- Everyone wants innovation but you're not going to get there with buzzwords.
- Buzzwords in digital strategies and RFPs often indicate shallow thinking.
- Make sure you describe / refine what buzzwords mean for your organization's digital presence.
Why buzzwords are a problem
Buzzwords generally encourage shallow thinking. In specific:
- They overlook the opportunity to transcend the churn of specific complaints to determine what the real business need is
- Many terms you may throw around are simply table stakes in digital now (see "Responsive → Discussion about effective content" below)
- They overlook more boring change that may have a much bigger business impact (such as consolidation of digital presences to better cross-sell)
- They can have the appearance that everyone agrees while in truth everyone has a different understanding of what will be implemented
- They are almost always chasing what other people are doing rather than doing what's uniquely beneficial to your business.
When buzzwords are a problem
Buzzwords are pretty much always a problem (except perhaps when simply brainstorming), but are especially problematic in three cases:
- When formulating a digital strategy (which, remember, should be done early!)
- When sending out an RFP (or, for that matter, before talking with potential implementation partners — regardless of whether you develop an RFP)
- When working to reset a strategy or to refine it as part of
Moving from buzzwords to real innovation
I'm a firm believer that every organization is unique, and that any strategy should be unique as well. So the suggestions below are merely suggestions, and actually turning buzzwords to innovation is more subtle. Fundamentally, we need to anchor back on the business need, and then look at what innovative approach will achieve the real business need. Put another way, the buzzwords are ideally put aside when attempting to think strategically (and then dusted off as needed to see how the trends apply to the strategic needs). That said, here are some examples of how to turn a buzzword into real innovation.
Flexibility → Streamlined
One of the most common complaints that
Responsive → Discussion about effective content