Square Pegs, Round Holes, Dogs That Don’t Hunt and the 30,000 Foot View

We all know them.  Sometimes they pop into our conversation without even thinking about it.  Other times they are delivered with great intent.  Business cliches are without question one of the most controversial ways we use to try and communicate the mundane.  In Texas, there is a history of great sayings like “that dog don’t hunt” and “all hat and no cattle.”  Who knows where these sayings truly originate from, but they stick because people understand what they mean.  Even if they do not like it.

Throughout my professional career I have worked in higher education and in for profit environments and the same cliches and buzz words find their way into presentations, meetings, and cocktail parties. I have studied leadership writers and theories (Bennis, Covey, Maxwell, Yoda, etc.) for many years.  Whether you are a “Quiet Leader,” or a disciple of “The Art of War” communication and vision are at the top of every leader’s to do list.  The need to communicate with the most people in the fewest amount of words is perhaps what makes cliches valuable.  There is a shared experience that is going on with cliches and I recently started to wonder what are we really trying to communicate when we use these sayings and how do they relate to vision.

Square Peg/Round Hole

“That is a square peg/round hole situation” is something colleagues have heard from me on more than one occasion.  In my mind this is a way of communicating that we are not thinking about the end goal and we are either applying an invalid strategy, or do not have the right talent in place to achieve our goals.  The pieces do not fit together.  Jim Collins would say that most “Built to Last” companies have identified their shape and do not change it.  They may change the product or the process but the principles do not change.  This cliché is a way of protecting the culture and principles of an organization by identifying a potential problem.

That Dog Don’t Hunt

Cliches are intended to have a definitive impact on a conversation.  They are meant to change direction. Everyone is looking for the next great idea, innovation, or way to improve their “return on investment.”  I have been part of organizations that believed every idea should be “run up the flag pole.”  Sometimes though, you really need someone that will just say “that dog don’t hunt.”  A Southern expression that creatively expresses that an idea or plan is just not going to work.  Exploring ideas takes time and resources, and most businesses do not have that luxury.  Again, this ties back to knowing what you are trying to do and who you are trying to serve.  Without this clarity, every dog gets to hunt but very few get to eat.

30,000 Foot View

I have a former boss who loved this one.  If you are a visual learner, than vision is maybe best experienced from the window seat of an airplane.  The perspective from above the clouds certainly changes the way we think about size and scale.  This must have been the origin of the “30,000 foot view.”  Most likely from a note scribbled on a cocktail napkin by an executive in a first class airline seat in the mid 80’s.  Actually, I think author David Allen gets credit for this academically, but many meetings and conversations focus on the micro-level day-to-day details and not the big picture.  These details are critical, but decisions need to flow from the 30,000 foot vision.  Good leaders are able to bring all elements of their organization into this big picture view and create “synergy” by activating each role as a part of achieving this vision.

There are endless amounts of cliches and buzz words that people use to try and get their ideas and perspectives heard.  By now, you have probably already started thinking about your most and least favorites.  They are an effort to draw attention and increase impact by departing from the normal conversation conventions.  I think everyone tires of these cliches, especially buzz words, and they even draw eye rolls if over used, but there is no denying that they have an impact, because of the shared understanding.  These sayings simplify complex situations, clarify principles and help drive consensus when used appropriately creating a “win-win situation.”  So use them sparingly and wisely, because they truly can be a “game changer.”

Brian Perry
Marketing and Outreach at Designica Software

Posted on January 23, 2014 in Guest Blog

Share the Story

About the Author

Responses (17)

  1. installment
    May 4, 2017 at 6:32 pm ·

    Pullon says: For foreign countries have been incredible generic http://nofaxpaydaynpz.com/ , legal us and give it!

  2. giełda na świecie online
    May 10, 2017 at 6:51 am ·

    Hej. Strona co jakiś czas nie działa, dlaczego ?

  3. Justinka
    May 22, 2017 at 12:38 am ·

    [B][COLOR=#b30000]Здарова![/COLOR][/B] [B]Дай я тебе немного расскажем про один крутой [URL=https://forum.devsaid.com/]форум[/URL] :[/B]

    [B]Преимущества для любознательных:[/B]
    – На нашем форуме для тебя опубликованы [B]бесплатно[/B] все курсы и материалы со всех [URL=https://forum.devsaid.com/categories/dampy-forumov.244/]платных форумов[/URL] инета.
    – Огромный выбор курсов на любой вкус и цвет и множество разделов в которых можно спросить или ответить.
    – Мы оперативно восстанавливаем битые ссылки.
    – Удобная и понятная [URL=https://forum.devsaid.com/threads/gruppy-polzovatelej.276827/]система повышения твоего статуса[/URL], в зависимости от твоей пользы ресурсу.
    – И т.д.

    [B]Преимущества для участников складчин:[/B]
    – Защита твоего взноса на 100% от кидка организатором.
    – Полная анонимность твоего кошелька вебмани или другой системы оплаты.
    – Оплата суммы взноса происходит в одно нажатие кнопки, с твоего личного счета на форуме.
    – И т.д.

