Following are some commonly used phrases that relate to managing a successful company.

For terms related to Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), visit this page.

MLM, multi-level marketing, network marketing, definitions, MLM definitions


Strategic Risk Terms

3 S’s of Business Ownership
80/20 Customers
Augmented Product
Bad News
Basement Strengths
Best Practice
Blind Spot
Case Study
Cash Flow / Cashflow
Cause and Effect
Change Management
Cognitive Bias
Cognitive Dissonance
Communication Intelligence
Company Culture
Consulting / Consultant
Corporate Ladder Bias
Corporate Reputation
Critical Risk Event
Customer Avatar
Customer Experience
Data Dictionary
Decision Making
Devil’s Advocate
Difficult Customer / Difficult Client
Empathetic Leadership
Employee For a Day
Everything to Everyone
Fear Response
Feedback Loop
Foundational Staff
Fractional CEO
Frankenstein Management Syndrome
Frustrated Employee
Healthy Feedback Loops
Hogg Temperament Types
Hollowed-Out Engagement
Ideal Customer
Ideal Prospect
Innovation Intelligence
Knowledge Evaporation
Knowledge Management
Languages of Appreciation
Learning Styles
Lessons Learned
Lottery Mentality
Marketing Strategy
Minimalist Management
Move the Needle
Multi-Level Marketing
Multiple Income Streams
Multiple Intelligences
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Needs, Fears, and Expectations
Operational Risk
Organizational Chart
Pain Points
Participatory Job Design
Perfect Workplace
Personality and Temperament
PESTEL analysis
Plateau Myth
Porter’s 5 Forces
Post-Mortem Evaluation
Pro Bono
Profit Leakage
Profit Leakage Calculator
Profit Margin
Pull Back the Curtain
Quantitative and Qualitative
Relational Business
Reverse Interviews
Risk Alert Fatigue
Risk Analysis
Risk Appetite
Risk Forecasting
Risk Framework
Risk Index
Risk Intelligence
Risk Investigation
Risk Management
Risk Map
Risk Matrix
Risk Maturity
Risk Measurement
Risk Monitoring
Risk Preparedness
Risk Roles
Risk Taking
Root Cause
Sale, Merger, Acquisition
Scrooge Effect
Shiny Client Syndrome
Strategic Advisory Board
Strategic Bias
Strategic Growth
Strategic Marketing
Strategic Objectives
Strategic Plan
Strategic Plan SHAPE
Strategic Risk
Strategic Risk Analysis
Strategic Intelligence
Strategic Risk Management
Strategic Vision Board
Sunk Cost Bias
Super SWOT
SWOT Analysis
Tradeoff Triangle
Transaction Avoidance Syndrome
Transactional Business
Triple Niche
Value-Based Pricing
Value-Focused Consulting
Virtual CEO
Vision Board
Weighted SWOT
Workplace Equity
Year In Review
Yin and Yang

MLM and Direct Sales Terms

Affiliate Sales
Basement Qualified
Brick, Click, and Flip
Business Owner
Check the Box
Direct Sales
Direct Sales Associate
Garage Qualified
Girl Boss
Goal Digger
Home-Based Business
Independent Contractor
Marketing Director
Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)
Network Marketer
Online Business
Preferred Customer
Pyramid Scheme
Sales Associate
Sales Representative
Team Member


3 S’s of Business Ownership

The main goal for most business owners (at least the ones we talk to) is not just to make more money. Instead, their primary motivation is to experience freedom and peace of mind. We call these the 3 S’s:


A place of equilibrium in which you have a firm position and can resume your original path after any sudden changes.


Confidence that you are protected and will withstand any threat of financial, physical, psychological, or emotional danger.


The belief that you make a meaningful and lasting difference for others.


80/20 Customers

A concept based on the Pareto principle that 80% of outcomes are result from 20% of all causes. In any given practice, there are only a few customers who are difficult to work with, skip appointments, and demand your attention. These individuals take up 80% of a practitioner’s time while only providing 20% (or less) of the revenue.



One of the 4 organizational management vulnerabilities. Actions that are inappropriate, are known to cause harm, and result in a diminished sense of safety, dignity, or value.

Examples: Emotional or mental bullying by a manager, Pressure to participate in questionable or unethical practices, Being prevented from completing necessary work tasks.

See Bullying, Intimidation, Waste, Loss, and Fraud



A behavior or approach that is:

  • Hostile
  • Forceful
  • Destructive

From the Latin: ad- “to” + gradi (“step toward something, approach, attack”)

Hostile Behavior:

Forceful Behavior:

Destructive Behavior:

  • Causes a person to experience severe injury, disaster, or disruption that results in long-term harm (emotional, mental, physical, or financial)
  • Destroys someone’s character, reputation, and/or livelihood
  • Creates irreparable damage with waste, loss, fraud, or abuse
  • Reveals weaknesses that can be exploited
  • Ignores warning signs and feedback

See TraumaVulnerability, and Yin and Yang



Simultaneous yet contradictory feelings about an idea. For example: attraction and repulsion, respect and embarrassment, love and hate, certainty and indecision. From the Latin: ambi- (“both sides”) and -valentia (“strength”).



The process of breaking something down into its component features to learn what they do and how they relate to each another. Opposite of synthesis. From the Greek: ana- (“up”) + lyein (“to loosen, divide, or cut apart”)

See Synthesis



The absence or suppression of emotion, concern, or enthusiasm; state of indifference and disinterest to matters of concern.



“A clever, artful, or creative skill.”
From the Latin artifex, meaning “craftsman, artist, master of an art.” The root words are ars- meaning “art” + -fex meaning “to do or make” (as an artisan).

We often use the word artificial to describe an imitation or substitute of something that is original and natural. When a person is artificial, they are insincere and false. An artificial food takes the qualities of an original food presented in a fictitious way (consider “tofurkey”).

But the actual word means “to master a craft or create art skillfully.” The only way to become a great artist is to minimize distractions and give focused attention to the creative process.

Read more: Minimalist Manager Challenge Part 1: No Sugar


Augmented Product

A product that offers tailored services and features which add value and differentiate it from competitors. These are non-physical bonuses that go beyond the “basic” needs satisfied by the core product.

Examples include:

  • warranty
  • customization
  • additional features (i.e. laptop case and bag)
  • complimentary food and drink
  • free software upgrades
  • customer service
  • free delivery
  • installation
  • quarterly followup visit
  • post-purchase services

See Product-As-a-Service


Bad News

Information that is considered unwelcome because it is:

  • unpleasant (creates suffering and pain),
  • annoying (causes irritation and anger), or
  • disturbing (causes turmoil and anxiety).

Read more: [Video] Let’s Define… What is “Bad News”?


Basement Strengths

Aspects of one’s natural talents that are misapplied and act as a barrier to effective communication, productivity, and goal achievement.

See StrengthsFinder


Best Practice

A proven method of producing superior outcomes with the highest efficiency (least amount of effort) and greatest effectiveness (optimal results). Grace LaConte has developed ten Best Practices for Strategic Risk Management. These include:

Awareness of Bias

  1. Participatory Strategic Planning
  2. Culture of Empathy
  3. Meaningful Vision, Mission, & Values

Risk Intelligence

  1. Risk Intelligent Leaders
  2. Implementable Strategic Plan
  3. Crystal-Clear Objectives and Measures

Risk Evaluation

  1. High-Value Experience
  2. Effective Transition Philosophy

Risk Monitoring

  1. Healthy Feedback Loops
  2. Continuous Risk Monitoring
strategic risk, risk management, best practices, strategic planning, risk intelligence
Grace LaConte’s 10 Best Practices of Strategic Risk Management


Blind Spot

An area of the visual field that cannot be seen, due to an obstruction.

  • In anatomy: A small area at the back of the eye where the optic nerve is insensitive to light.
  • In professional development: Aspects of our behavior, attitude, and beliefs of which we are not fully conscious but which may negatively affect others.
  • In management: Unawareness of vulnerabilities which may cause harm to the organizational, or opportunities which may be of great value.
blind spots, blind spot, leadership blind spots, central vision, peripheral vision, unviewable area
Grace LaConte’s “Leadership Blind Spots” Diagram

See Strategic Bias



Systematic and intentional behavior that inflicts harm by dominating someone through force, threats, harassment, or intimidation in one or more of these ways:

  1. Physical: Bodily harm (battery), threat of harm (assault), unwanted touching, destruction of property, theft
  2. Verbal: Written, electronic, or spoken; name-calling, crude comments
  3. Non-Verbal: Graffiti, crude imagery, vulgar gestures, pornographic materials, sexual propositioning
  4. Emotional: Relational abuse, stalking
  5. Social: Exclusion, humiliation, gossip and rumors
  6. Cyber: Also known as “cyberbullying,” this category can include multiple types of bullying and is characterized by:
    • Text messages or emails
    • Rumors shared via email or posted on social networking sites
    • Embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles
    Check out some great statistics about cyberbullying here.
  7. Prejudicial: Any type of behavior (Physical, Verbal, Social, or Cyber) that calls negative and unwanted attention to a person’s actual or perceived characteristics (full list is here).

See Intimidation and Harassment


Case Study

An analysis tool with a narrative story and data from a variety of sources (research, observations, interviews, case history) that is used to examine a specific problem.

The goal of a case study is to either reveal a specific answer (using facts and deductive reasoning), or to allow a wide range of possible solutions and outcomes (with generalized examples and contextual conditions).

To be most effective, case studies should include:

  • A compelling and interesting story
  • Problems that are relevant to the reader
  • Characters who connect emotionally with the reader
  • A realistic dilemma that needs to be solved
  • Dialogue (the main characters speak to each other)
  • An open-ended discussion of possible root causes and solutions
  • And idea that can be applied in a variety of situations

You can review my client case studies here.

Cash Flow / Cashflow

The net amount of cash that moves in and out of a company. Also known as income (cash coming in) and expenditures (cash going out).

See Profit Leakage

Cause and Effect

Recognition of connections between one event (the cause), with another (the effect), where each is dependent on one other and the originating event is known to be responsible for the outcome.

See Root Cause


Change Management

An organization’s approach to achieving outcomes by identifying and significantly reshaping the way it utilizes resources, processes, and budget.

See Strategic Growth



A method inspired by Adam Kreek via Inc. Magazine to identify one’s desired objective using 5 points:

  • Collaborative
  • Limited
  • Engaging
  • Actionable
  • Refinable

See SMART Goals

SMART goals, CLEAR goals, goal-setting
Grace LaConte’s take on SMART and CLEAR goals



A facilitation process in which one seeks to improve their professional development by being accountable to a guide or teacher.

