In line with Courtney Kincaid’s blog from May 2, I just want to say that I hate “buzz words.”

You know, those business terms that come out of nowhere and then cannot be avoided. I don’t know that I’d ever used the word “robust” other than when I was trying to be fancy in describing coffee or wine, until one day “robust solutions” became the go-to professional phrase. Everything we did had to become more robust! Right away! Oh, and we had to “leverage” our “intellectual capital” in order to “synergize” our resources so we could “shift paradigms” … in order to be more robust, of course.

buzzmouthBut, buzz words do become buzz words for a reason. They help us articulate a fear, a challenge, an opportunity or a way of doing things in a concise way. Frankly, I believe we latch on to buzz words because they help us make sense of the things that keep us up at night. Buzz words make us feel reassured that we’re not alone, that others have the same problems and maybe, just maybe, if we “leverage” something we can fix those problems!

Some of the newest buzz words making the rounds in the business world are “disruption,” “punctuated equilibrium,” “agility,” “resilience” and “collaboration.” As we at the Society have worked with the concept of knowledge management over the last couple of years, these words came up a lot and, to be honest, we thought we were pretty cool in using them. Now, every conference I go to I hear about “disruption” or being an “agile organization” and not only that, I recently saw a book titled Collaborate or Die!

At first, I was irritated — they stole our words! Then I realized, that just means we’re on the right track. These are buzz words members need to know. They are vital in understanding the world of work today and how to remain relevant. The CPAs and the companies that will thrive will need to be solid and manage well in dynamic environments (handling the disruptions of globalization, resiliently dealing with rapidly changing technologies, and collaborating through economic downturns or political gridlock).

The buzz isn’t just about the words (that part is just annoying). It’s about the meaning behind the words. It’s about the fear or opportunity that needs to be embraced to be successful in an increasingly complex and diverse world. As the professional home for Indiana’s CPAs, it’s our job to make you aware of the buzz, and in turn, to make you better, stronger and more relevant than ever.

And the Society is preparing to do just that. Learn more by participating in some of our new, creative, interactive and challenging knowledge management courses coming this fall. These courses will address the latest “buzz” and much more.