I love business jargon


Thanks to the 1999 movie Office Space TPS reports entered the often-hilarious and usually mind-numbing world of business jargon. TPS reports are now synonymous with, as one critic put it, “meaningless exercises imposed upon employees by an inept and uncaring management. “ Agreed. There is some silly stuff out there, watch this video for a bit of synergistic contextualization. At its best, business jargon works because it creates shared language around complex topics. Here are some favorites that may be important for credit unions: 

Platform Economics describes online spaces that enable nearly frictionless interactions between buyers and sellers. Some of the best examples include AirBnB, Lyft and Amazon. The consumer finance sector has not yet been impact by this trend, but recent research by Filene discuss an emerging Platform Economics application from our friends at Facebook. 

FinTech is a portmanteau of the words financial and technology used to describe adept technology experts trying to enter the financial services space. This jargon is well-used in consumer finance and now professionals are trying to figure out if FinTechs are friend or foe. At Filene we just concluded a test with one such FinTech and we believe the answer should be “really good friends”. 

Nudges refer to a behavioral economist concept that creates simple, cheap reminders for people that can have significant impacts on the decisions they make. Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler created simple nudges to get more employees to take advantage of  employer sponsored 401K sign ups leading to up to $29 billion more in retirement savings. Filene’s work in the nudge arena is much less dramatic but helps point to simple (and cheap) things credit unions can do to enhance consumers’ financial health

So there you have it. A few actionable, best of breed deliverables that provide low-hanging fruit that could move the needle for your strategic roadmap. I would love to spend more time talking about the virtues of business jargon, but my TPS reports are due tomorrow.

George Hofheimer

George Hofheimer

As the Chief Research + Innovation Officer of the Filene Research Institute, George Hofheimer is responsible for arming credit unions with the practical, yet creative ideas they need to compete on ... Web: www.filene.org Details

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