The components of business coaching may include:


Cognitive Bias

A systematic pattern of deviation from rational judgment that often leads to a distorted perception, illogical interpretation, and/or inaccurate conclusions.

See Perception


Cognitive Dissonance

Mental stress that occurs when an individual is confronted with information that is inconsistent with or contradicts their beliefs, ideas, and values.

See Cognitive Bias



The process of delivering a message using words or behavior, and exchanging that message to someone else with shared understanding.


Communication Intelligence

One of the 3 types of Strategic Intelligence. The ability to acquire knowledge using words, sounds, signs, and behaviors; synthesize it into a message; and exchange the information to another with a high degree of success.

See Strategic  Intelligence


Company Culture

Defined expectations of behavior, words, symbols, habits, values, and beliefs that directly impact an organization’s work environment, vision & mission, ethical practices, objectives, and performance standards.

company culture, culture, culture iceberg, corporate culture, internal culture, surface culture, deeper culture, risk management, management, business ownership
Company Culture Iceberg

The original concept of a “Company Culture Iceberg” was developed by Edward T. Hall in his book “Beyond Culture” (1976) and by Gary R. Weaver in “Understanding and Coping with Cross-cultural Adjustment Stress” (1986).

Read more: Understanding the Culture of a Company, Part 1: Surface Culture and Understanding the Culture of a Company, Part 2: Deeper Culture


Consulting / Consultant

Consulting is the activity of offering specialized expert advice that improves a client’s condition.

A Consultant is a professional who offers specialized expertise to improve a client’s condition. This may involve solving a specific and complex problem, advising future decisions, or coordinating a new initiative as an outside agent. She or he reviews the situation objectively, gathers data (including stakeholder feedback), identifies root causes, and provides recommendations for improvement.

In Latin, consulere senatum means “to gather the Senate for discussion.” The terms include con- (to gather together) and -selere (to take or seize).

A consultant is not the same as an advisor, who serves as a long-standing member of an organization and provides guidance as problems emerge. The term advisor comes from Latin visum, meaning “in my view.”

The term Consultant is often misused as a title by independent contractors in Multi-Level Marketing


Corporate Ladder Bias

A pattern of favoring unreasonable beliefs and behavior that primarily benefits top-level leaders, and avoiding rational information that may contradict or threaten those beliefs.

See Foundational Staff


Corporate Reputation

The synthesis of multiple stakeholders’ opinions, perceptions, and observations of how well a company responds to stakeholder expectations over time. One of the 5 Types of Strategic Risk.

Read more: Overview of the 5 Types of Strategic Risk

See Reputation and Strategic Risk


Critical Risk Event

The existence of a vulnerability that is likely to cause serious damage to a particular outcome.


Customer Avatar

A composite of various qualities and characteristics that are common in a company’s Ideal Customer or Patient, including:

  • Demographics (age, gender, relationship status, children, income, education level, political views, financial status)
  • Work roles (owner, director, manager, employee, specialist, or stay-at-home parent; work status, job title, employment status, and responsibilities; industry and sector)
  • Psychographics (hobbies, interests, values, personality type, learning style)
  • Media (most frequent and/or effective way to receive information, favorite books, TV shows, magazines, websites, news sources, social media sites)
  • Goals (what success looks like; ultimate dream; desired end results such as financial stability, wealth, generosity, luxury, freedom, recognition, comfort, etc.)
  • Pain points (top 3 barriers standing in the way of success; what keeps her/him up at night)
  • Fears (Worst thing that could happen; what results they’re not seeing; potential dangers)
  • Objections (top 3 reasons they may not buy from you; expectations and needs)

The word “avatar” comes from Sanskrit: avatārati (“descent of a deity from heaven”) which contains the terms ava- (“away”) and –tarati (“he crosses over”).


Customer Experience

A buyer’s subjective perception of what receive from purchasing a service or product, including:

  • an environment that provides many options and a sense of choice,
  • exceptional quality,
  • low cost,
  • easy accessibility,
  • a high perceived value, and
  • a positive emotional connection



The use of electronic media to send hurtful messages to intimidate or threaten someone; usually done anonymously. Examples include:

  • Text messages or Emails
  • Rumors shared via email or posted on social networking sites
  • Embarrassing pictures, videos, or websites, or fake profiles.

See Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment


Data Dictionary

A set of terms describing the content, format, and structure of a set of data; the relationships between each element; and rules by which access is controlled.

Read more: Are You Using This Essential Risk Management Tool?


Decision Making

The cognitive process of selecting a final course of action among alternate possibilities. A basic Decision-Making Matrix includes 4 parts:

  • High benefit with high confidence: High-Value (do it now)
  • High benefit with low confidence: Secondary (do it next)
  • Low benefit with high confidence: Insignificant (postpone it)
  • Low benefit with low confidence: Wasteful (eliminate it)
decision making, decisions, leadership, benefits, confidence, high-value outcomes, wasteful
Grace LaConte’s Decision Making Matrix


Devil’s Advocate

A person who argues in favor of views that are in opposition to those held by the establishment (whether or not he or she agrees with that position) in order to examine it further.

Read more: Who are Your Devil’s Advocates? [Podcast] and 14 Incredible Devil’s Advocates Who Refused to Stay Silent About Injustice

14 Incredible Devil’s Advocates Who Refused to Stay Silent About Injustice

See Whistleblower and Yes-Person



An alphabetized set of terms that describes the spelling, pronunciation, and meanings of referenced words. 

Difficult Customer / Difficult Client

Situation in which a buyer feels frustrated during the sales process and uses one of 3 approaches to communicate their problem:

  • The Honeybee Customer (notices a concern, feels an obligation to speak up, doesn’t want to cause harm, willing to lose the sale or social standing)
  • The Scorpion Customer (opinion has not been acknowledged, has negative attitude, may spread rumors and dissuade other buyers, tries to bring about change at any cost)
  • The Nuclear Blast Customer (Committed to causing damage, wants to punish company rather than get results, perceives a lack of respect, is irrational and dangerous)
difficult customers offer unsolicited feedback in 3 ways Honeybee, Scorpion, and Nuclear Blast
The three levels of difficult customers: Honeybee, Scorpion, and Nuclear Blast


A group that is composed of individuals with a wide variety of qualities (including gender, sexual identity, age, socioeconomic status, nationality, ethnicity, religion, educational level, veteran status, physical and mental ability, and/or other expressions of identity).

An individual person by herself or himself is not “diverse”; they are unique. Each person can bring assorted qualities to a group, and that collective mix is what makes it diverse.

Diversity: “Everyone is different.”
Inclusion: “Everyone is respected and belongs.”
Equity: “Marginalized groups have the same access to opportunities.”

See Equity and Inclusion


Empathetic Leadership

The ability of an authority figure to recognize and vicariously experience the pain of others (specifically by Foundational Staff) which can resulting in higher levels of trust, collaboration, and positive outcomes.


Employee For a Day

The simple practice of “sitting in the seat” of employees (especially Foundational Staff) to gain first-hand knowledge of organizational challenges from the employee’s point of view in a way that is not possible at a leadership level.

Read more: What Happened When I Became an “Employee For a Day, [Video] Let’s Define… What is an “Employee For a Day”?, 10 Variations of the “Employee for a Day” Experience, and “Employee For a Day”: How to Start.



The process of creating, nurturing, and managing relationships with stakeholders (customers/patients, investors, managers, employees, volunteers, and the community) by meeting their needs, fears, and expectations.

See Hollowed-Out Engagement and Stakeholder


Everything to Everyone

A belief that offering a wide array of options is better than limiting the choices to just a handful. This is evident in the Paradox of Choice, developed by psychologist Barry Schwartz, Ph.D. and can lead to the Fear of Missing Out (coined by Dan Herman). In contrast, voluntary simplicity involves reducing the options to a bare minimum in order to gain a sense of freedom.

See Minimalist Management



The acknowledgment that certain individuals are afforded advantages, access, and opportunities compared to other individuals.

An organization is truly equitable when its leaders recognize any opportunity imbalances to marginalized employees and invite them to contribute in the strategic planning process.

Diversity: “Everyone is different.”
Inclusion: “Everyone is respected and belongs.”
Equity: “Marginalized groups have the same access to opportunities.”

See Diversity and Inclusion



An uneasy sensation caused by perceived danger or threat of harm.

According to Dr. Karl Albrecht, all humans share five types of fears, starting at the top:

  • Loss of Autonomy (being unable to experience self actualization and independent thought)
  • Ego Death (losing the esteem and approval of others)
  • Separation (not belonging or being accepted in a social group)
  • Mutilation (feeling unsafe and being invaded)
  • Extinction (not having basic physiological needs like food, shelter, water, and the absence of pain)
basic fears, types of fears, extinction, physiological, mutilation, safety, ego death, esteem, separation, belonging, loss of autonomy, self actualization
The 5 Basic Fears by Dr. Karl Albrecht

Read more: What Happens When We Avoid Pain in Decision-Making?
The 4 Responses to Fear as a Leader
50 Ways to Accommodate Patients Who are Afraid of the Dentist

See Fear Response


Fear Response

There are four basic ways humans react to fear:

  • Repel and engage the threat: Fight 
  • Repel and disengage the threat: Flight 
  • Attract and disengage the threat: Freeze 
  • Attract and engage the threat: Face (the most effective approach)
responses to fear, fight or flight, fight flight freeze, engage, disengage, repel, attract
The 4 Fear Responses: Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Face

Our fears can be defined in this way:


  • Action: Attack (reactive response)
  • Emotion: Anger
  • Outcomes: Insult, Blame, Mistreat


  • Action: Hide (escapist response)
  • Emotion: Denial
  • Outcomes: Avoid, Omit, Sabotage


  • Action: Comply (passive response)
  • Emotion: Shut Down
  • Outcomes: Justify and Rationalize


The most effective approach.

  • Action: Defend (assertive response)
  • Emotion: Connected
  • Outcomes: Preserve and Mitigate
fear, fear response, fight, flight, freeze, face, fight or flight
The 4 Responses to Fear

Read more: What Happens When We Avoid Pain in Decision-Making? and The 4 Responses to Fear as a Leader

See Fear


Feedback Loop

A control system in which leaders collect new input (suggestion, appreciation, or complaint), respond to the sender, validate and measure the input’s usefulness, decide which action to take, adjust processes, confirm outcomes, and alert the sender that action was taken.

