We name something because we want to define it.

The act of creating a title for an action, person, or process is an attempt to categorize or define it. If something is named, then it can be measured or even contained. People should be careful with their words because they have meaning and carry weight. 

Consultants are notorious for creating words and frameworks to describe new concepts or ways of measuring performance: benchmarking, balanced scorecards, Porter’s five forces, the GE-McKinsey nine-box matrix, the BCG growth-share matrix, and core competencies to name a few. There is nothing wrong with doing this and it is primarily an effort to capture the essence of an idea in plain language. 

However, people, processes, and organizations evolve. Names for concepts that were accurate at one point in the past may no longer be relevant today. If we’re not consistently seeking to define who we are and what we do, then there is the potential to lose relevance with your customers. 

This is especially important with the rise of social media as a communications and networking platform.

People and organizations need to continually reassess themselves in order to ensure they have achieved a balance between their inner values and vision and the environment they are working in. Defining our value starts with the names we use.

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