Have You Got Jargon Monoxide?

Improvement Insights Blog

Have You Got Jargon Monoxide?

Are you asphyxiating people with Jargon Monoxide? Maybe you need some oxygen language.

“I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and QI Macros [software].

“I ran across an interesting phrase and I loved it, it was great. They said, “Everybody suffers from… jargon monoxide.” (There, I finally said it!) Jargon monoxide: The asphyxiation through jargon.

“I think Six Sigma is burdened with it from the very start. The words “Six Sigma” make everybody blanch from the get-go. “Sigma? Oh my gosh, that’s statistical! I don’t underst… oh my gosh!” Right? They start to asphyxiate and can’t breathe. It’s just funny to watch. Or you give them too complicated a software and they think it’s too hard; “I can’t learn this!” Or you try and teach them formulas and that’s too complicated; “I don’t understand formulas!” Right? Jargon monoxide.

“We have all kinds of it. We have Japanese stuff like “heijunka.” Oh my gosh! Right? “Load leveling!” Let’s speak English, right?

“So I want you to get this idea that every once in a while, just [think], “Oh, that’s jargon monoxide. What would be something that would be pure oxygen? What language would be pure oxygen to your listener?” I keep working on that.

“So let’s go out and improve something this week, like the language we use to become pure oxygen for the listener, not jargon monoxide.”