Feedback Loops can have 4 outcomes:

  • High trust with high quality: Helpful feedback (immediately applicable ideas)
  • High trust with low quality: Distracted feedback (ideas don’t solve urgent problems)
  • Low trust with high quality: Constricted feedback (quality of ideas is limited)
  • Low trust with low quality: Damaging feedback (ideas conflict with strategic goals)
feedback, feedback loop, feedback mechanism, customer service, customer engagement, patient engagement
Grace LaConte’s Feedback Loop Threats

Read more: How to Use Good and Bad Pain in Decision-Making

See Cause and Effect and Healthy Feedback Loops


Foundational Staff

Employees at the lowest levels of an organization including Housekeeping, Maintenance, Food Service, and Direct Patient/Customer Care. Essential roles without which other systems would not run effectively, yet which are also the least appreciated and often lowest paid.

foundational staff, organizational roles, organizational chart, housekeeping, direct care, food service, maintenance
Grace LaConte’s 4 Types of Foundational Staff

Read more: What Happened When I Became an “Employee For a Day”


Fractional CEO

An experienced professional who provides high-level advisory expertise that can improve a company’s profit, growth, and business value over time. She or he works with the leadership team to:

  • identify areas of profit leakage,
  • develop a long-range vision and business plan,
  • provide accountability to implement the plan, and
  • assist in preparing the business for eventual sale.

This role is also known as a Virtual CEO, Managing Director, On-Demand Executive, or Executive-as-a-Service.

Morgan Hill Partners (What is a Fractional Executive?)
Chief Outsiders (Nine Reasons – Plus One — To Hire an “Executive-as-a-Service”)
GigX (Fractional Chief Executive Officer)



The structure of facts and principles necessary to form a decision, concept, or system.

Read more: The Ultimate Strategic Planning Framework Tool


Frankenstein Management Syndrome

A condition of insincere actions leading to harmful outcomes that result from biased decision-making when leaders are disconnected from the needs of employees, customers, and the community.

Read more: Frankenstein Management: Why Bias Can Destroy a Great Business



One of the 4 organizational management vulnerabilities. Intentional deception used to gain something of value, inflict injury, or gain some unfair advantage.

Examples: Submitting claims for services not provided, falsifying records, misrepresenting the frequency or dates of services.

See Waste, Loss, and Abuse


Frustrated Employee

When an employee feels unheard, and try to communicate a problem when there is no mechanism to transform their feedback into action, they use one of 3 different approaches:

  • The Honeybee Employee (frustrated by harm and injustice, feels an obligation to speak up, doesn’t want to hurt anybody, willing to risk their job or status)
  • The Scorpion Employee (opinion is not acknowledged, has negative attitude toward leaders, may spread rumors and create rebellion, tries to bring about change at any cost)

The Nuclear Blast Employee (Unconcerned about causing damage, wants to punish leaders instead of getting results, feels disrespected, goal is to destroy and humiliate)

Gray wood-grain background with images of honeybee, scorpion, nuclear blast and title "Why Frustrated Employees Offer Unsolicited Feedback"
Frustrated Employees provide unsolicited feedback in 3 ways: Honeybee, Scorpion, and Nuclear Blast


A sense of emotional distress from the loss something or someone that has importance.

roller coaster of grief, rollercoaster of grief, grief, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, David Kessler, change management
The grief process

Adapted from On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kesslar



A positive change in size, maturation, and/or revenue over a period of time.

Read more: What a US Marine Combat Veteran Taught Me About Post-Traumatic Growth

US Marine, Marine, combat veteran, Marine veteran, military veteran, US veteran, veteran PTSD, PTSD, Post-Traumatic, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post-Traumatic Growth, workplace strategy, workplace accommodations, toxic workplace
What a US Marine Combat Veteran Taught Me About Post-Traumatic Growth

See Stagnation and Strategic Growth



Repetitive and unwanted behavior, gestures, or remarks that cause someone to feel offended and threatened based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, or pregnancy status.

When offensive conduct in a workplace is pervasive and considered intimidating, hostile, or abusive, it is considered unlawful even if there is no economic impact on the employee (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).

See Bullying and Intimidation



An optimal state that maximizes the potential for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.

See Healthy Feedback Loops


Healthy Feedback Loops

A series of systems that collect and respond to stakeholder input in order to optimize physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.

The 5 components are:

  1. Empathetic Leaders. Effective change won’t happen unless the leadership team can experience the pain of those they lead (especially Foundational Staff).
  2. Non-Retaliatory Culture. Even if the feedback isn’t pleasant, intimidation is never a proper response.
  3. Structured Feedback Mechanism. How is the feedback being collected? Several methods should be used, and they should be monitored and tested regularly.
  4. Analytic Framework. Once people start sharing their thoughts and experiences, this data needs to be analyzed and evaluated.
  5. Visible Follow-Through. The most important step is to complete the loop by implementing a change, communicating the decision, and monitoring the new process.
feedback loop, healthy feedback, empathetic leaders, structured mechanisms
Grace LaConte’s Components of a Healthy Feedback Loop

See Stakeholder


Hogg Temperament Types

A set of 5 categories of responses developed by Tracy Hogg who was a British nurse, child development expert, and author of “The Baby Whisperer” and “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer” (with Melinda Blau). 

The 5 temperaments include:

  1. Angel Type
  2. Textbook Type
  3. Touchy Type
  4. Spirited Type
  5. Grumpy Type
overview of Tracy Hogg's 5 temperament types
Tracy Hogg’s 5 Temperament Types

See Personality and Temperament


Hollowed-Out Engagement

The erroneous belief that stakeholder relationships are healthy, but where in reality the organization fails to adequately meet stakeholders’ needs, fears, and expectations.


Ideal Customer

Also known as an Ideal Patient or a Target Customer, this is an individual who:

Any patient or customer who fits these criteria is a valuable asset. Your goal is to find, attract, and keep as many as possible, and gently say auf wiedersehen to everyone else.

Read more: 5 Reasons to Share a “Year In Review” of Your Business and What to Do When You Realize Your Customer Is Not a Good Fit


Ideal Prospect

Someone who has been identified as a potential customer and has the following qualities:

Check out examples of our Ideal Prospects.


The process of transforming a concept into reality by using a specified set of activities to execute the plan.



Providing the same opportunities and resources to individuals with a variety of qualities and perspectives (including those under-represented by gender, sexual orientation, age 40 or older, ethnicity, race, color, national origin, religion, and limited physical or mental abilities).

An organization is inclusive when all individuals feel included in the strategic planning process.

It is possible for an organization to be visibly diverse… but where its people do not feel heard or have the chance to contribute their unique skills.

Diversity: “Everyone is different.”
Inclusion: “Everyone is respected and belongs.”
Equity: “Marginalized groups have the same access to opportunities.”

See Diversity and Equity



The power to persuade someone into agreeing with or doing what you desire.

In psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini’s classic book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he shares 6 principles that cause us to make decisions:

  1. Reciprocity (desire to give when something is received)
  2. Commitment (desire to stay consistent with what you’ve already agreed to do)
  3. Social Proof (desire to follow what others do)
  4. Liking (desire to act the same as those who are similar to you)
  5. Authority (desire to trust “experts”), and
  6. Scarcity (desire to have something that is in limited quantity).
Robert Cialdini, Dr. Robert Cialdini, Dr. Cialdini, Influence, 6 Principles of Persuasion, 6 Principles of Influence, Influencing, Reciprocity, Commitment, Social Proof, Liking, Authority, Scarcity, strategic risk
Dr. Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion

Read more: How MLMs Use the Psychology of Influence
Read more: What is social proof and how to use it? (article by TrustMary)

See  StrengthsFinder



“Applied creativity” through the creation of new products, services, relationships, and approaches. (Source: Dr. Alan Weiss)


Innovation Intelligence

One of the 3 types of Strategic Intelligence. The ability to generate, identify, and apply creative solutions in a way that causes products, services, relationships, and approaches to improve.

See Innovation and Strategic Intelligence



An act of frightening someone using threats, coercion, or harassment in order to compel or deter specific action. When repetitive, this is called bullying. From the Latin: timidus (“to make afraid”).



One of the four least-common Myers-Briggs personality types, the INTP (Introvert, iNtuition, Thinking, Perceiving) is estimated to occur in just 3% of the general population, and in only 1% of women (including Grace LaConte). Nicknamed “The Logician,” people with this personality are intellectual, logical, and flexible. They often ask “Does this make sense?” and are skilled at slicing through data to identify holes in logic. PersonalityHacker calls INTP the “intellectual Shiva,” after the Hindu god of destruction.

Visit the INTP Memes page here!

image of Ned Stark (Sean Bean) in Game of Thrones saying "One does not simply interrupt a reading INTP"

See Myers-Briggs Type Indicator


Knowledge Evaporation

Permanent and irreversible loss of vital information that occurs due to employee turnover, disengagement, and/or ineffective knowledge management. Most organizations do not effectively capture the knowledge assets of their employees (yes, even “difficult” ones). Once an employee decides to leave, any knowledge they possess will evaporate unless a mechanism is in place to systematically collect and categorize it prior to their departure.

Knowledge Management

A system that allows discrete or intangible skills and observations to be captured, defined, structured, accessed, and shared in order to improve an organization. Knowledge Management (KM) can only occur when individuals at all levels are willing to share their perspectives and are incentivized to clearly explain their understanding of the company’s processes information so it is transferrable and useful to others.


A Key Performance Indicator (with the acronym KPI) is a ratio that “moves the needle” for your business to reach its ultimate goals. It shows a ratio that shows movement (growth or decline), quality (increase or decrease), engagement (higher or lower), and other number relationships in a company’s data.  

business data, evaluation, data evaluation, measures, metrics, KPIs, key performance indicators, critical success factors, goals and objectives, strategic risk
The Basics of Evaluating Business Data

A dashboard visually represents several metrics in one place. This makes it easy to immediately see how well the company is doing.

KPIs could includes things like the number of customers served per day, number of website sales conversions, percentage of net profit per sale, and profit per service. Which KPIs to use all depends on your industry, your priorities, and your niche—the specific problems your company can solve for customers.

Read more: Analyzing Profit Margins FAQs Part 2: Profitability

See Metric 


A communication system that uses a set of words, sounds, symbols, or gestures to convey meaning.


Languages of Appreciation

This classification was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman (also known as the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace and the MBA Inventory). We all have a natural way we prefer to receive praise, and typically we use that same method to recognize and communicate praise to employees and other stakeholders.

