Not so long ago those were buzzwords.
The media put them in headlines to pull in the eyeballs.
Marketers frontloaded promotions with them.
Executives delivering speeches made it their business to include them.
Everyman and Everywoman peppered their conversations with them.
That was then.
Now, when those terms are used we tend to roll our eyes. Cliches. That's what they have become. In whatever Freshman Composition is now called, we got it never to use them.
The life cycle of buzzwords has accelerated. They go flat sooner.
Oh, there are probably lots of the reasons why. But the one so obvious is the proliferation of what we think of as "media." Those range from all the options which a premium cable subscription can buy to social media/social networks. And our culture has become glued to screens: television or internet.
All this has a direct impact on what sells.
For example, now that we get it that in a volatile economy few anything is sustainable, the management consulting model developed by Michael Porter becomes a joke. He championed the sustainable advantage. Yeah, sure. Facebook thrived when Myspace withered because the social network didn't resist change. It was already prepared to move on to Plan B or C or D. So, it didn't miss the future. Missing the future is why more and more companies are failing currently.
Also take transparent. The wildly successful law firm Jones Day is known as "a black box." For instance, lawyers do not know what their internal colleagues are earning. And, of course, are not allowed to ask. Strategy is created at the tippy top and implemented. No discussion. No advance warning. Here is David Lat's analysis of Jones Day's black box on Abovethelaw.com.
As for smackdowns. Those thrown to the mat do get up. And they soon figure out how not to be smacked-down in the near future. The emerging example of that is Hillary Clinton. In a Scranton, Pennsylvania speech this loser of the 2016 presidential race sent the message that she has returned from the woods. In her bob hairdo and more relaxed manner, she has already developed a fresh persona. If "pivot" were not a cliché, it could be applied. Meanwhile, The Hillary will receive plenty of media attention. Everyone wants to know what she up to.
How can you avoid being an object of scorn because you leveraged a cliché in your communications?
Regularly monitor both television and the internet. Listen to the language.
Do that in real life, too. However, what is happening in real life seems to be having less impact on language. Real life players become less important than how they are captured in the media.
The media players are the stars. That's why anyone who understands media, as does Donald Trump, has what used to be labeled a "sustainable advantage." Today, on March 19, 207, the appropriate phrase is "digital influencer." And, in a Now Economy, if he is the digital influencer right now, that's all that matters. The game gets played today.
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