Gaffer - In the entertainment industry, a member of a film crew who handles the lighting equipment.
Gagging Clause - An informal term which has become generally used in formal business/employment language, a 'gagging clause' is a clause in an employment contract, or more commonly a termination contract, which prevents an employee from disclosing certain information about the company or employing organization (typically extending to related organizations/interests) to the press, union officers, authorities, etc., and by implication also extending to the police. Often an employer agrees or enforces a payment with/upon the employee to secure the signature to the gagging clause or contract which contains it. While the contract may in some instances be mutually fair and agreeable, often the mechanism is used unjustly and forcibly by employers against departing 'whistleblowers' because the organization fears exposure of faults, problems, liabilities, and potentially criminal behaviour/behavior, etc. A 'gagging clause' is commonly instead and euphemistically called a 'compromise agreement' by employers keen to obscure their operational failings and the shame of using such an instrument.
Gagging Order - A legal order issued by a court to prevent the public reporting of a court case.
Gainsharing - Also called profit sharing. An incentive system which enables employees to have a share in a company's profits.
Gamekeepers and Poachers ('gamekeeper turned poacher') - A metaphor referring to employees who are respectively supportive or destructive towards their employing organization, and especially to those who become disaffected and negative due to poor treatment, and convert from being a supportive positive loyal hard-working member of staff ('gamekeeper') to being obstructive, resistant, non-cooperative, argumentative, etc., ('poachers'), and in extreme cases actually committed to sabotaging or destroying the employer, which may also include going to work for a competitor, especially exploiting valuable knowledge of products, markets, methods, customers, other contacts, etc., so as to target and win customers from the previous employer ('poaching').
Game Theory - Sometimes called Games Theory, this is a potentially highly complex branch of mathematics increasingly found in business which uses the analysis of competing strategies (of for example market participants) and their effects opon each other to predict and optimise outcomes and results. Relates strongly to cause and effect and chaos theory. Game Theory may also arise in military strategy.
Gantt Chart - Developed by Henry Gantt in 1917. A type of bar chart which illustrates the scheduled and completed work of a project. It shows start and finish dates, compares work planned to work done and tracks specific tasks.
Gap Analysis - Enables a company to assess the gap between its actual performance and its potential performance, by comparing what skills, products, etc. are available to what is required to improve performance, output, etc.
Garden Leave - Also called Gardening Leave. Term used when an employee's contract has been terminated but they are instructed by the company to stay away from work, on full pay, during their notice period. Often to prevent them from working for competitors during that time.
Garnish - To take part of someone's wages, by law, to pay their debts, e.g. child support, alimony.
Gatekeeper - A person in an organisation who controls access to the people in the organisation, and/or controls access to information or goods, or even a market. Microsoft could be described as a gatekeeper to the computer industry. Google could be described as a gatekeeper to the internet industry.
Gazelle - A US term for a fast growing company that creates a lot of job opportunities, and which has grown by at least 20% in the last four years.
Gazump - In selling and buying property, a term used to describe when a purchaser has an offer accepted by the vendor but is then gazumped because someone else makes the vendor a higher offer which the vendor then accepts instead of the first person's offer.
GDP - Acronym for Gross Domestic Product, a significant measure of economic performance. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the market value of national final goods/services. GDP per capita (per head) is generally considered an indicator of national standard of living.
Geek Speak - Technical language often used by computer experts which doesn't make sense to non-technical people.
General Creditor - A person or company that lends unsecured money, so that the creditor is unlikely to recover much of the loan if the debtor goes bankrupt or does not pay it back.
Generalist - A person who has a broad general knowledge at a high level, and/or many skills.
General Strike - Widespread withdrawal of labour by a nation's workforce, which aims at bringing the country to a standstill because of a disagreement over pay and/or working conditions. -
Generation X - A term used for people born during the 1960s and 1970s, who are often described as disaffected and irresponsible.