Problems can arise when we only use the language that feels most comfortable to us (the Golden Rule)… without considering how others may wish to receive praise (the Platinum Rule).

The 5 categories of Appreciation include:

  1. Acts of Service
  2. Words of Affirmation
  3. Quality Time
  4. Tangible Gifts
  5. Physical Touch
appreciation, Languages of Appreciation, 5 Languages of Appreciation, Love Languages, 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman, Dr. Gary Chapman, words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, physical touch, acts of service
The 5 Languages of Appreciation

Find more at


Learning Styles

To be most effective, communication should combine a variety of learning methods that best fit the recipient. These include:

  1. Visual (Spatial) – using pictures, images, color, and spatial reasoning
  2. Verbal (Linguistic) – using words with speaking and writing
  3. Aural (Auditory-Musical) – using sound, rhyme, and music
  4. Physical (Kinesthetic) – using the body, hands, objects, and role-playing
  5. Social (Interpersonal) – working in groups with people and sharing ideas
  6. Solitary (Intrapersonal) – working alone, in self-study, and using modeling
  7. Logical (Mathematical) – using lists, logic, systems, and rational thought


Lessons Learned

A retrospective evaluation of an event to determine root causes and decision-making to avoid risk of future loss.

Read more: How to Do a Year In Review

See Post-Mortem Evaluation



One of the 4 organizational management vulnerabilities. To be irreversibly deprived of the value of an asset or resource.

Examples include:

Business interruption from

  • physical damage (from fire, lightning, flooding, etc),
  • vandalism or cyberattacks,

Legal liability

  • due to bodily injury, illness or accident of key staff, and


  • such as mistakes, incorrectly executed processes, inaccurate data, misses and near-misses.

See Waste, Fraud, and Abuse


Lottery Mentality

An overly optimistic view of the near future: “My life would change if I were to win the lottery! All of my bills will be paid, and all my problems would disappear… if just a few things went right.”

See Overconfidence



The art and science of identifying, anticipating, attracting, and satisfying customer needs by delivering high-value products and services profitably.

The goal of marketing can be summarized in 7 P’s and 7 C’s:

The 7 P’s of Marketing

(also known as Booms and Bitner’s Extended 7 P’s)

Organization Facing

  1. Product/Service
  2. Price
  3. Place/Distribution
  4. Promotion
  5. People
  6. Physical Environment
  7. Processes

The 7 C’s of Marketing

Customer Facing

  1. Customer
  2. Cost
  3. Convenience/Ease of buying
  4. Communication
  5. Competence
  6. Comfort
  7. Coordination
The 7 P’sThe 7 C’s
Place/DistributionConvenience/Ease of buying
Physical EnvironmentComfort

See Marketing Strategy


Marketing Strategy

The future-focused process of developing a competitive advantage by satisfying customer needs in a specific niche.

Your company’s Marketing Strategy will improve when you:

  1. Identify a sustainable competitive advantage to solve a market problem,
  2. Choose a distinct specialization (niche) that focuses on Ideal Customers,
  3. Design high-value solutions to meet customers’ needs,
  4. Use influence to promote solutions in a unique way that speaks directly to customers, and
  5. Monitor the buyer’s sales journey to maximize value and profit margins.

The terms “Marketing Strategy” and “Strategic Marketing” can be used interchangeably.

See Niche and Triple Niche



The percentage or ratio used to analyze and compare relationships between two measures. It can be used as a percentage, ratio, average, or rate.

We use this ratio to understand:

  • movement (growth or decline),
  • quality (increase or decrease),
  • engagement (higher or lower),
  • and other effects that can be shown using numbers.

One type of metric is Profit Margin: a percentage that shows the degree of profitability in a business. This is calculated as Total Sales, minus the Total Expenses, divided by the Total Sales.

business data, evaluation, data evaluation, measures, metrics, KPIs, key performance indicators, critical success factors, goals and objectives, strategic risk
Business Data Evaluation Steps

Read more: Analyzing Profit Margins FAQs Part 2: Profitability

See Profit Margin


Minimalist Management

Popularized by the Minimalist and Tiny House movements, this philosophy supports decreasing one’s unneeded possessions, living life more simply, and experiencing each moment with more appreciation. Most managers are expected to do more with less. The pressure to magically create good outcomes with very little time or money can lead to depression and anxiety.

A few years ago, I developed a minimalist challenge (watch the playlist) by focusing on these four essential areas:

  • Care for Self
  • Organize Surroundings
  • Prioritize Time
  • Help Others

A re-balance of management responsibilities can eliminate stress, increase productivity, enhance relationships, and improve health.



Internal (psychological) and external (environmental) factors that affect one’s desire to act in a certain way. According to psychologist Dr. Fredrick Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory (also known as the Two-Factor Theory), people are motivated by a combination of what makes them feel good about doing their job (satisfaction), and things that make them feel bad about doing their job (dissatisfaction).

Factors for SatisfactionFactors for Dissatisfaction
Feeling of achievement

Meaningful work

Challenging work

Increased responsibility

Recognition of accomplishments


Opportunities for growth

Relationship with supervisor and peers

Working conditions

Quality of Supervision

Company policies

Salary and benefits


Job security

In Dr. Herzberg’s theory,

  • The opposite of Satisfaction is No Satisfaction.
  • The opposite of Dissatisfaction is No Dissatisfaction.

See Engagement


Move the Needle

Measurable progress toward a specific goal, especially when the outcomes you want are both Quantitative (objective numbers) and Qualitative (subjective and objective experiences).

Progress toward these goals can be visually represented by an Empty/Full graphic (like a gas tank), a bar graph, or a pie graph.

Ideally, every job role has 2 or 3 “Move the Needle” measures that directly impact the organization’s ability to achieve its strategic goals.

Read more: How to Understand the a Quantitative and Qualitative Data in Your Business and Interpreting the Quantitative Data (Numbers) in Your Business

See Quantitative and Qualitative


Multi-Level Marketing

A systematized compensation system in which an “Independent Contractor” (IC) sells products or services to consumers, AND where they are incentivized to recruit additional distributors under them in multiple “levels.”

Read more: Why I Hate MLMs: My Story


Multiple Income Streams

The concept of generating a profit using several methods, in order to maximize the chance of success. 

multiple income, multiple income streams, profit, profit margins, income streams, profit streams, strategic risk, strategic marketing, marketing
Multiple Income Streams

Read more: 24 Ideas for Multiple Income Streams That Will Boost Your Profit Margins


Multiple Intelligences

A theory developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University, which suggests that traditional intelligence testing (“IQ”) is limited and should include a variety of other modalities. Also known as Learning Styles.

These include:

  1. Musical-Rhythmic (“music smart”) — The ability to recognize and reproduce musical pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.
  2. Linguistic-Verbal (“word smart”) — The ability to use language to express ideas and to convey complex meaning.
  3. Intrapersonal (“self smart”) — The capacity to understand one’s own thoughts and feelings, and to direct one’s life toward specific goals.
  4. Existential (“big questions smart”) — The capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence: Who are we? How did we get here? What is the meaning of life?
  5. Logical-Maths (“number/reasoning smart”) — The ability to calculate and quantify data and to use abstract thought, sequential reasoning skills, and inductive & deductive thinking patterns.
  6. Interpersonal (“people smart”) — The capacity to convey thoughts effectively with verbal and nonverbal communication, recognize moods and temperaments of others, and consider multiple perspectives.
  7. Naturalistic (“nature smart”) — The ability to distinguish features in the natural world and to appreciate living things
  8. Visual-Spatial (“picture smart”) — The ability to mentally manipulate objects in multiple dimensions using spatial reasoning, artistic skills, and an active imagination.
  9. Bodily-Kinesthetic (“body smart”) — The ability to manipulate objects and one’s physical movements to their fullest potential due to a keen sense of timing and an exceptional union of mind & body.

Source: Dr. Thomas Armstrong of American Institute for Learning and Human Development

howard gardner, multiple intelligences, musical-rhythmic, linguistic-verbal, intrapresonal, existential, logical-maths, interpersonal, naturalistic, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic
Dr. Howard Gardner’s 9 Multiple Intelligences


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI)

A personality self-assessment created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. based on the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Also known as MBTI®, Myers-Briggs® and/or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®.

This tool provides insights into your decision-making behavior by evaluating traits using an either/or result. The 8 traits are:

  • Introvert or Extrovert
  • iNtuition or Sensing
  • Thinking or Feeling
  • Judging or Perceiving

The official assessment is available at MBTIonline; or you can take the free version at 16Personalities.

MBTI positive and negative Myers-Briggs Myers Briggs Type Indicator
Positive and Negative MBTI associations
MBTI, Myers Briggs Myers-Briggs Type Indicator four dichotomies
The 4 MBTI dichotomies

See StrengthsFinder


Needs, Fears, and Expectations

Three segments of engagement based on Dr. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of five human needs (Physiological, Safety, Esteem, Belonging, and Self-Actualization) paralleled with Dr. Karl Albrecht’s five fears we all share (Extinction, Mutilation, Ego Death, Separation, and Loss of Autonomy), and The Lustgarten Foundation’s Patient Bill of Rights (Access, Choice, Respect, Participation, and Confidentiality).

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Maslow's hierarchy, fears, Expectations, Physiological, Safety, Esteem, Belonging, Self-Actualization
Part 1 of Grace LaConte’s Hierarchy of Needs, Fears, and Expectations
Maslow's Hierarchy, hierarchy of needs, Needs, Fears, customer expectations, Engagement
Part 2 of Grace LaConte’s hierarchy of Engagement Needs, Fears, and Social Needs

Read more: [Video] Let’s Define… What is “Hollowed-Out Engagement”?

See Fear Response



A distinct business specialization that serves very specific, unmet needs of a customer market with well-defined solutions (services or products) that perfectly match customers’ needs and that makes you (the business owner) feel excited and satisfied.

There are five elements of a successful niche:

  1. Minimal market competition
  2. Professionally and personally satisfying
  3. High profit potential
  4. Solves a practical need
  5. Has a strong market demand
niche, what is a niche, niche practice, practice niche, niche practitioner, healthcare niche, niche business, niche marketing, marketing strategy

The word “niche” is a derivative of the Latin word nīdus (meaning “nest”).

