I seem to have spent the last few weeks just writing. This has given me both sympathy with all those who are sitting exams at moment and hand cramp. I still like to write by hand as not only is this the easiest option on a train (which increasingly seems to be the place where I sit still the longest) but also offers the best opportunity to structure my thoughts.
Whilst I have not done a complete word count of what I have written, my lasting memory is the worry of making sure I’ve been consistent on many different levels. There are the obvious worries for consistency: do my numbers quite literally add up; have I spell checked; have I included all the key words? It is this last point which made me start to think. Whether I’m writing a journal article, conference abstract, report or pitch, there is the inevitable link between the current trends in analytics and the buzzwords of the moment. Only I’ve written so much over the last couple of weeks I’ve hit buzzword saturation point, the consequence of which was writer block. So, I put on my walking shoes and braved the unpredictable British weather to give myself some thinking time.
As I battled the blustery wind, what I realised was that if I’ve hit saturation point with buzzwords maybe others have too. At a time when there are endless constraints being placed on budgets and scrutiny on return on investment and the impact of expenditure, is there a need to re-balance the need to be seen to be “on trend” with innovation and actually delivering what a project needs. At a time when businesses should be delivering truly innovative ideas, if suppliers and clients focus on matching keywords we collectively run the risk of stifling and restricting what can be both asked for and offered as solutions. Worse yet, we could all forget that sometimes the simple, elegant, possibly old school techniques might just deliver what is being asked for.
I certainly don’t have a magic answer to my pondering. But I do have an idea. Maybe what is needed is for me to change my view on consistency. Is the solution actually to consistently invest time, money and effort in:
• In-house research and development.
• Talking, meeting with colleagues and clients and getting out to networking events.
• Getting out of your comfort zone and learning something new.
Will this approach to consistency, in the long term, provide the knowledge, skills, innovation and business relationships to stop buzzword saturation? I’ll have to wait and see, but it is certainly worth a try. If you’ve got any other suggestions, let me know – I’d love to hear them.