Buzzwords: Pivot

Generally refers to a shift in entrepreneurial approach; describes the strategy most businesses employ to find the right customer, value proposition and positioning

For this month’s column, I thought I’d reach out to people who made multi-tasking an artform and get them to explain how they so easily “pivot” from one task to another on a daily basis. But I found out that’s only one definition of pivot, and so I pivoted this column to another, more business-oriented version. (See what I did there?)

Jun 5, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Bandwidth

In a tweet from March 2015, Forbes magazine called bandwidth a “geeky, pretentious shorthand for available manpower,” saying it was “a gentler brushoff than ‘We literally don’t have the energy to deal right now.’”

Apr 28, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Disruption

To be disruptive now means to change things, to get people to look at something in a new light. (I’d like to go back and convince my 6-year-old self that it’s actually a good trait that got me sent to the time-out chair.)

Like all jargon, “disruption” started out well-intentioned: Who doesn’t want to be the one with the fresh vision of how things could be — not how they are?

Mar 31, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Ecosystem

Generally speaking, an ecosystem describes how different, complex organisms work together. How could a deeply biological term have invaded the usually-technical jargon of business? According to Google Trends, searches for “business ecosystem” and “innovation ecosystem” first entered the lexicon in the late ’90s and hit a peak within the last year.

Feb 28, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Elevator Pitch

It happens every time: I’ll be at a business event and someone will inevitably say that we all need to “perfect our elevator pitches” and launch into a rote explanation (an elevator pitch of the elevator pitch, if you will). Cue the over-exaggerated rolling of my eyes.

Dec 15, 2016 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Funnel

Are you a customer that has fallen out of the funnel?

“If I have to use the word ‘funnel’ one more time today, I might die. #buzzwords” — @abhinemani

Posted on Twitter by Sacramento’s Chief Innovation Officer, Abhi Nemani, on Aug. 22, this was the tweet heard ‘round the Comstock’s office. It kicked off a lengthy debate among our staff about what “funnel” actually meant.

Oct 12, 2016 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Engagement

As it relates to the workforce, the degree to which employees are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.

Engaged employees are pivotal to an organization’s financial success, company culture, brand experience and ability to retain top talent. But according to Gallup’s most recent polls, only 31.5 percent of U.S. employees are actively engaged at work, and disengaged employees currently outnumber actively engaged employees 2 to 1.

Jun 23, 2016 MaryJayne Zemer

Buzzwords: Parity

The complexities of wage parity are beyond equal pay for equal work

We’ll be hearing a whole lot of buzz about wage parity this year — in part because groundbreaking research conducted by New York University, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Haifa in Israel identifies flat-out gender bias as the elephant in the room affecting wage parity. This new study, titled “Occupational Feminization and Pay,” is the single most comprehensive study on wage parity in the U.S. to date.

May 16, 2016 MaryJayne Zemer

Buzzwords: Synergy

If allowed to go unchecked, it could be the downfall of your team

Synergy, in the common lexicon, is the magic that makes collaborations more efficient, effective and profitable than individualized efforts. It originates from the Latin word synergia,meaning “cooperation.” You’re most likely to hear it used to describe the potential benefits of a collaborative or combined effort, like a strategic partnership, merger and acquisition, creative brainstorming session or co-branding effort.  

Apr 22, 2016 MaryJayne Zemer

Buzzwords: Millennial

Throwing a wide net won't help you market to this coveted demographic

The millennial generation’s sheer numbers, unprecedented spending power, and knack for radically influencing progressive trends and cultural shifts has made them a highly sought after target market. While millennials are currently the single largest generation to date, making up an entire quarter of the population, they’re also the most diverse generation this country has ever seen, making them far more difficult to target as a collective whole.

Mar 21, 2016 MaryJayne Zemer

Buzzwords: Authenticity

Don't fake it

There’s a whole lot of buzz lately about authenticity: authentic leadership styles, authentic brands, authentic values, authentic marketing and advertising … and on and on. By definition, something is authentic if it is genuine, real, of unquestionable origin, not faked or copied, verifiable and trustworthy.

Jan 7, 2016 MaryJayne Zemer