Read more: 11 Compelling Reasons to Niche Your Healthcare Practice
Why a Niche Will Make Your Healthcare Practice More Successful
The 5 Elements of a Niche
29 Medical Conditions that Make an Excellent Niche Focus
The 11 Chronic Diseases That Make an Excellent Niche Focus

 See Triple Niche



Awareness of something with careful and directed attention.
From the Latin: ob- (“in front of, before”) + servare (“to watch, keep safe, protect”)



The standardized process of transitioning an employee or customer out of the organization using

  • Open communication (leaders convey a sense of trust and a desire to hear “bad news”)
  • Peaceful transfer of knowledge and assets (seamless handoffs; retrieve all property and access mechanisms; reduce threats of waste, loss, fraud, or abuse of power)
  • Updated organizational access (remove from directories, close all security gaps, remove logins)

See Onboarding and Participatory Job Design



The standardized welcoming and orientation process that

During onboarding, new employees or customers can expect to:

  1. acquire the necessary knowledge and skills (training),
  2. align with expected behaviors (culture), and
  3. ascertain the value expected for the organization to meet its goals or the customer’s goals (objectives).

See Offboarding and Participatory Job Design


Operational Risk

The probability of uncertainty in an organization’s internal and external operations that make it vulnerable to loss.

Read more: How to Calculate the Impact and Probability of Business Risk



An objective viewpoint, belief, or conclusion held with confidence but unsubstantiated by proof.


Organizational Chart

A visual representation of the hierarchy, relationships, job titles, and structure in an organization.

Here is what a standard corporate organizational chart might look like:

organizational chart, org chart, standard organizational chart, company structure, business structure, strategic planning, business planning, strategic risk, risk assessment
Standard Organizational Chart



Unjustifiable assurance that one’s beliefs and actions are completely correct.

See Cognitive Bias


Pain Points

The most critical fear, need, or desire of a consumer. In healthcare, a patient’s biggest “pain points” are

  • I’m uncomfortable (fear of extinction)
  • I feel unsafe (fear of mutilation)
  • I don’t belong (fear of separation)
  • I’m not heard (fear of ego death)
  • I’m not myself (fear of loss of autonomy)

Read more: What Happens When We Avoid Pain in Decision-Making?

See Fear Response



Showing respect and dignity to all stakeholders, and providing them with the opportunity to be actively involved in generating ideas, designing processes, and ensuring a result that meets their needs.


Participatory Job Design

A philosophy of respect and appreciation toward every employee by including them in the development, evaluation, strategic planning, and knowledge management of the organization.



The ability to detect, interpret, and understand one’s environment using sensory input. From the Latin: per- (“thoroughly”) + cipere (“to obtain, grasp, comprehend”)


Perfect Workplace

A place where work gets done and is characterized by 5 things:

  • The company does not lack any of the necessary components;
  • It operates with few defects, flaws, impairments, or damage;
  • Stakeholders possess the skills, talents, and proficiency to succeed;
  • Leaders continuously see and respond to the needs of staff and customers; and
  • The company is profitable and reaching its strategic goals.

A Perfect Workplace Environment is one that presents

  • an attractive Appearance,
  • Flexibility for staff and customers,
  • the opportunity to Connect in creative ways,
  • access to Natural materials and surroundings, and
  • Privacy and respect for personal freedoms.
workplace, perfect workplace, work environment, workplace environment, perfect company, strategic risk, strategic plan
The Perfect Workplace Environment

Read more:
How to Use Good and Bad Pain in Decision-Making
What Happened When I Became an “Employee For a Day”
How to Create the Perfect Workplace Environment
7 Ideas for Job Flexibility During the Coronavirus Epidemic


Personality and Temperament

The innate characteristics we develop at an early age which allow us to understand the world and interact with others.

Temperament includes a set of traits from which we perceive our environment, much like a canvas. Personality is a blend of temperament with one’s environment, much like a “painting” that is applied on the canvas. 

Examples of Temperament tests include:

  • Four Humours Theory or Four Temperaments (which include Sanguine, Choleri, Melancholy, and Phlegmatic)
  • Kiersey Temperament Sorter (Idealist, Guardian, Artisan, Rational)

Examples of Personality tests include:

  • MBTI (Introvert or Extrovert, iNtuition or Sensing, Thinking or Feeling, Judging or Perceiving)
  • DiSC (Dominance [D], Influence [I], Steadiness [S], and Conscientiousness [C])
  • Enneagram (Type 1: The Reformer, Type 2: The Helper, Type 3: The Achiever, Type 4: The Individualist, Type 5: The Investigator, Type 6: The Devil’s Advocate, Type 7: The Enthusiast, Type 8: The Challenger, Type 9: The Peacemaker)
  • True Colors (Orange, Gold, Green, Blue)
  • … and many others

See StrengthsFinder


PESTEL Analysis

A strategic planning method acronym that stands for “Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal.” By evaluating each of these areas in detail, an organization can avoid potential hidden vulnerabilities.

In the natural health field, these include:


  • policy changes, shifts in public sentiment, need for advocacy


  • shift in market share, import and export changes, buying power


  • popular new industry trends and treatment methods, new scientific discoveries, news articles, and TV appearances


  • new software that integrates with your other systems, services that solve problems or increase efficiency, new social media platforms


  • seasonal purchasing shifts, awards and recognition, internal processes efficiency, safe conditions, staff engagement and turnover, and physical environment changes (like Flint Michigan’s contaminated water and Portland OR’s elevated lead, arsenic, and cadmium levels in soil)


  • new laws that present a unique way to add value to customers; changes in regulations and legislation; potential legal pitfalls to help customers avoid
PESTEL, PESTEL analysis, PESTEL assessment, Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legal
PESTEL Assessment

Read more: How to Complete a PESTEL Analysis



A set of values, ideals, or beliefs about the world that shape one’s approach to solving problems. It may be negatively shaped by Overconfidence, Underconfidence, Blind Spots, Bias, and Prejudice.

Examples include: Ideal Customer, Minimalist Management, and Participatory Job Design


Plateau Myth

The misconception that a business can run without any further need for improvement or risk monitoring. In reality, however, every business is constantly either growing or shrinking; customers are either attracted your brand or repelled by it.

Rather than ignoring problems and hoping they’ll go away, it’s more effective to collect and analyze feedback.

See Growth and Stagnation



A statement of intent that describes what needs to be done (responsibilities), by whom (roles), and the problems it will solve (objectives). Answers the question “Why?” by identifying goals and mission, and “What?” by determining which programs and services to use. Every Policy should flow directly from each of the company’s Strategic Objectives.

See Procedure



A marketing tool (used mostly in the Real Estate industry) that includes:

  • an item of moderate value,
  • a postcard-sized card with a catchy saying, “play on words,” or corny joke, and
  • contact information with your name and contact info.

You can share these with potential clients in person, or send them by mail.

Read more: The 4 Surprising Things I Learned from “Take Your Child to Work Day” 


Porter’s 5 Forces

A tool that analyzes a company’s profitability in terms of its competitive intensity.
These include 3 forces from “horizontal” competition:

  • Threat of New Entrants
  • Threat of Substitutes
  • Competitive Rivalry

And 2 threats from “vertical” competition:

  • Bargaining Power of Suppliers
  • Bargaining Power of Buyers (Customers/Patients)


Post-Mortem Evaluation

Also known as Lessons Learned, this retrospective review of an event is used to determine root causes by examining:

  1. what happened
  2. what went well
  3. what didn’t go well, and
  4. how we can adjust for the future

The resulting insights are used to determine whether to:

  • Control the risk (avoid or eliminate),
  • Mitigate the risk (reduce),
  • Accept the risk (retain), and/or
  • Share the risk (transfer or insure).

Read more: How to Do a Year In Review and What to Do If Your “Year In Review” is a Disappointment 

See Risk MatrixRisk Measurement, and Year In Review 



An unfavorable, preconceived and harmful dislike of a person’s actual or perceived characteristics that is not based on logic. Those characteristics may include:

  • Gender
  • Class
  • Race
  • Color
  • Ancestry or ethnic origin
  • Nationality
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Religion
  • Political beliefs
  • Personality or temperament type
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Academic status
  • Intellectual status
  • Physical appearance
  • Any mental, physical, mobility, developmental, or sensory challenge

Action that occurs due to prejudice is called discrimination. Check out Florin|Roebig Trial Attorneys’ fantastic article How Gender Discrimination Affects Women In The Workplace.

See Bullying and Cognitive Bias 


Pro Bono

A situation where a legal, healthcare, or other professional waives their service fees, typically for individuals who cannot afford to pay. The recipient still receives high-value service, but the fees are not expected to be reimbursed. 

Consider offering pro bono services at either full price or free. Either way, it’s essential that you convey the full value of what the customer is receiving. I recommend limiting your free services to 5% of the total volume, with the remaining 95% of your services being billed at the full amount. (I also encourage every healthcare provider to consider a cash-based practice because of the many benefits you’ll gain over the headaches that come with insurance…)

This phrase comes from the Latin term pro bono publico, meaning “for the good of the public.”



A set of specific steps needed to accomplish a task. It answers “How?” by defining what must be done, step-by-step, to achieve an objective. The best Procedures tie back to a corresponding Policy (statement of intention) and Strategic Objective (goal to achieve the vision and mission). Every Procedure should be clear, understandable, and logical.

See Policy



A series of interrelated actions done to bring about the desired result. They act like a continuous loop that starts with an Input and ends with an Output. Every process starts with an initiating event (written or spoken request, ticket, or starting point), moves through a variety of hand-offs and decisions, and ends in an outcome to achieve the final goal.



A tangible object, item, event, organization, person, or idea that solves a problem and/or satisfies a want or need in the marketplace.

It answers the customer’s question: “What can you MAKE for me?”

Examples or products include:

  • Physical items (cars, furniture, drones, phone accessories, food, vitamins, health and wellness items)
  • Non-physical items (digital files, software, e-books, audio, videos, stock photos, )

Typically sold in a one-time transaction.

Many products can include a service element.

See Augmented Product and Product-As-a-Service



A transformative business model that maximizes value to customers by offering a product along with accompanying installation, monitoring, and expert knowledge of that product.

It answers the customer’s question: “What can you MAKE and DO for me?”

Examples of Products-As-a-Service include:

  • Physical items (car lease and vehicle access like Zipcar, floor covering replacement, phone repair, smart items)
  • Non-physical items (monthly retainers for services such as legal, tax, insurance, tech support, marketing, strategic planning; software as a service [SAAS], etc.)

Sold with a nominal initial fee (low barrier to entry) and recurring subscription fees that provides added value and guaranteed customer support.

In the long term, this model is more stable and profitable than a one-time purchase or limited service.

See Augmented Product



The money a business makes after subtracting all costs, expenses, overhead, salaries, depreciation, interest, taxes, and debt repayment from the gross revenue collected from customer transactions.

