Friday, March 18, 2011

Day eight: Buzzword

The participants of Lent!Blog! all work in marketing/advertising and law - industries where big vocabularies and good word choices are imperative to success. That said...

What's one buzzword you hear at work that you're so over?

My buzzword is stakeholder.

I'm going to employ the #1 writing no-no technique and give you the definition of this word according to

Stakeholder: A person, group or organization that has direct or indirect stake in an organization because it can be affected by the organization's actions, objectives, and policies. Key stakeholders in a business organization include creditors, customers, directors, employees, government (and its agencies), owners (shareholders), suppliers, unions, and the community from which the business draws its resources.

To sum up, anyone who comes within a five foot pole of a company (or heck, anyone who comes near a group of people standing on a corner with a loose purpose in mind) is a stakeholder. By this definition, I'm a stakeholder in Caribou Coffee, a great number of Thai restaurants that dot my neighborhood, and also in my own company. Aren't I also a stakeholder in both non-profits I support (say, MPR, Planned Parenthood) and those I do not (the NRA, anything Tim Pawlenty's been snuggling up to in the last two months)?

I get that we need general terms to use when discussing hypotheticals. And in all honesty, it's usually vendors or other 3rd parties who use 'stakeholder' because they aren't as educated on our biz as we are. Still though, I find myself picturing Buffy with a stake any time this word is brought up... which I'm sure has never been the purpose of the meeting.


J D said...

Haha, we have classes at Humphrey on "stakeholder analysis" -- in sum: "There are people out there who might be affected by something you may or may not do...keep that in mind in vague generalities and you'll be fine as you make your decision, decision-maker."

Jamie said...

The government equiv I think is constituent.... And even though we are them, we hate them.