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New [to me] business jargon

New [to me] business jargon published on No Comments on New [to me] business jargon

At my job I have encountered some [new-to-me] business jargon: “value-add,” “moving the dial,” and “down in the weeds.”

A “value-add,” as far as I can tell, is either the essential point of something or the usefulness of something. The term most frequently comes up in my workplace in questions such as “What is the value-add for this ask?” Translation: “What’s the point of this request?” [Implied answer: “This is a worthless request, so we are going to ignore it.” :p ]

To “move the dial” means to cause significant change. For example, in a performance improvement project, the participants dig around to determine what changes have the greatest effect. These changes “move the dial” on the project, driving the improvements.

“Down in the weeds” just means in amongst the fine-grained details of something. People around here refer to getting “down in the weeds” to find out what will “move the dial” on something they’re working on. I find this an odd term because, to me, weeds connote unwanted distractions, so I think of “down in the weeds” as an undesirable place. However, in business jargon, it just appears to be a value-neutral term in contrast to, say, a bird’s-eye view.

The moral of the story: If you have to go down in the weeds to find the value-add of an ask, it’s probably not going to move the dial.

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