Total Sales – Total Expenses = Profit

For a company that sold $300,000 and had costs of $250,000, the profit is

$300,000 – $250,000 = $50,000.

It is possible to have very high revenue (sales) but even higher expenses and therefore have nothing to show for it (zero profit).

From the Latin profectus (“increase, accomplish, make progress”)

Read more: How to Analyze Your Customer Profit Contribution

See Profit Margin


Profit Leakage

ConsultX business triangle
The ConsultX business triangle

An organization’s preventable losses due to a divergence of its capital or income through outgoing costs and expenses, which reduces its net profit. The ConsultX Profit Leakage Calculator identifies opportunities in 11 aspects.

Strategic Areas:

  • Personal Vision
  • Business Vision
  • Strategy
  • Structure
  • Culture

Operational Areas:

  • Finances
  • Expenses
  • People
  • Systems and Processes
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Products or Services
ConsultX Business Triangle categories
The ConsultX Business Triangle with segments

Every business owner can gain complete control over these areas, but they often feel overwhelmed and require the help of an experienced consultant to identify and improve the areas where profit is leaking from the business. Learn how to get your free Profit Leakage analysis.

Source: Investopedia “Leakage”

See Profit Leakage Calculator


Profit Leakage Calculator

A tool that allows a business owner to identify every area of potential profit, as well as how much money is currently hidden or not properly leveraged. The ConsultX Profit Leakage Calculator evaluates 11 aspects of a client’s current situation and estimates how much profit is “leaking” from the company.

ConsultX profit leakage diagram
The ConsultX Profit Leakage Calculator diagram

Learn how to get your free Profit Leakage analysis.


Profit Margin

A measurement of profitability, most commonly known as Net Profit Margin or Net Profit Margin Ratio.

The Net Profit Margin is calculated by measuring the net profit (total revenue minus total costs, expenses, overhead, salaries, depreciation, interest, taxes, and debt repayment).

This number (Net Profit Margin) can then be a percentage of total revenue (money collected from customers).

The formula looks like this:

Net Profit margin = Net Profit  ⁄  Total revenue x 100

For a company that sold $300,000 and had costs of $250,000, the profit margin is

(300,000 –250,000) / 300,000 X 100 = 16.6%.

The profit margin is 16.6%.

Healthy profit margins can vary depending on the industry and economic cycle, so make sure you compare margins with comparable companies in your industry.

Read more: Analyzing Profit Margins FAQs Part 1: Perceptions and Analyzing Profit Margins FAQs Part 2: Profitability


Pull Back the Curtain

In the movie The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy looks behind the curtain and discovers that there is no “great and powerful Oz.” Instead, it’s just an ordinary man who uses intimation and fear tactics to get what he wants.

behind the curtain, great and powerful oz, Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, Oz, leadership, risk management, strategic planning, decision-making
The Man Behind the Curtain (The Wizard of Oz, 1939, Warner Bros)

Leaders who want to minimize insincerity and embrace an authentic connection with their staff and customers can share what is “behind the curtains” proactively.

This feedback mechanism allows a leader and her or his executive team to:

The idea of total transparency may terrifying to some business owners, because it requires vulnerability and hits a lot of pain points and fears: of discomfort, harm, rejection, not being heard, losing your identity.

But a growing number of brave leaders are willing to share their company’s financial and strategic data. Although it might feel like you’re “losing control” of the organization, the benefits include higher trust from customers, a stronger sense of purpose, and a boost in staff engagement.

See Motivation and Fear Response


Quantitative and Qualitative

The two ways to calculate data and evaluate the effects of business decisions.

  • Quantitative includes objective numbers such as time, money, speed, movement, status, and quality.
  • Qualitative includes subjective and objective experiences such as feelings, intuition, sensations, values, and beliefs.
Quantitative, Qualitative, Quantitative Data, Qualitative Data, quality and quantity, data evaluation, data review, feedback, data calculation, data examples, strategic risk
Examples of Quantitative and Qualitative Data

Although most companies rely on hard data (quantity) to evaluate their turnover, I believe that quality is a vital aspect to seeing the whole picture.

Read more: How to Understand the Quantitative and Qualitative Data in Your Business, Interpreting the Quantitative Data (Numbers) in Your Business, and Interpreting the Qualitative Data (Experiences and Emotions) in Your Business

See Customer Experience


Relational Business

In a relational business exchange, the seller provides an ongoing sales experience that is highly interactive, meticulously designed, and centered around meeting the customer’s needs and how they would describe the perceived value of the products or services.

See Transactional Business


A set of opinions, perceptions, and observations that other people have about an individual or group. From the Latin re- (“repeatedly”) + putare (“to judge, believe”; originally “to clean, trim, prune”)

Read more: Overview of the 5 Types of Strategic Risk

See Corporate Reputation and Strategic Risk



Income generated during a specific period from a financial transaction of a product, service, or ownership.

From the Latin revenire: re- (“again”) -venire (“to come”)

See Profit and Sale


Reverse Interviews

A technique where staff are invited to interview leaders directly, without fear of retaliation or negative effects. The purpose is to provide employees with:

  • Direct access to leaders (especially in a small-group setting)
  • An honest and transparent discussion about concerns
  • Opportunity to hear “bad news (unpleasant, annoying, or disturbing information)
  • Higher levels of trust, collaboration, and support of your decisions
  • Better results due to improved engagement



The probability of uncertainty resulting in a positive or negative impact (waste, loss, fraud, or abuse) due to internal or external vulnerabilities.

Risk   =   Likelihood  x  Effect

See Risk Intelligence


Risk Alert Fatigue

Over-exposure to numerous, frequent, and inconsequential warnings to low-probability and low-severity threats that results in:

  • desensitization to high-risk circumstances,
  • a decreased interest in responding to all threats regardless of severity, and
  • an increase in the potential for significant harm.


Risk Analysis

The process of systematically identifying, evaluating, and responding to factors that present a threat to an organization’s growth and success.

Commonly used tools include:


Risk Appetite

An organization’s level of eagerness in accepting threats.

  • Risk Appetite is None when risk can be easily eliminated, and no risk is acceptable.
  • Risk Appetite is Low when risk could have some impact, and a minimal level of risk is acceptable.
  • Risk Appetite is Moderate when gains are likely to outweigh loss, and exposure will add benefit.
  • Risk Appetite is High when gains will greatly exceeds loss, and the cost will far outweighs the potential for harm.
risk appetite, risk tolerance, risk tool, risk acceptance, risk exposure, potential for harm
Grace LaConte’s Risk Appetite and Tolerance Tool


Risk Forecasting

The prediction of future events based on past and present data trends, both quantitative (objective numbers) and qualitative (subjective and objective experiences).

Read more: How to Estimate the Qualitative Loss From Staff Turnover 

See Quantitative and Qualitative


Risk Framework

The structure an organization uses to predict and respond to all threats of damage, injury, liability, or loss.


Risk Index

Categories used to predict the expected impact and probability of a threat or opportunity, to determine which actions can reduce damage and increase the likelihood of success.

Risk index   =   Impact of a risk event  x  Probability of occurrence


Risk Intelligence

One of the 3 types of Strategic Intelligence. The ability to effectively distinguish which actions must be avoided to prevent loss or harm, and which actions must be taken to gain a competitive advantage.

Read more: Overview of the 5 Types of Strategic Risk and What You Can Do to Boost Risk Intelligence After Losing Staff

See Strategic Intelligence


Risk Investigation

A systematic exploration to identify and authenticate activities known to cause damage, injury, liability, or loss.


Risk Management

The identification, assessment, and prioritization of an organization’s uncertainties in achieving its objectives; and coordinated implementation of safeguards that minimize, monitor, and control the impact of failure and maximize the chance of success.

When applied to the uncertainties that impede an organization achieving its strategic objectives, we call this Strategic Risk Management.

Read more: Weathering the COVID-19 Storm as a Business Owner

See  Strategic Risk Management


Risk Map

A graphical depiction that illustrates an organization’s risk impact and likelihood of its occurrence; used to identify, prioritize, and macro-quantify risks and opportunities.


Risk Matrix

A risk analysis tool used to plot out the Severity (Y axis) and Likelihood (X axis) to determine which decision-making action is most effective.

  • Low severity and high likelihood: Share (acquire insurance)
  • Low severity and low likelihood: Accept (allow the vulnerability to continue)
  • High severity and low likelihood: Control (transfer risk to another entity), and/or
  • High severity and high likelihood: Mitigate (reduce the number of factors)
risk matrix, risk severity, risk likelihood, high risk, medium risk, low risk, risk management
Grace LaConte’s Risk Matrix of Severity and Likelihood


Risk Maturity

A state of fully developed and proactive decision-making when responding to threats. The five levels of Strategic Risk Maturity include:

  • Level 1 — Vulnerable
  • Level 2 — Reactive
  • Level 3 — Compliant
  • Level 4 — Proactive
  • Level 5 — Optimized
strategic risk, risk management, strategic plan, risk maturity
Grace LaConte’s Strategic Risk Maturity


Risk Measurement

A tool to determine the likelihood and impact of quantitative and qualitative uncertainties, using X and Y axes to calculate a weighted total.

Read more: How to Estimate the Qualitative Loss From Staff TurnoverHow to Calculate What Staff Turnover is Costing You, and What You Can Do to Boost Risk Intelligence After Losing Staff

See Risk Matrix


Risk Monitoring

Routine observation and pre-arranged response to uncertainties; systematic review over a period of time.


Risk Preparedness

Readiness for the impact of uncertainty.


Risk Roles

Responsibilities held by every stakeholder in an organization that improve safety and decrease the likelihood of a harmful outcome. Executive leaders have 5 distinct risk roles, which include:



  • Accurately gauge problems
  • Move projects forward


  • Create high-yield systems
  • Design effective processes


  • Identify work requirements
  • Select, train, and retain people


Read more: Yin and Yang and the 5 Risk Roles of Executive Leaders

risk management, leadership, executive leaders, risk roles, planning
The 5 Risk Roles required of Executive Leaders


Risk Taking

Conscious decision to take action that has an uncertain outcome.



A situation that halts progress and makes it difficult or impossible to achieve objectives.



Acronym for “Return On Investment.” A financial profitability metric (ratio) used to measure the possible benefit or loss to an investor, in relation to its cost.

ROI = ([Final Value of Investment – Initial Cost of Investment] / Cost of Investment) x 100%

Source: Investopedia


Root Cause

The most fundamental reason for occurrences of a failure or negative result.

