PENNI - Turning 'Business Words' into Deeds

'A penny is a lot of money, if you have not got a penny.'

Yiddish Quote

Managers have a language that they learn over time, it includes words like, strategy, plan, task, motivation, leadership, anxiety, result, on-time delivery, complaints, frustration, success, profit, value, waste, organise and control. PENNI has identified 108 words, set in three integrated aspects; the mechanics (technical processes), dynamics (social relationships) and systemics (the holistic entity of the enterprise). Each aspect has 36 'business' words. These words (plus many more) drive our daily/weekly/monthly and annual tasks as managers and leaders. 

The challenge is to ensure that your use of these words, through instruction, direction or demonstration is carried out by each of the members of your team to achieve the main task, customer satisfaction. If these words are not carried out as you require the team will fail to acheive the task. They will have created waste and a dissatisfied customer. Both use of the words used the same instruction, and yet the application of the deeds achieved two different outcomes.  

According to Friedman, 'it is quite common to find two people in the same meeting using the same word, 'result' for example, with two entirely different ideas of what the word means.' In addition, he adds, 'it is possible to use language in a clear and disciplined way. This requires that we agree on definitions that start with ideas and not words. Words are just ideas, and the same idea can have many different labels...'

Having an idea is quite a simple process. Many businesses have visions that begin as concepts that inform business strategy and become part of the organisational narrative - the business words. The challenge for management and the leadership is turning these words into the appropriate deeds that deliver customer satisfaction, as C.D. Jackson said, 'Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings'. 

PENNI sets out, through the pre-training self-efficacy assessment to provide definitions of each word and what should be achieved through is use as defined by the deed. 108 words, all with contextual backgrounds, describing how the word should be used and what you, as a manager/leader, would expect as a result of using it. Once everyone has the same idea of what is meant by each word, the deeds will be achieved. 

Source: Friedman, M. (2005) Trying Hard is Not Good Enough & Stutely, R. (1999) The Definitive Business Plan