Having been immersed in the American corporate business culture for well over 16 years, I’ve personally been exposed to more linguistic jargon than I would ever care to repeat. The world of business loves its buzzwords, with new ‘isms’ coming out every year just to make an hour-long conference call even that much more unbearable.
Just for funsies, a couple of years ago I translated a few of that year’s best business buzzwords into their equivalent aquatic definitions. With 2019 nearly coming to a close, let’s do the exercise again and see what works.
In the business world, I typically use ‘best practice’ to describe a process or methodology that’s been proven to work. It’s a series of steps that have been successful in the past and can be used as a model for the future.
Pool Translation: Best Practice can essentially mean just exactly that; you having your best swim practice. When everything clicks, falls into place, works for you and you get the job done.
An overly used buzz phrase, ‘reach out’ simply means to contact someone – via phone, email, chat, text, personal visit, etc. See? I didn’t even have to use ‘reach out’ to get you to understand what its definition is.
Pool Translation: There is no stroke in swimming that doesn’t involve reaching out. We all try to be as tall as possible in the water to get any possible edge we can and move forward with the least amount of unnecessary effort. Think of elongating your stroke to really reach out the next time you’re in the pool.
Essentially Blue Sky thinking in the business world revolves around being imaginative and, to use another cringe-worthy buzz-ism, to ‘think outside the box’.
Pool Translation: Blue Sky, literally, is what each of us inside swimmers dream of being able to see when we’re grinding out the laps in our nearest cave-like aquatic center. As a swimmer stationed in the Midwest, I long for the Instagram pics Florida and Cali swimmers post of lapping up the sunshine under a clear blue sky.
Not sure why we can’t just say, ‘let’s look more closely at this’ in a business meeting…but, then I’m also not even sure why we even have most of the business meetings anyway.
Pool Translation: In appropriately deep water, give us your best David Boudia impression. Dive deep and let the water take your problems away.
Going granular means to identify the tiny details, the specific components, the micro-actions within a business process, decision or product.
Pool Translation: I advise actually NOT going granular while swimming. Chances are you don’t want to take a closer look at the hairballs and band-aids floating around the water in which you’re gasping for breath.
Pain points represent areas of discontent for customers or a major kink in an internal business process.
Pool Translation: Um, hard training anyone? Two-a-days anyone? Trying to still compete as a Masters swimmer while holding down a full-time job, side hustle, family, MBA studies and still have a couple of friends, anyone?