See Post-Mortem Evaluation


Sale, Merger, Acquisition

A business Sale is the exchange or delivery of products, services, or ownership for a set amount of money.
The word “sale” comes from the Proto-Indo-European root sal- “to grasp or take”

A Merger is the joining of two or more companies to form a new entity, with substantial improvement for all shareholders. The Non-Surviving company is dissolved, and its owner converts their shares to shares in the Surviving company. This process can involve stock purchase, taking over assets and operations, or both. Due diligence must be done to insure any liabilities and financial problems are fully divulged prior to signing.

Acquisition is the process of a company purchasing the assets of another, but where both entities continue to operate. In Traditional Acquisition (often called a “takeover”), the Acquiring company gains control of assets and operations but without a stock purchase, so ownership remains similar. In a Share Acquisition, the Acquiring company purchases all shares and covers any assets and liabilities, making the purchased company a subsidiary. A “hostile takeover” occurs when the Acquiring company performs aggressive cost-cutting maneuvers such as employee laoyffs, leadership replacement, restructuring, and/or sale of assets without the original owners’ foreknowledge.

Sources: Sale, Acquisition & Merger ( and Sales, Mergers & Acquisitions Overview :: Justia

See Revenue

Scrooge Effect

Also known as the “Dickens Process,” this method is based on the book “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, in which the main character Scrooge is shown his future if he continues doing the same behavior. The intense pain he feels is so great that he makes drastic changes in the present day. Self-help speaker Tony Robbins uses it in training seminars.

A Christmas Carol, Scrooge, Alastair Sim, 1951
“A Christmas Carol” movie cover

Here’s how to use this process:

  1. Set aside time to stand up comfortably and without distraction. (Standing engages your entire body physiologically, making the outcome more effective)
  2. Visualize your life right now. What is making you happy? What is missing? What limiting beliefs are holding you back? In which ways are you trying too hard?
  3. Once you identify the emotions associated with the pain of missing out, zoom out and see your life as you’re floating high above. Travel back in time to one of the most painful moments. Feel the emotions, visualize what it looks like, and listen to the sounds as if it were happening right now. How did your limiting beliefs affect what you are doing now? What do you regret? What would you do again, or skip if you could do it over again?
  4. With your eyes closed, imagine rising up and travel back to the present moment. What have the limiting beliefs cost you? Where are you experiencing pain because of past decisions?
  5. Finally, zoom out again and travel 3 months into the future. What are your limiting beliefs continuing to cost you? What is your life like? How is it worse or better? What pain are you feeling?
    Continue zooming forward 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years into the future, and repeat.
  6. Now return to the present moment. What are your new empowering beliefs? How will you replace the limited beliefs with new ones?
  7. The last step is to zoom back into the future. Now that you have changed your limiting patterns, experience the pleasure and enjoyment of how your future self feels.

Celebrate that future, and commit to achieving it.



An activity, element, or product that provides intangible benefits and satisfies a want or need in the marketplace but does not result in ownership.

It answers the customer’s question: “What can you DO for me?”

Examples of services include:

  • Physical services
    • examination
    • service checks
    • delivery
    • installation
  • Non-physical services
    • training or education
    • consulting and management
    • security
    • transportation
    • risk assessments

Can be sold as a one-time transaction or a recurring subscription.

Many services can be sold with related products.

See Product-As-a-Service


Shiny Client Syndrome

A condition where a business owner or salesperson chooses to rush to new clients/customers and is more interested in acquiring more sales than in serving the needs of current clients. This is a “basement strength” of individuals with the StrengthsFinder talent of Woo (Winning Others Over). Instead of developing trust and deepening their engagement with a client, they may rush to make the sale and only develop a fake, shallow relationship with a large number of people.


A method to identify one’s desired objective using 5 points:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Results-Oriented
  • Time-Bound

See CLEAR Goals



A state of inactivity or decreased growth. From the Latin: stagnum (“body of standing water”).



An individual with a vested interest in the success of a system or organization, and who is both the contributor and recipient of that investment.

Examples: Customers/patients, investors, managers, employees, creditors, government agencies, suppliers, volunteers, and the community.


Strategic Advisory Board

A group made of diverse job roles, background, beliefs, status, age, and personality types who have the authority to evaluate and recommend strategic decisions.

See Prejudice and Strategic Growth


Strategic Bias

The unconscious partiality toward a particular outcome that occurs because of unrecognized blind spots, insufficient information, and/or cognitive dissonance.

leadership blind spots, leadership, blind spots, bias, strategic planning, risk management, vulnerabilities
Grace LaConte’s “Leadership Blind Spots and Bias” Diagram

See Cognitive Dissonance


Strategic Growth

A positive change over time which aligns with the company’s overall direction. Healthy change occurs when all four quadrants of a balanced scorecard (Processes, People, Processes, and Proficiency) expand in equal proportion. I call these the Strategic Growth Sphere.

Of all possible outcomes of growth, 4 are unfavorable (Stagnant, Chaotic, Disconnected, Broken), and 1 is favorable (Effective):

  1. Stagnant Growth (lack of Proficiency; inadequate learning and development)
  2. Chaotic Growth (inadequate Processes; lack of efficient workflow)
  3. Disconnected Growth (insufficient focus on People; poor communication skills)
  4. Broken Growth (minimal Profit; low revenue and profit margins)
  5. Effective Growth (balanced improvement in all quadrants)
strategic planning, strategic growth, strategic growth sphere, growth diagram, organizational growth, balanced ball, balanced scorecard, organizational planning, internal workflow, effective growth

See Growth and Stagnation


Strategic Marketing

See Marketing Strategy


Strategic Objectives

The end results which an organization’s leaders wish to achieve, which align with the overall direction (Strategy) as stated in the Vision, Mission, and Values (VMVOM).

The objectives must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Oriented, Time-Bound) and CLEAR (Collaborative, Limited, Engaging, Actionable, Refinable).

Read more about Goal-Setting.


Strategic Plan

A document which identifies the organization’s

  • overall direction (Strategy),
  • which goals they wish to achieve (Objectives),
  • using which actions and resources (Tactics), and
  • how they will know it was successful (Measures).

This is abbreviated as VMVOM: Vision, Mission, Values, Objectives, and Measures.

Read more: Vision and Mission FAQsCompany Culture FAQs



Strategic Plan SHAPE

A successful strategic plan has 5 core elements:

  1. It is Structured (follow a clear framework and Best Practices)
  2. It is Honest (connects leaders with staff and fosters trust)
  3. It is Accurate (the Vision and Mission align with the strategy for growth)
  4. It is Participatory (the planning process goes beyond the exec level; all employees are involved)
  5. It is Energizing (the organization has excellent engagement and Healthy Feedback Loops
strategic plan, planning elements, framework, shape
The 5 elements in a successful strategic plan

Read more: Is Your Strategic Plan in SHAPE?


Strategic Risk

The vulnerabilities and untapped opportunities that affect an organization’s ability to achieve goals.

The five categories of strategic risks are:

  1. Governance: Control, Planning, and Monitoring
  2. Operational: Inefficiency and Waste Identification
  3. Competitive: Customer and Market Drivers
  4. Financial: Revenue Generation and Cost Control
  5. Reputational: Public & Customer Perception and Employee Engagement
strategic risk, strategic planning, governance, operational, reputational
Pie chart of the 5 areas of strategic risk (Governance, Operational, Competitive, Financial, Reputational)

Read more: Overview of the 5 Types of Strategic Risk
A Strategic Risk Perspective on the Future of Medicine


Strategic Risk Analysis

Detailed examination and interpretation of data related to an organization’s decision-making, hidden blind spots, and future uncertainties using tools such as the Strategic Planning Framework (below).

strategic planning, strategic plan, planning framework, framework, vision and mission, strategic vision, policies and procedures, structured plan
Grace LaConte’s 3-part Strategic Planning Framework


Strategic Intelligence

The ability to effectively distinguish vulnerabilities and untapped opportunities in developing an organization’s goals, and translate these insights into superior judgment and practical action.

Composed of 3 areas: Risk Intelligence, Innovation Intelligence, and Communication Intelligence.

Frameworks, strategic and risk intelligence, innovation, communication
Grace LaConte’s basic framework of the 3 types of strategic intelligence


Strategic Risk Management

The identification, analysis, and control of uncertainties that impede an organization from achieving its strategic objectives.


Strategic Vision Board

A tool used to clarify life, career, and business goals in a tangible, visual way.

strategic vision, strategic vision board, vision board, vision boarding, strategic framework, vision framework, feng shui, bagua map, goals, SMART goals
Strategic Vision Board Framework

This can be done in several ways:

  • structured or unstructured
  • with the use of artistic components or without
  • hand-drawn or computer generated
  • a large poster or a letter-sized paper
  • an ongoing process or a one-time project

I recommend using the 9-Square Bagua Map technique, which is described here.


Sunk Cost Bias

Also known as Sunk Cost Fallacy, this thought process happens when a victim is so committed to seeing results that they feels compelled to spend additional money, time, and/or effort even when it’s obvious the investment is not going to pay off. It is very common behavior in victims of Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes.

Read more: Analysis of the Disclaimer from a Direct Sales Company and 11 Ways Multi-Level Marketing is Like a Cult


The Clifton StrengthsFinder® is a fantastic tool.

  1. It helps you recognize your motivations and passions
  2. The results show your “top 5” talents out of 34 possible
  3. Each of your “top 5” fall into four Leadership Domains (Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking)
  4. Investment of $19.99
  5. Takes about 30 minutes to complete
StrengthsFinder, Tom Rath, NYT Bestseller, Wall Street Journal Bestseller
StrenggthsFinder 2.0
Strengths, StrengthsFinder, Gallup, Leadership domains, leadership strengths, executing, influencing, relationship building, strategic thinking
Gallup StrengthsFinder’s 4 Domains of Leadership Strengths

Read more: How to Apply the StrengthsFinder Assessment

See Myers-Briggs


Super SWOT

This variation on the SWOT analysis provides a cross-section matrix of characteristics:

  • Strength-Opportunity (SO) Strategies
  • Weakness-Opportunity (WO) Strategies
  • Strength-Threat (ST) Strategies, and
  • Weakness-Threat (WT) Strategies
SWOT, SWOT Diagram, Super SWOT, SWOT Assessment, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, strategic planning, internal risks, external risks, comparison, comparative SWOT
Basics of a Super SWOT

Read more: How Do I Make a Super SWOT Diagram? Using Real Examples [Video]

See SWOT and Weighted SWOT



To discover something unexpected and without warning; can be positive (pleasant wonder, astonishment) or negative (sudden attack, shock).



