”

“Business Model”/”Business Case”
“How we plan to make a buck”


“We, uh, sorta think customers are important”

“Best people win”/”Recruit and nurture best people”

“Do more stuff than the next guy”

“Sustainable value-added advantage”
“Keep doin’ more stuff than the next guy”

“One stop shopping” (“financial services super-market,” etc)
“We’re buying up every piece of crap we can lay our hands on that’s even vaguely related to our business”

“Core competence”
“Stuff we’re better at than you are”

“Get out of the bloody office”



“Viral marketing”
“Please tell your friends how cool we are”

“Synergistic acquisition”
“I want to be bigger than him” (CEO v CEO at Fortune-sponsored cocktail parties)

“Economies of scale”
“We can’t outthink ’em, but maybe we can out-blubber ’em” (Sumonomics?)

“Competitive executive pay”
“The amazing shit you can get away with if you’ve got the right exec comp consultant”

“Board accountability”
“See no evil, hear no evil, etc, etc is out in the Age of Spitzer”

“Work ‘smart'”
“I’m too tired to work hard”

“Ha, caught you bastards cookin’ the books”

“Over-zealous regulatory policy”
“We got nabbed”

“Wellness strategy”
“Run more, eat less”

“Brand you”
“You’re on your own, dude”

“Wow project”
“Finish the damn job on time for once”

“Rich man’s questionable alternative to old-fashioned s-e-l-l-i-n-g'”

“Blue ocean strategy”
“Hit ’em where they ain’t” (Wee Willie Keeler, 1st NL batting champ)

“Get the hell out of the way”

“Built to last”
“Too big to kill”* (*Definition to be revised if GM tanks)

“Bully for us! Our stuff works!”

“Quarterly earnings obsession”
“Bloody shareholders keep wantin’ us to make a profit”

“Business Process Re-engineering”
“You won’t believe how much the software we’re trying to sell you will cost”

“Business Process Re-engineering”
“You won’t believe how many consultants it will take to install the software we’re trying to sell you”

“Solutions selling”
“We can’t make it on the product, so we’re going into consulting just like everybody else”

“We couldn’t figure out how to do anything that anybody would pay for”

“Virtual organization”
“Do it all yourself is stupid, stupid”

“Knowledge capital”

“Knowledge capital accumulation”
“Lots of ideas”

“Enough non-white guys in group photos to keep the EEOC off our backs”

Your turn …

Tom Peters posted this on April 24, 2006, in Excellence.
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