Buckets,Burl Ives and language in business

Language has always fascinated me . It is not the communication part of language that interests me but the idea that language is the substrate for thinking . Many philosophers and psychologists have explained that the mind has to format abstract information into patterns and it is language that allows patterns of information to be recognised interpreted and build upon .

Trying to learn something requires words to communicate patterns . This is very clear in the martial arts where one word can describe an action, a feeling a nuance. Such a word is Atemi . An atemi is a strike . It is possible to say “hit “but it looses the sensitivity of the word ( if words can be sensitive !) language is so powerful .

My first business encounter with language was when I first worked with Boston consultancy and they introduced me to the concept of a roadmap .I so remember the young partner at BCG going up to the white board and telling me about the roadmap .At the time the use of metaphor and envisioning language was really new. How could a simple plan be so exciting if you call it a roadmap !A roadmap wow ! It gave me the feeling of driving along an open road in a red Ferrari .It excited and inspired .It is more than just jargon . Language is dynamic it changes .The business community is always looking to introduce power words into its vernacular . It gave me a sense of direction and even a feeling of speed.

Very new words are being used in Agile leadership which are the same . People talk about “sprints”instead of time .It is just so uber cool!! I so want to finish my project in 2 sprints . 6 months is just so boring!

The next word the young BCG partner used was Bucket !

Bucket ????. Is this business or were singing the legendary song “I have a hole in my bucket dear Lisa dear Lisa ” by Burl Ives ?
Well it turned out bucket is a very powerful word indeed .It gives a feeling of collection , containment , activity , order . What BCG wanted to do was order ideas or processes . They used the word bucket . A bucket of ideas , all these activities go into this bucket .Put all your issues into order or buckets . The simple old fashion cheap wooden vessel used for the last 1000 years took on new power.
THanks to the bucket business progressed
The power of words …….

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