”Lately, more words have entered a ‘vocabulary list’ for people in business. It was hard for me to choose, of course, I would have put covid, vaccine, uncertainty, policy, health, and many others.
I did, however, go in other directions to make the landscape more complex.

Agile, agility – not a new meme, it entered business parlance a few years ago. But with the pandemic, it suddenly seemed to explode, in all companies there was talk about agility, about how all people need to become agile. I don’t know how much they succeeded; I hope it didn’t become a much talked about but empty concept.

B – from burnout: a reality of the times. People are stressed, maybe sometimes the term is misused. Not all stress is burnout.

Coach – someone I know, a Greek, said this year that if you go out in the street and shout this word, 20 people will turn around, thinking you are addressing them. It’s fashionable to call yourself a coach, regardless of experience, training. I hope we get to the stage where we are doing, building something before giving advice to others. This trend reminds me of the one of going to Politehnica University, which existed when I went to college. Many went there because it was ‘trendy’.

Diversity – I’m glad we’re talking about diversity, it’s about time we put aside the labels, the discrimination based on gender, age, race, class, country, the continent, or any other kind. Anyway, we are still at the declarative level. Unfortunately, among those who claim to be the greatest supporters of diversity, we have also met great discriminators. We have a long way to go, but at least we have started.

Education – continuing education seems to be back on more people’s minds. Forced to work from home, to be with family, with ourselves, we’ve been asking more questions about meaning, about what we want and what we don’t want, we’ve had time to think about what we’d like to learn more about, we’ve had to learn to work on different platforms, to re-learn to communicate and collaborate, remotely this time. Many of the weaknesses in society could have been avoided if we had a better education. There are initiatives in the private sector to support education; there are teachers, school principals who make, in the words of Audrey Hepburn, the word ‘impossible’, ‘I’m Possible’, there are many extraordinary pupils, students. But we need to scale up these initiatives nationally. When education becomes a national priority, then I think we have a chance to be a richer country in every way. When we succeed in eliminating illiteracy, when we succeed in eliminating school drop-outs when we are among the top countries in the Pisa tests, when teachers are respected, when it is again aspirational to be a teacher when children enjoy going to school, when each of us understands that the greatest investment is in our own minds, in our own development, and in the development of our children, then the sun will rise on our streets, we will have a cleaner, more integrated, more developed society.

Flexibility – here is a concept that is easy to understand but difficult to grasp, to apply. We have formed ourselves in a way, we have our own beliefs, more or less limiting, we have our own experience, our own education. We talk a lot about learning – unlearning – relearning. This cycle requires us to be open to integrating new concepts, points of view that differ from our own. And this is no easy task. It’s like when you have a cup of coffee, you’ve had a little, you put it down and it’s gone cold. To put fresh coffee in, you need to pour cold coffee in. Likewise, to bring information, new insights into your mind, you need to make room.

Generations – millennials still occupy a large space in the everyday context. But it has also become important to be concerned about the generations over 40. They are people who have been through a lot, they have experience, but if they want to change jobs, they are at a dead-end: they are rarely called for an interview. Too expensive, with opinions of their own, more difficult to control, a function that claims to be fighting for diversity, therefore, discriminated against precisely them.

Hybrid – in fact, hybrid work, where we work, how much, when, who. There is no winning solution yet, different companies are trying different formulas. But it’s clear that there are people who don’t want to go back to the office, not unless there are good reasons. If they can work from home, from anywhere, the idea of wasting a few hours in traffic, of being less efficient in the office, doesn’t appeal to anyone.

Inclusion – I wrote above about diversity and I couldn’t not write about inclusion. Diversity without inclusion is like a modern Tower of Babel.
I think there is still a lot to be done in the sphere of inclusion, especially since lately it seems that the level of tolerance has decreased, amid fatigue, lack of coordination between countries, governments to give a time horizon for the end of the pandemic, political, economic instability.

J – Play means ‘joc’ in Romanian. Play, play. I hear a lot that we must play, ‘have fun’, learn by playing. Sure, we learn a lot ‘by playing’, but sometimes it’s good to concentrate and study. Otherwise, we risk demonetising both playing and learning.

Leadership – tons of ink would have been used this year if it weren’t for the laptop, the phone. The period we are in has inspired researchers, professors at major business schools, who have made countless attempts to redefine the profile of the leader of the future. It’s not that they have had negative ‘role models’ galore, especially among the world’s political ‘leaders’. What kind of people are we talking about now? One who is empathetic, who cares about others, who know themselves, is always learning, is in balance with themselves and the world, has the ability to make decisions in troubled times, to put simplicity into complexity, to develop others, to communicate clearly, to listen, to collaborate. In the words of the Englishman, ‘no pressure!’

Mindset – here’s a word that will remain in the collective mind. We talk about ‘open mindset’, about ‘growth mindset’, about ‘fixed mindset’ (if you’re the unfortunate possessor, then you need to change, go on a course, two, read, go to coaching, work with yourself, otherwise I don’t see you well☺️).

Neuroscience – I would say that, next to coach, agility is among the most fashionable words. A few years ago, I went to a conference in Canada, where a lady with a PhD in neuroscience spoke. She recommended then that we should not use the word to get it right, as the field is very broad and you don’t venture into it as an amateur. But what does she know? Anyway, she was about 55, old-fashioned, researcher, nose in the lab all day, books, out of touch with reality. So whose neuroscience? Whose do you want?

Oboseală – the Romanian word for fatigue – it’s the condition of many people. Perhaps it’s natural to get tired after all this time of operating like a machine moving forward in a dense fog with no light at the end. Maybe managers got tired, maybe their teams got tired, maybe entrepreneurs got tired. Ah, no, wait, they’re used to being like Hopa Mitica. Who’s Hopa Mitica? That doll that falls down and gets right back up.

Psychologist – that’s a fashionable profession. Sure, I know people who did it by vocation, stopped everything and studied. Or people who have made enormous efforts to work and study, not for the degree, but because they finally identified what they were passionate about. Hats off!
But fashion comes with other, less fortunate cases.

Resilience – the ability to get through tough times, endurance, the strength to face situations, the thoughts associated with the difficult situations we face.

Sustainability – globally there is a strong emphasis on sustainability. Major fashion houses have started to open stores for old collections, which customers want to give a second chance, to increase their lifespan. The very young generation is no longer willing to buy products that are made without concern for the environment. World leaders meet to discuss sustainability. Of course, everyone is flying in on the same plane and they are having a hard time agreeing. But the start of discussions is welcome.

Time – I mean time for oneself, for what is essential. People have become more careful with their time, more discerning about spending it with those who matter.

Urgent – a state of urgency, everything should have been done yesterday. It seems we have no patience, no time, no nerves.

Volatility – that’s the environment, that’s the economy, hard to put your finger on anything. A time like water running from the tap – you want to catch it in your hand but it immediately escapes; now you have it and it immediately disappears.

Zoom – our communication channel, the everyday one (sure, when it’s not Teams, Skype, Slack, Whatsapp).

Wellbeing – couldn’t not mention this word too. What seemed like a luxury 4-5 years ago has become a necessity. There is a lot of talk about this concept, there are various programmes in companies, but I hope people will follow them and remember to put on, metaphorically speaking, their oxygen mask, to take care of themselves.

What would you add to this list?”

via: Forbes

Georgeta Dendrino