A few weeks ago I was talking to a potential client, CEO, about his concerns that his business was not keeping up with changes in his market-space. I told him about our research into adaptive/agile/resilient organizations and how it could help his organization. He said that sounded great and he understood that, but wondered how he could sell those concepts to both his Board and his leadership team. He said, “After all, they do not have an MBA, like me, and do not read Harvard Business Review. Your words are just consultant-speak to them. You would lose them after the second sentence.” Not the first time I had heard that. Been there, done that.
My peer group uses and understands terms and concepts such as complex adaptive systems, emergence, self-organizing, resilience, adaption, crowdsourcing, enterprise social networks, and acronyms such as ESN, SNA, ONA, CRM, and SMO. Yet, these are not for client conversations. Potential clients want to hear consultants talk in language they understand use everyday. Now, instead of talking about Organization Adaptability Quotients, I talk about the Triple A (AAA) Organization. Everyone understands that AAA signifies the highest possible financial rating an investment can receive. This financial metric has morphed into other business spheres and is commonly understood as adjective signifying the best of something.
A A A is more than a rating, it also describes the components of a successful organization.