Knowing the Lingo

I still remember the day in high school speech class when we talking about the importance of language. 

Mr. Kaufmann started with the phrase "suum qui qua".

The first step is understanding the language.  In this case, if you skipped out on Latin as an elective, you are going to have a hard time getting started.

Let’s say you took LSL (Latin as a second language) classes and got yourself through the translation.  The next part you would have to get past is understanding the phrase "to each, his own".  This gives you a different set of problems.  We have a nice compact thought that describes a very complex idea.

You may need to unravel this idea for your audience.  It is really about how everyone has a right to their own preferences.  Maybe here you would tell a story of a recent resturant visit with friends and how everyone ordered different things from the menu.  Conversation ensued about various selections and before it got out of hand, you said "to each, his own."

Why the long story about langauage?  I am a big fan of bubblegeneration, but I often feel like I missed the first lecture.  He often talks about edge competencies and I have never understood his use of the word edge.  Here is an example:

In a world of cheap coordination, the edge – the boundary between the firm and the external – is the new core. That’s because, counterintuitively, the strategy that dominates the shrinking core is to leverage the edge: not to simply build complementarities between internal sources of value creation, but between both internal and external sources of value creation.

That is, edge competencies are focused on learning how to utilize the universe of value outside the firm – leveraging value creation external to the firm, and, in many cases, external to all firms.

Enter Eric Beinhocker and his new book The Origin of Wealth.  One of his chapters is on network theory and talks network terminology.  An edge is a connection between two nodes or points on the network.

Now this makes sense.  All of Umair’s work is on the value corporation can generate when they leverage the connections among their customers/users.  Think about what Google has done combining search with ads.  Think with users bookmarking the web and being able to see what everyone else likes. Bingo!  Now I get it.

It is important to communicate in a way people understand.  If you have customers, use their lingo.  If you have small children, slow down and explain what you are saying to them using words they know.  It is amazing the difference it can make.

"The biggest problem with communication is the perception that it took place."
   -a GE manager I use to work with whose name escapes me.

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