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The Official Baldrige Blog

Hey, Noah Webster, I Am Still Around

Harry's Ten New Words showing a dictionary with the words flowing into it.
Credit: Creativa Images/Shutterstock

On two prior occasions, I was motivated by additions to the Oxford English Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to create and update the Hertz Lexicon of Creative Leadership Terminology.

As luck would have it, in late 2022, Merriam-Webster added another 370 words to its dictionary. So with all due respect, if Merriam-Webster could add words like janky, meaning very poor quality, and adorkable, meaning socially awkward or quirky in a way that is endearing, I certainly am entitled to update my lexicon with some relevant post-pandemic leadership terminology.

Ten New Words

So with a great sense of pride and my tongue in my cheek, I hereby propose ten new words (in alphabetical order, of course) for your careful consideration:

  1. cloud gathering
    Pulling together quantitative, qualitative, and pictorial data stored in the cloud, using different hosting services, different accounts, and possibly each existing on a different computer. The type of challenge any "good" person would have who was used to storing everything on their personal computer(s) and then migrated it to the cloud and now uses cloud storage and file-sharing tools routinely.
  2. hybrequity
    Treating employees equally well, whether they work remotely or at the employer's work site. Management that focuses on inclusivity for all employees, regardless of their location is achieving hybrequity.
  3. hybribalance
    Balancing the needs of the organization for time at the employer's work site with the employees' desire for opportunities to work remotely. Closely, related is the need to encourage work-life balance equitably for remote and on-site employees.
  4. hybridemics
    Both employers and higher-education institutions that offer learning opportunities in a classroom and virtually. This is one example of hybrequity.
  5. hybriholic
    The remote employee who needs to prove their value by clinging to their work devices 24/7. This employee needs management to encourage personal hybribalance.
  6. hybrinemia
    Leaders' lack of commitment when they exhibit neutral or feigned positive response to the important role of hybrid work to the engagement of employees and the productivity of the organization. This phenomenon is closely linked to hybriphobia, the leaders' fear that hybrid work will destroy the organization, when multiple studies point to the benefits of hybrid work.
  7. ideapation
    The stifling of ideas when people are working remotely and don't gather, formally or informally, to brainstorm and share ideas.

    In most organizations, innovation is a team sport. People benefit from bouncing ideas off each other. The conversation around the water cooler or over lunch or by walking across the hall to a colleague leads to better ideas through collaboration. The absence of such opportunities, unless encouraged and supported with virtual tools can lead to a "constipation" of ideas in the organization.
  8. middle manglement
    The crunch/stress on middle managers caused by leadership evaluation of their performance based on concepts of employee engagement and performance that are derived from pre-pandemic organizational norms and processes.
  9. relativity (non-Einsteinian and non-familial)
    The metric for engagement and productivity of employees in a hybrid work environment compared to a similar group of employees required to work on-site full-time in jobs conducive to remote work.
  10. surphobic
    The fear some leaders and managers have that employees at home will spend most of their time in non-work-related activities on the web.

    Given all the data, it is surprising that this phobia continues. And, by the way, for the few employees that are engaged in non-work-related web surfing, what do leaders and managers think those employees do on site?


While my ten new words are not likely to make their way into the Baldrige Glossary of Key Terms or the Baldrige Excellence Framework®, they may still serve a useful function for your organization.

  • Consider a quick leadership assessment of your organization against these ten newly important words/concepts.
  • Consider asking your employees and managers if they have a personal reaction to any of them.
  • Analyze your results.
  • Are you optimizing organizational productivity?
  • Are there aspects of your culture that need addressing to establish a healthy culture in light of current realities?

I would love to hear what you learn!

2023-2024 Baldrige Excellence Framework Business/Nonprofit cover artwork

Baldrige Excellence Framework®

The Baldrige Excellence Framework® has empowered organizations to accomplish their missions, improve results, and become more competitive. It includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence®, core values and concepts, and guidelines for evaluating your processes and results.

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Available versions: Business/Nonprofit, Education, and Health Care

About the author

Harry Hertz “The Baldrige Cheermudgeon”

I am Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon, and Director Emeritus of the Baldrige Program. I joined the Program in 1992 after a decade in management in the analytical chemistry and chemical sciences laboratories at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the home of the Baldrige Program. I started my career at NIST (NBS) as a bench analytical chemist.

My favorite aspects of the Baldrige Program are: (1) the opportunity to interact with leading thinkers from all sectors of the U.S. economy who serve as volunteers in the Baldrige Program, who participate in the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, and who represent Award applicants at the forefront of the continuous journey to performance excellence, and (2) the intellectual challenge of synthesizing ideas from leading thinkers and from personal research into Insights on the Road to Performance Excellence and other blogs that tackle challenges at the “leading edge of validated leadership and performance practice,” and contribute to the continuous revision of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework.

Outside of work I spend my time with family (including three beautiful granddaughters), exercising, baking bread, traveling, educating tomorrow’s leaders, and participating on various boards and board committees.

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