Genericized Trademark/Brand - A trademark or brand which has become a generally used word in common language in referring to all versions/makes/types of the product class, for example Hoover, Sellotape, Durex, etc. Corporations whose trademarks develop in this way try to reduce the commercial threat (to the protectable status and asset value of the brandname as intellectual property) typically by legal action against anyone exploiting or misusing the name, especially competitors. Where a court decides that the name has been substantially genericized for many years, or its protections in adequate or undermined, then these legal actions and effective trademark registration/protection may be lost. In terms of language used by the general public, resistance/action by the name owner is basically hopeless, given that the cause is societal/cultural/language-change on a vast scale. Below is a list of famous genericized trademarks; some are no longer registered/protected, and protections may vary in different parts of the world. The registration/protection status is interesting for publishing/reference reasons because technically registered trademarks should be shown with the TM or R symbol. Quite separately the effect of genericized trademarks demonstrates the power of big brands to enter public consciousness at a generic and fundamental level of language and culture. Some people argue that a genericized trademark is by definition one that has lost its official protected 'trademark' status. The counter-argument is that in such circumstances the term 'genericized trademark' is contradictory, as it would no longer be a trademark. Whatever, here is a list of trademarks (which may be current, expired, or legally overturned) that can reasonably be considered genericized to a lesser or greater degree , i.e., the word is used sometimes or almost always by ordinary people to refer to similar products and variants regardless of manufacturer and actual brandname:
examples of genericized trademarks/brand names - many remain protected trademarks
•Adrenalin • Aspirin • Astroturf • Band-aid • Bubblewrap • Cellophane • Chapstick •Coke • Dry ice • Dumpster • Formica • Frisbee • Heroin • Hula-hoop • Jacuzzi • Jeep •Jet-ski • Kleenex • Lanolin • Laundromat • Memory stick • Popsicle • Q-tip • Realtor •Rollerblade • Scotchtape • Superglue • Thermos • Vaseline • Wite-out • Xerox • Zipper
(Note that many of these genericized brand names remain strongly protected in commercial use, in certain territories. Trademark owners cannot object to common usage in speech, but can certainly take legal action against competitors or other ways that the names might be exploitated without permission.)
Gerontocracy - A government or political system which is ruled by old men (elders).
Get All Your Ducks In A Row - A term for getting organised, having everything in order and making sure all the small details are accounted for before embarking on a new project.
Get Go - From the start, the earliest stage of something. Used in the phrase 'From the get go.'
Gift Tax - A tax payable on gifts over a certain annual value made during the lifetime of the giver.
Giro - A system, used in some countries, of transferring money from one bank or post office account into another using a central computer.
Giveback - An agreement in which employees accept a wage reduction or fewer benefits as a gesture of goodwill, usually because of an economic downturn. The employees are often offered wage rises and new benefits at a later date.
Glamour Stock - A company's shares, which are very popular with investors, because they have performed well on the stock exchange.
Glamping - A portmanteau word meaning 'glamorous camping', for example staying in a posh serviced yurt (a large Mongolian-style nomadic tent) and eating luxury hamper foods.
Glass Ceiling - An invisible barrier in the workplace which prevents women and minority groups from advancing to positions of leadership in a company, although some do manage to 'break through' the glass ceiling.
Glass Wall - An imaginary barrier in the workplace which prevents women and minority groups from being employed in other sectors of business or industry.
Glitterati - Combination of Glitter and Literati. Glamorous, rich, famous people, often connected to show business.
Globalisation - The process of integrating nations, economically and socially, through free trade, international business activities, technology (for example the Internet), etc.
Global Village - A term used to describe the whole world as a single community, connected by electronic communication systems, such as the Internet.
Glocalisation - Global Localisation. A term used when an international company adapts its manufacturing methods, products or services to suit local conditions.
Gobbledegook - or Gobbledygook or Gobbledegoo - Incomprehensible jargon. Official language, spoken or printed or online, which is intended to explain or justify or inform or clarify or instruct, but which actually confuses people instead, because it is phrased in a stupid or unnecessarily complex way. Alternatively called 'Officialese', or 'Bureaucratese', gobbledegook is common in marketing, product instructions (especially for electronic products), contracts, training manuals, official communications, and certainly in politics, and local government. See alsoPlain Language, and gobbledygoo origins.
Gofer - From 'Go for'. An employee who runs errands, as well as doing their normal job, usually in an office or on a film set. A dogsbody.
Golden Formula - In the UK, a term used to describe industrial action, or strikes, which are legal, i.e., about matters connected to working conditions and employment, rather than political matters, and that workers striking for legal reasons should not lose their jobs.
Golden Handcuffs - Financial incentives or benefits given to a valued employee to ensure that they continue working for a company, and to discourage them from wanting to leave to work for another company.
Golden Handshake - Usually offered to high-ranking executives in a large company. A clause in their contract which provides them with a large sum of money and/or other benefits in the event of them losing their job or retiring.
Golden Parachute - A company's agreement with an employee, usually a top executive, which promises a significant amount of money and/or benefits if the employee is forced to leave their job, usually because of a change of company ownership, outside of the control of the original employer company.
Gold Reserve - The amount of gold bullion or gold coins held by a country's central bank to support its currency and provide security for its international debts.
Gone To The Wall - Describes a business which has failed.
Goodwill - The difference or premium which a purchaser pays, or which a seller asks, for a business or company compared to the 'book value' of its assets, typically representing intangibles such as brand value, intellectual property, talent, market relationships, etc., and which tend to reflect the overall value and appeal with which the purchaser regards the target acquisition. Over-estimating goodwill value, sometimes to an extraordinarily stupid degree, is a surprisingly common downfall of many big corporate takeover deals, when arrogance and blindness to market trends of the acquiring CEO and takeover team can lead to a reckless waste of shareholder funds and ruthless cost-cutting, post-acquisition, when performance, synergies and return on investment fail to reach required levels.
