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    Tuesday, September 28, 2004

    There's no "i" in "pod"

    By looking at the title, you might think this post is about a certain little mp3 player, but it's not. Even though I went on and on about consulting yesterday, I'd like to make one more point about it.

    If you've ever been on the receiving end of a consulting situation, you know how irritating it can be when the consultant uses the wrong term in reference to an aspect of the project over and over again. Let me give you an example. I once worked with a consultant who continuously referred to our marketing team as the marketing "pod." He probably thought it was cute and kinda hip. But what he was really saying to me was "I'm not paying attention to your lingo and therefore I'm not paying much attention to the culture of your business. In short, I'm not listening."

    You may disagree and think I'm overstating the point. But there's something to be said for making a concerted effort to pick up on these details early. I'm not going to pretend to have some profound consultinng wisdom to share, but I will say this: If you ever find yourself in a consulting role, immediately begin adopting the client's terminology. It may be a seemingly insignificant detail, but you can't overlook how much some may cringe when their department is called a pod instead of a team.