Blog Archives

The Nuisance of Jargon

How often do you catch yourself in a meeting using words like “best-in-class,” “tipping point,” or  “framework” to get your point across? Well, DGC reported on the “buzzwords” that drive us crazy earlier this year and Modea’s Buzzword Bingo that makes fun of the numerous words we find ourselves saying over and over again. Now, as we edge closer to a new year and renewed hopes for fewer jargon words, AgencySpy has taken up the “eliminate jargon” cause.

Today, Kiran Aditham posted a short round up from agency execs at Organic, Sullivan, BON, Goodby, Cole & Weber and Ignited sharing the words they hope to eliminate in 2012. Take a look at – Which Form of Ad Speak Would You Kill in 2012 – and let us know the jargon words that drive you crazy.

 

Extreme Couponing vs. Expired Couponing

Who doesn’t love TLC’s Extreme Couponing… But have you tried Expired Couponing? Come on, you know you’ve tried to get 50% off a second shampoo with last year’s coupon…  How’d it turn out? Barbara Apple Sullivan, founder of the brand engagement firm Sullivan, thinks there’s a lesson to be learned in how expired coupons are handled. According to Barbara, the willingness to honor an outdated voucher largely depends on the cashier’s gender: Male cashiers will accept them. Female cashiers will not. (mental note for future trips to Walgreen’s)

So what gives?

Barbara suggests that the male/female divide in Expired Couponing might have larger applications in the business world:

Based on this “coupon test” and many years as a manager, I’d venture to say that, more often than not, women take action according to the letter of the law while men are more inclined to flout rules to be true to the spirit of the law. Women are rule followers and perfectionists. They want to be right. They dot I’s and cross T’s. But that is not always the way to win the war—particularly a war that’s being fought in a world of masculine values.

This purely anecdotal “research” may sound like a sexist generalization but I point it out because women who want to be leaders can start by recognizing what it means: Sometimes it’s not only okay to bend or break the rules – it’s critical to your professional success.

What do you think? Ever broken a rule in business?  Did it turn out poorly or does it usually work to your benefit in the end?

Check out Barbara’s full article on Forbes.com here: Women and Rule-breaking: Why It’s Essential for Business Success 

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