Googlewhack - Two proper words (found in a dictionary) which together produce just a single result from a normal Google search. A googlewhack tends not to retain its status indefinitely, and sometimes only fleetingly, because due to the strange popularity of the effect, googlewhacks are likely to be published on the web when discovered, which immediately produces a second occurrence. Aside from the study of language and statistics there is no earthly purpose for this phenomenon, which apparently was first described by Gary Stock in 2001 and who runs a website dedicated to the concept.
Grace - A period of time given to a debtor to enable them to pay an overdue bill or loan, or extra time given in a contract for a piece of work to be finished.
Grandfather Clause - A provision in a new law which allows the person or business already engaged in the activity, which may have been made illegal, to continue to be so engaged.
Graphology - The study of handwriting, often used as a way of analysing a person's character. See graphology.
Grass Roots - The ordinary people in a business or organisation, rather than the management or the decision-makers.
Gratis - To do or give something without payment. Free of charge.
Graveyard Market - A term used on the Stock Exchange to describe a Bear Market in which share owners are reluctant to sell because they face substantial losses, and buyers are reluctant to buy because the financial outlook is poor. Those who are in it can't get out, and those who are on the outside have no desire to get in.
Gravy Train - A business activity which makes a large profit for an individual or an organisation without much effort. To have it easy.
Green Audit - Also called Environmental Audit. An official assessment which shows the effect that an organisation or a company has on the environment.
Greenback - An informal term for US paper money, i.e., the dollar, derived from the colour of the money.
Green Card - In the US, a legal document which allows an immigrant to become a permanent resident, to work legally and to become eligible for citizenship.
Green Paper - A discussion document, typically written and circulated in governmental situations, aiming to start a discussion and the process of producing a white paper, so as to table new legislation. See white paper.
Green Taxes - Also called Ecotax. Taxes which are levied on companies, businesses, etc., to discourage activities which will harm the environment.
Grey Knight - A third person, or company, who makes an unsolicited bid in a corporate takeover, and who takes advantage of any problems which arise between the first bidder (White Knight) and the company being acquired.
Grey Swan/Gray Swan - a marketing/economics/probability expression inspired by Nassim Taleb in his books about random events with big consequences, a 'grey swan' refers to a major predicted or known event of national or more usually international significance, which has uncertain outcomes and unquantifiable effects on society, economics, etc. See also the main expression, Black Swan.
Grey Market/Gray Market - In marketing and business a grey market (gray market in US-English) is the supply of official goods through unofficial channels, for example the availability of branded consumer products on the internet from unauthorized stockists. Also called a parallel market or product diversion. These terms do not refer to counterfeit goods. The reference is to the unofficial, sometimes illegal, distribution and availability of official branded original goods. The term alludes to the older expression 'black market', and is used or analysed most commonly from the standpoint of manufacturers, who generally regard grey markets as threatening to their marketing distribution and pricing strategies. The term grey market extends widely and includes notably the substantial availability of products which have been diverted from one international marketing territory to another.
Grip - In the film and TV industry, a member of the film crew who makes sure that the lighting is right for a scene. They also move scenery and set up large pieces of equipment.
Gross Domestic Product - Commonly abbreviated to GDP, Gross Domestic Product is a very frequently used term in business and economics, and basically refers to a nation's total production at market values. GDP is however not easily explained or understood at a detailed and precise level. GDP may be calculated in different ways. Each method requires some qualification of precise definition, and then comprises quite complex formulae, mainly to ensure there is no double-counting, and no ommissions. The main methods seem to be as follows, although each nation has its own rules, and various institutional bodies produce other rules and standards for calculations and definitions. Ordinary people can reasonably regard fully detailed definitions of GDP very confusing. Lots of experts do too. Here is a very simple guide: Simply, and firstly, GDP may be calculated by totalling the market (sales) values of all products and services. GDP may instead be expressed as the combined total spending on products and services by consumers, industry and state. Alternatively, GDP may be expressed in terms of a population's total incomes, plus other items such as corporate profits and taxes on products/services. Each of these methods contains several and variable minor additional factors and caviats. Other methods exist as well, as if the basic two or three methods were not confusing enough.
Gross Profit Margin - Expressed as a percentage, what is left from a company's sales after cost of goods sold is paid out. Gross profit margin is obtained by dividing gross income by net sales.
Guru - An influential teacher or an expert in a particular subject who shares their knowledge, often by writing books.
The use of this material is free provided copyright (see below) is acknowledged and reference or link is made to the www.businessballs.com website. This material may not be sold, or published in any form. Disclaimer: Reliance on information, material, advice, or other linked or recommended resources, received from Alan Chapman, shall be at your sole risk, and Alan Chapman assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions, or damages arising. Users of this website are encouraged to confirm information received with other sources, and to seek local qualified advice if embarking on any actions that could carry personal or organizational liabilities. Managing people and relationships are sensitive activities; the free material and advice available via this website do not provide all necessary safeguards and checks. Please retain this notice on all copies.
© Businessballs 2009-2014