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Although we all speak our native tongue fluently, the same cannot be said about the language we use to talk about things in relation to the Transformation of Enterprises. Different people use different words to mean different things at different times. This is a massive problem which makes understanding anything anyone says at best impossible and at worst apparently possible. People, including me, get attached to the meaning of the words we use and defend those meanings passionately. This is totally understandable because the meanings we attach to words is the absolute basis for our understanding things.

It is therefore extremely pertinent to understand how roles communicate with other roles at the same level, between levels in the same area and between each area. Languages correspond to the overall areas of The Market, Strategic Planning, Projects, Users and Customers. People within those areas can use slightly different words but they are more akin to dialects. Recognition of these different languages and dialects is important but more importantly is the realisation that people who operate in the various phases of the Transformation Stack need to be able to speak at least two different languages (if not three) and therefore also need to be able to translate between them depending on who they are talking to or what information they are dealing with.

There are five fundamental languages:

      The Language of The Market - The language used by senior executives and the board to communicate with The Enterprise Context (Regulators, Investors, Competitors, Suppliers, Customer Segments, Communities, Governments, Non-clients, Non Suppliers, Anti-Clients, The Media, etc)

      The Language of Strategic Planning - The language used by senior executives and the board to formulate the Enterprise Strategy as it relates to the Enterprise Context, and to create Strategic Plans, Project Portfolios and Roadmaps to execute any Transformation required to deliver the Strategy.

      The Language of Projects - The language used by all those working on Transformation projects while executing individual projects.

      The Language of the Users - The language used by those operating parts of the Enterprise that Transformation is delivered into.

      The Language of Customers - The Language used by those operating the business to relate to and communicate with Customers.

One thing a Framework or Ontology brings is (hopefully!) a common and consistent language. The importance of which should not be underestimated.

 

What Languages does your Enterprise use for Enterprise Transformation?

Do people recognise when they are talking a different language?

What happens when people say "we are talking a different language"?

Are different languages taught?

If not, how do you expect people to be able to communicate effectively?