The old saying, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” is a good one to remember when we start hearing about the “latest and greatest, newest and truest” in any field. It is important to remember that principles are eternal, however – for example, we’ve known for a couple of millennia that communication is essential in society, it’s the means that have evolved, from stone tablets to iPads. In the realm of business management, the eternal principles are clear to anyone who devotes time to finding and studying them. Still, we seem to be experiencing a real upsurge in new buzzwords that describe them.
There are scores of acronyms now being used by hard-sell business consulting firms, as if they represent breakthroughs of some kind. The trend may have begun with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) in the 1990s, but has since expanded into a long list of puffed-up phrases — Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Architecture Patterns (EAP), Business Process Transformation Framework (BPTF), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and the like. (Shouldn’t the Department of Redundancy Department be on there, too?)
Who holds the buzzwords keys?
Should you be concerned if you are not buying the books or paying the consultants who hold the keys to the secret meanings of these success formulas? No, you shouldn’t.
In fact, there is both a lot more and a lot less to this issue than first meets the eye. The “more” comes down to “more work,” as in, you need to do more work finding out what people mean when saying all these things. You will discover that there are really no startlingly new concepts being introduced, just different methods for accomplishing the same commonsense goals that businesses have been setting for centuries – efficiency, meeting customer needs, good communication channels, quality products, good marketing, attentive customer service, straightforward accounting practices, etc. And the “less” part? There is a lot less new thinking here than the consultants would have you believe.
CRE has a lot of different customers, in a lot of industries, but because of our Southern California location we are privileged to support many creative firms working in movies, TV, radio, the media and Web-related enterprises. Companies that need cutting-edge Mac Pro rentals for post-production or sleek iMac rentals for a new marketing department project are typically full of bright, forward-thinking, tech-savvy folks who are used to an acronym-heavy vocabulary (RAM, SCSI, SATA, HTTP, etc.) and may give unearned respect to the aforementioned business buzzword abbreviations. This would be a mistake.
Understanding the acronyms
The important thing is to look beneath the “marcomm” (marketing communications talk) and search for the actual, definable principles that are involved. You will find that BPM, Business Process Management, is pretty much just what it says – managing your business processes. Okay. If you have good managers, they are likely keeping up on the literature and using their heads as it is. Your IT people already know if CRE’s Xserve RAID rentals are what they need in a pinch, and won’t learn that from an acronym, no matter how expensive or impressive. If they think there is something worthwhile in a new BPM approach, they will use it. Trust your in-house experts to separate the wheat from the chaff – or get new experts, if you don’t think they’re up to it.
You probably don’t need to buy a Software-Enhanced Interdepartmental Efficiency-Boosting Total Process Management System, or SEIEBTPMS. You just need to stay plugged in, to the leaders of the industry you’re in, to the trade magazines, to the evolving best practices of your particular field. This does not mean there is no value to the business consultants who ply their trade with an ever-changing cast of acronyms and trends. There is much good sense and solid advice to be had there, certainly. The point, though, is that there are many less expensive ways to stay abreast of those best practices, from conventions and conferences to continuing education in the appropriate disciplines. You can do it yourself, most likely, and save money in the process.
CRE is in the solution business, and one of the things we help companies do is manage change – including sudden change, like getting a new production deal without having the eight workstations needed to pull it off. When you need to expand into a new project, equip a conference booth or outfit your convention team with WiFi-enabled tablet PC rentals, give our Account Executives a call, send an e-mail or fill out our Quick Rental Quote form online. We won’t bombard you with buzzwords, just straight talk that gets you the solutions you need.