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Harry Hertz


Hey, Noah Webster, I Am Still Around

New contributions to the lexicon of work

Published: Monday, May 8, 2023 - 11:03

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. 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’m certainly entitled to update my lexicon with some relevant post-pandemic leadership terminology.

So, with a great sense of pride and my tongue in my cheek, I hereby propose 10 new words (in alphabetical order, of course) for your careful consideration:

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), then migrated to the cloud, and now uses cloud storage and file-sharing tools routinely.


Treating employees equally well, whether they work remotely or at the employer’s worksite. Management that focuses on inclusivity for all employees, regardless of their location, is achieving hybrequity.


Balancing an organization’s need for employees to work onsite with employees’ desire for opportunities to work remotely. Closely related is the need to encourage work-life balance equitably for remote and onsite employees.


Both employers and higher-education institutions that offer learning opportunities in both a classroom and virtually. This is one example of hybridemics.


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.


Leaders’ lack of commitment when they exhibit neutral or feigned positive response to the important role of hybrid work in employee engagement and organizational productivity. This phenomenon is closely linked to hybriphobia, or leaders’ fear that hybrid work will destroy the organization, when multiple studies point to the benefits of hybrid work.


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.

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.

Relativity (non-Einsteinian and nonfamilial)

The metric for engagement and productivity of employees in a hybrid work environment compared to a similar group of employees required to work onsite full-time in jobs conducive to remote work.


The fear some leaders and managers have that employees at home will spend most of their time in nonwork-related activities on the web.

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


While my 10 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 10 newly important words/concepts.
• Consider asking your employees and managers whether 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!

First published April 18, 2023, on the Blogrige Blog.


About The Author

Harry Hertz’s picture

Harry Hertz

Harry Hertz retired in June 2013 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where he had served as director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program since 1995. For more than 15 years he was the primary architect of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, responsible for expansion of the Baldrige Program and Award to healthcare, education, and nonprofits, including government. Hertz serves on the advisory group for VHA’s Center for Applied Healthcare Studies, and on the adjunct faculty of American University. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, and a Ph.D. from M.I.T.