LOB, ANYONE? Like any outsider, l.ou Gerstner had to learn a new language when he joined IBM. But he struck back on Sept. 13, banishing the term LOB--line of business--to make IBM more "customerfriendly." Product units will now be called divisions.
A look at IBM's lexicon shows that Big Blue's CEO has a lot more work to do.
BUCK IT UP TO CHQ: To send an issue to the corporate headquarters for resolution.
CRISP UP: To improve a foil (overhead slide) presentation.
DOWN-LEVEL VERSION: A document that's no longer relevant, as in "working from a down-level version."
PROFS: Professional Office Systems, IBM's internal electronic mail system. Also used as a verb, as in "PROFS me on that."
FLATTEN: To resolve an issue, as in "we have to flatten this before tomorrow's meeting."
PUSHBACK: A nonconcurrence, as in "I took the issue past AI, but I got a lot of pushback."
ALL OVER THE FLOOR: A situation that has gone out of control, as in "this product announcement is all over the floor."
GOAT-ROPING: A gathering of the key players needed to resolve an issue, as in " have to have a goat-roping on this PC pricing strategy."
RESWIZZLE: To improve something, as in "Frank's boss asked him to reswizzle his foils." Synonym: To tweak.
THE APPLE ORCHARD (OR, THE ORCHARD): IBM's Armonk (N.Y.) corporate headquarters, which was once an apple orchard.
HYPO: A high-potential employee, generally destined for management.
SPEEDS AND FEEDS: Technical specifications of products, as in "Give me the speeds and feeds of that new workstation."
LEVEL-SET: To give a brief summary at the outset of a meeting, as in: "Before we begin, let me level-set."
BIG IRON: Mainframe computers.
TAKE IT OFF-LINE: To discuss an issue, usually on a one-to-one basis, after a meeting.
BOIL THE OCEAN: To exercise vigorously every possible option to resolve an issue, as in "he's really boiling the ocean on that problem."
NONCONCUR: To disagree.
TALK TO THE FOILS: To give a presentation using an overhead projector.
ONE PERFORMER: An employee with IBM's top performance rating, as in "Mary is a real one performer." Opposite: Four check, an employee with IBM's lowest performance rating who could be fired if he doesn't improve in a brief time period, known as the "measured mile."