The combining of separate elements to form a coherent whole. Opposite of analysis. From the Greek: syn- (“together”) + tithenai (“to put, to place”)

See Analysis


SWOT Analysis

This tool, which stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats,” is widely used for strategic planning. It provides a rapid assessment of the key problems that may be holding a business back, and areas in which to invest more time and energy.

SWOT, SWOT Diagram, Basic SWOT, SWOT Assessment, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, strategic planning, internal risks, external risks
Basics of a SWOT Diagram

Read more: How Do I Make a SWOT Diagram? [Video]

See Risk Analysis and Super SWOT


Tradeoff Triangle

Strategy tool that demonstrates the challenge of balancing 3 aspects in any project: Time, Cost, and Quality. 

Time + Cost can compromise Quality (Fast + Cheap = Low Quality)

Time + Quality can compromise Cost (Fast + Good = Expensive)

Cost + Quality can compromise Time (Cheap + Good = Slow).

Trying to do all 3 can result in a Scope Change.

tradeoff triangle, project triangle, project management triangle, fast cheap good, time cost quality, quality triangle
The Tradeoff Triangle



The conclusion of a business negotiation or exchange. From the Latin: trans- (“through”) and -agere (“to drive”).

See Transaction Avoidance Syndrome


Transaction Avoidance Syndrome

A condition in which a person prevents business negotiations from concluding, either deliberately (by offering discounted, premature, or complimentary services) or subconsciously (by not invoicing immediately, neglecting payment followup, or apologizing excessively and unnecessarily).

A related condition is “overgenerosity,” described in Customer Reactions to Service Provider Overgenerosity by Hooman Estelami and Peter De Maeyer in Journal of Service Research.

Read more: What is Transaction Avoidance Syndrome? 

See Ambivalence


Transactional Business

In a transactional business exchange, the seller conducts a quick and superficial exchange of goods or services without any obvious concern for the buyer’s well-being or ongoing needs.

See Relational Business


The experience of passing from one status to another. According to William Bridges Ph.D., the first stage of transition is Ending (Unfreezing or Letting Go), followed by a Neutral Zone (Instability and Innovation), and finally a New Beginning (Re-Freezing, Being in a Future State). 

transition, Managing Transitions, William Bridges, neutral zone, new beginning, transition management, change management

See Grief



A philosophy in which communication is:

  • Honest
  • Direct
  • Easy to understand, and
  • Permits an uninterrupted flow of information.

From the Latin trāns- (“through”) + pārēre (“to show”)

See Pull Back the Curtain and Reverse Interviews



An emotional response after severe injury, accident, disaster, or significant disruption that may result in:

  • cognitive dissonance
  • impaired judgment
  • heightened emotions
  • flashbacks
  • physical effects (nausea, headaches, pain)
  • strained relationships, and
  • long-term psychological damage.

When a person feels “stuck” post trauma, a professional counselor can provide structure and support to help them recover and heal.

Read more: Why #MeToo Inspired Me to Be Transparent and Share My Failures 


Triple Niche

A specific, targeted specialization that provides solutions for a group of Ideal Customers (or Ideal Customers) by choosing 3 or more levels of limitation, such as:

  • Strategic Marketing Goals
  • Demographics and Location
  • Health Condition and Symptoms
  • Treatment, Technique, or Modality
  • Body System or Area
  • Delivery Method, and
  • Patient Interests
triple niche, niche, niche marketing, niche strategy, strategic niche, strategic marketing, marketing strategy, strategic goals, marketing goals, healthcare marketing, ideal patients
Components of a Triple Niche

Based on a concept by Rachel Rodgers Esq., called the Double-Narrow Niche (read her article “Niche Slapped: How I Chose a Niche Area of Law to Practice”)

Read more: What Does it Take to Develop a Triple Niche?

See Niche



Excessive uncertainty and hesitation about one’s beliefs or actions.



Something that is unfamiliar, not recognized, or inconsistent.


Value-Based Pricing

A pricing philosophy in which the cost of services is based on total benefits to a customer both in quantity (amount of growth, time savings, decreased costs, lower turnover) and in quality (feeling of control, less stress and worry, better engagement from staff, more freedom to achieve personal goals).

To calculate the price, the service provider must determine the perceived total value the customer can expect to receive — not simply a percentage above what it costs to provide the service.

See Marketing and Pro Bono.


Value-Focused Consulting

A consulting approach where the expert enters a client relationship with respect, empathy, and a desire to understand how the client defines the value she or he expects to see as a result of their work. Professionals who use this approach will ask their Ideal Prospect about:

  • Their current situation
  • The future they want to achieve
  • The benefits they expect once that improvement occurs, and how much those are worth
  • What will happen if nothing changes


Any behavior with a physical, emotional, natural, or other force that is intended to:

  • hurt—to cause physical or emotional pain
  • abuse—to treat with cruelty repeatedly
  • damage—to inflict harm that diminishes value, usefulness, or function
  • destroy—to tear down or demolish beyond repair
  • intimidate—to frighten with threats, coercion, or harassment

See Abuse, Trauma, and Vulnerability


Virtual CEO

See Fractional CEO


Vision Board

A graphical representation of strategic goals.

See Strategic Vision Board.

I recommend using the 9-Square Bagua Map technique, which is described here.



Acronym of the 5 basic components of an organization’s Strategic Plan:

Vision: “What does a perfect future look like?”
Mission: “Why do we exist, and who do we serve?”
Values: “What guides our behavior to others?”
Objectives: “Where are we going, and How will we get there?” and
Measures: “How will we know when we’ve arrived?”

VMVOM, Vision, Mission, Values, Objectives, Measures, Vision and Mission, Vision Mission Values, strategic plan, strategic planning, marketing strategy

See Goal



The state of being exposed to the possibility of attack, harm, or damage. From the Latin: vulnus (“wound”). In organizational management, there are 4 distinct types of vulnerabilities:

  1. Waste – Actions that ruin
  2. Loss – Actions that deprive
  3. Fraud – Actions that deceive
  4. Abuse – Actions that injure



One of the 4 organizational management vulnerabilities. To consume, spend, or use in a destructive or neglectful way.

Examples: According to the Lean Six Sigma concept, only 5% of processes contain any value-added activity; all other activities (95%) are highly inefficient Wasteful activities can be summarized in 7 types, with some experts adding Talent as the 8th.

Here they are:

  1. Over-production waste (using more than needed or faster than needed)
  2. Processing waste (extra steps that do not add any value)
  3. Transport waste (excess movement of materials, tools, or equipment)
  4. Waiting-time waste (delays or unavailability of resources)
  5. Inventory waste (over-purchasing, accumulations, obsolete stock)
  6. Motion waste (poor workflow, disorganized and non-standardized processes)
  7. Defects (unclear customer specifications, improper quality control)
  8. Talent waste (this 8th source of waste is the under-utilization of employee talent, which can lead to disengaged and unmotivated staff.)

See Loss, Fraud, and Abuse


Weighted SWOT

This variation on the SWOT analysis uses insights from a regular SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and Super SWOT (cross-comparison of both axes), then calculates Impact and Probability to find a final score. The scoring is used to determine risk intelligent decision-making.

SWOT, SWOT Diagram, Weighted SWOT, weighted measures, weighted scores, SWOT Assessment, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, strategic planning, internal risks, external risks, comparison, comparative SWOT
Basics of a Weighted Super SWOT, Step 1: Scoring
SWOT, SWOT Diagram, Weighted SWOT, weighted measures, weighted scores, SWOT Assessment, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, strategic planning, internal risks, external risks, comparison, comparative SWOT
Basics of a Weighted Super SWOT, Step 2: In Order

Read more: How Do I Make a Weighted SWOT Diagram? [Video]

See SWOT and Super SWOT



Someone who reports activities that are unethical or illegal (including waste, loss, fraud, and abuse) which violate ethical standards, regulatory practices, and/or federal or state laws.

Read more: 14 Incredible Devil’s Advocates Who Refused to Stay Silent About Injustice

See Devil’s Advocate and Yes-Person



An orchestrated sequence of activities where tasks, documents, and/or information are transferred step by step in order to achieve a final outcome; can be depicted in a visual diagram.


Workplace Equity

 See Equity


Year in Review

A comprehensive Post-Mortem Evaluation done at the end of a year (calendar or fiscal) to:

Look back

  • reflect on the events that occurred
  • celebrate wins and successes
  • evaluate failures and disappointments


  • review the highlights
    • data (show me the numbers!)
    • experiences
    • places gone
    • lessons learned

Look forward

  • select what to continue in the next year
  • determine what to get rid of in the next year
  • envision the future
  • create priorities

Read more: What to Do If Your “Year In Review” is a Disappointment
How to Bounce Back After Your Business Closes



An individual who follows an instruction without questioning whether it is appropriate, legal, or ethical.

See Devil’s Advocate and Whistleblower


Yin and Yang

Based on Taoist philosophy, Yin and Yang allows a balance between extremes of Yin (collaborative, supportive, decentralized) and Yang (hierarchical, dominant, aggressive). In strategic decision-making, finding a balance between these two extremes allows the planning process to enjoy a higher likelihood of long-term success.

Yin and Yang, extreme, balance, strategic balance
Grace LaConte’s description of Yin and Yang balance in strategic decision-making

Read more: Yin and Yang Approaches to Management and Yin and Yang and the 5 Risk Roles of Executive Leaders

Back to Top


Speaking and Training Terms

Breakout Session
Keynote Speaking
Panel Discussion


Breakout Session

A brief, powerful, and poignant discussion among a limited number of conference attendees related to the broader event theme.


Keynote Speaking

An event’s highlight message that sets the tone and encapsulates the sponsoring organization’s core message and values.


Panel Discussion

Expert discussion to an audience at a scientific, business, or academic conference.



An informative presentation (virtual or in-person) using a combination of lecture, visual materials, interactive tools, and demonstrations for a complete learning experience.



A presentation, workshop, or seminar conducted over the Internet that is interactive (attendees are encouraged to participate), multimedia (blends visual, audio, slides, and handout materials); may occur in real-time or previously recorded.



A highly interactive method for participants to learn and apply new skills (virtual or in-person). Unique demonstrations, hands-on testing “labs,” and skill practice are designed to help participants easily adopt new techniques.

Back to Top

Take the Next Step

Interested in finding out how your business could get better results? Find out about our free Profit Leakage analysis.

4 thoughts on “Definitions

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.