Acronyms in Business Management
An acronym is a type of memory aid and/or a shortcut of expressing a term or a set of words. It is, therefore, considered a mnemonic. Mnemonics were widely used by the ancient Greeks, such as Plato and Aristotle, to recall information. Then why is it such a hard name to remember, you ask? Mnemosyne (i.e. “Remembrance”) is the name of the Goddess of Memory in Greek mythology, so the noun is a derivative created in her honor.
Memory techniques, such as acronyms, help students remember many lists in order. It could be planet order, biological classification, or the colors of the rainbow. Memorizing lists in this fashion earned me the nickname Ms. Memorex, and helped me to get good grades whether it was Chemistry, Spanish, or Religion.
Some organizations have so many acronyms, they have developed an internal glossary for on-boarding new hires. The acronyms are for departments, processes, projects, and so on. Many companies have either internal Training & Development personnel to assist with learning the lingo, or they hire external Adult Learning & Development Professionals, who know how to apply mnemonics, along with contextual learning and free-style instruction to the varying types of learners during orientation workshops.
Starbucks uses the industry-appropriate acronym LATTE to represent the following method of handling an upset customer:
Listen to the customer.
Acknowledge their complaint.
Take action by solving the problem.
Thank them, and then…
Explain why the problem occurred.
McDonald’s Corporation uses the acronym GAME as a Quality Management problem-solving model for its Business Consultants to use as a guide for its “game” plan when dealing with Operators who require help in meeting the Performance Criteria standards:
Gather Facts – This is when the problem or issue that needs to be improved is determined (what is currently happening).
Analyze – This is when the root cause of the problem or issue is determined, and the ideal process or situation is determined.
Make a Plan – This is when an improvement plan is created to eliminate the problem or issue. The problem or issue is defined by the gap between the current and the ideal situation.
Execute and Evaluate – This is when the improvement plan is executed and monitored continually to ensure that the problem or issue is improved. Also, this is when the improved process should be institutionalized and become a part of everyday operating procedure.
Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, and the founder of a boutique consultancy of OD experts, CLG. Visit us at CorporateLookingGlass.com.
©Rossina Gil, 2014
*TTYL = Talk to you later
Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit. Random House (New York: New York), 2012.
McDonald’s Business Practices Handbook, 1995.