    [B]Преимущества для организаторов складчин:[/B]
    – Функция автоматической оплаты взносов упрощает тебе сбор средств до максимума.
    – Ты можешь одновременно организовывать у нас темы, которые ты оргаешь на других форумах.
    – 10% комиссии твоё + 10% компенсация комиссий платёжных систем + 50% с резерва +50% с дополнительных покупок.
    – И т.д.

    Изучи [URL=’https://forum.devsaid.com/faq/’]FAQ[/URL]. Изучи [URL=’https://forum.devsaid.com/help/terms’]Правила[/URL]. Изучи [URL=’https://forum.devsaid.com/threads/gruppy-polzovatelej.276827/’]Описание групп пользователей[/URL].
    Вливайся в нашу тусовку!

  4. MoisesFuh
    May 23, 2017 at 3:51 am ·

    generic viagra mail


    generic viagra online

    viagra als droge

  5. MoisesFuh
    May 23, 2017 at 11:21 am ·

    pillole viagra generico

    [url=http://buyviagracvz.com/] cheap viagra[/url]

    cheap viagra

    viagra ca marche

  6. ElleFuh
    May 24, 2017 at 10:52 am ·

    how can i get a 1000 dollar loan with bad credit

    [url=http://loansolobest.com/] personal loans[/url]

    payday express

    payday advance hastings ne

  7. ElleFuh
    May 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm ·

    3000 dollar loan for bad credit

    [url=http://loansolobest.com/] cash advance[/url]

    pay day loans

    payday loans in jasper texas

  8. ElleFuh
    May 24, 2017 at 2:55 pm ·

    payday loans palmer ak

    [url=http://loansolobest.com/] personal loans[/url]

    payday loans

    cash loan places brampton

  9. ElleFuh
    May 24, 2017 at 3:12 pm ·

    guaranteed loans for bad credit no brokers

    [url=http://loansolobest.com/] loans for bad credit[/url]

    cash advance

    payday loans isle of wight

  10. GarryFuh
    May 24, 2017 at 3:17 pm ·

    want to buy herbal viagras

    [url=http://buyviaraerzonline.com/] generic viagra[/url]

    viagra online

    generic viagra potency

  11. ElleFuh
    May 24, 2017 at 6:11 pm ·

    payday loans that do not check your credit

    [url=http://loansolobest.com/] payday loans online[/url]

    payday loans online

    payday loans 1st loan free

  12. BeataHaby
    May 24, 2017 at 6:14 pm ·

    #CATAMBERJEWELRY, Cats, Natural BALTIC AMBER Bracelet, Round Earrings

    You are Welcome in my Baltic Amber shop #AmberWizard! https://www.etsy.com/shop/Amberwizard

    [url=https://www.etsy.com/listing/509972087/cat-100-natural-baltic-amber-bracelet?ref=shop_home_active_25]Cat AMBER Bracelet white leather with AMBER bead[/url]
    Gift, present, Catlovers jewelry

    [url=https://www.etsy.com/listing/459444318/100-natural-baltic-genuine-amber?ref=shop_home_active_38]Natural Baltic AMBER Round silver Earrings[/url]

  13. Jerrybloge
    May 24, 2017 at 6:18 pm ·

    사설토토추천사이트♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99사설토토사이트추천 사설토토
    사설토토추천사이트♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99사설토토사이트추천 사설토토/배팅/네임드사다리/실시간양방/♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99#메이저사이총판/사다리양방 다리다리양방
    사설토토추천사이트♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99사설토토사이트추천 사설토토/배팅/네임드사다리/실시간양방/♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99#메이저사이총판/사다리양방 다리다리양방
    사설토토추천사이트♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99사설토토사이트추천 사설토토/배팅/네임드사다리/실시간양방/♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99#메이저사이총판/사다리양방 다리다리양방
    사설토토추천사이트♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99사설토토사이트추천 사설토토/배팅/네임드사다리/실시간양방/♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99#메이저사이총판/사다리양방 다리다리양방
    사설토토추천사이트♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99사설토토사이트추천 사설토토/배팅/네임드사다리/실시간양방/♬¬▷((Bgg-777 . Com))◁-♬¬카톡:come99#메이저사이총판/사다리양방 다리다리양방

  14. ElleFuh
    May 24, 2017 at 7:11 pm ·

    payday loans in penticton

    [url=http://loansolobest.com/] pay day loans[/url]

    payday loans online

    online payday loans no fax no credit check no teletrack

  15. ElleFuh
    May 24, 2017 at 10:11 pm ·

    cash advance in San Antonio 78245

    [url=http://loansolobest.com/] personal loans[/url]

    payday loans online

    faedah personal loan

  16. ElleFuh
    May 25, 2017 at 12:11 am ·

    approved cash advance flint mi

    [url=http://loansolobest.com/] pay day loans[/url]

    payday loans online

    cell phone cash

  17. ElleFuh
    May 25, 2017 at 4:11 am ·

    certified cash loans

    [url=http://loansolobest.com/]payday loans[/url]

    cash advance

    personal loans for credit score below 600

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top