Jargon monoxide and how to fix it

 In Delivery, Learning from Luminaries, Media, Meetings, News, The Winning Voice

“So, what Laszlo did was he put in a simple rule, which I would call good friction, which was, if you are going to do more than four interviews before making a decision about hiring a candidate, you have to get written permission from me, an executive vice president. And the number of interviews dropped quite considerably after that.”

The above quote is from a great article, Jargon monoxide, friction fixers and the meeting that could have been an email. It refers to Google’s former Head of People Operations, Lazlo Bock’s dictate to fellow team members who were doing too many interviews (20 plus) with potential candidates for a job at Google.

Here are other points from the article that resonated with me:

# “To me, culture is essentially the expectations about behavior in an organization that people hold for themselves and hold others responsible for.” (This is the best and most concise definition of culture I’ve heard to date).

# “One of the things that I’ve been obsessed with for years is the notion of “jargon monoxide”—that is, people in organizations often use language that, well, means nothing.”

# “And I would say to leaders, “Do you unknowingly have incentives in your organization for people to add complexity, and maybe even punish people who don’t play that game?”

# “But if you are making a bet that’s so big that it’s going to kill or hobble your company, you’ve got to slow down and really do that heavy analysis—and good friction is absolutely necessary here.” 

Own the Conversation

Implementation Ideas

  1. In the next seven days aim to identify and reduce or eliminate a jargon word or phrase from your spoken vocabulary.
  2. Consider how you can reduce the number of interviews a potential candidate needs to have, before being offered a job in your organisation.
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