If you haven’t read my thoughts on analogies vs. jargon, hop on over to that article and then come back.
Deep Dive is one of those phrases that people have latched on to hard and frequently abuse in the business world. They put it in meeting descriptions so that they sound smart, sexy and “in the know.” They use it to “add value” to an event, like you’ll get more out of the event than normal because #deepdive #wherenoonehasgonebefore.
Really? Everything you do is THAT deep?
what does Deep Dive really mean?
According to the collective (Wikipedia) Deep diving is underwater diving to a depth beyond the norm accepted by the associated community.
So with it written like that, it sounds logical to use to describe a business event, except very few people are familiar with the nuances of diving. If you refer back to the discussion about jargon, you’ll remember that it is:
the language, especially the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group
Seriously, how many divers did you invite to your meeting “Deep Dive into the Issues surrounding XYZ” last week?
I thought so.
So let’s give you some latitude – let’s say that you used it as an innocent analogy.
Did you really go “beyond the norm accepted” into the issues and topics discussed? If you did, and if everyone is comfortable with the term, congrats! Consider though, that if every meeting is a “deep dive” or if you are doing them every month on the same topic, it has become the norm. It is accepted and even expected and is therefore no longer a “deep dive” for those involved.
Even more interesting, though, is the article “When is a DeepDive not a Deep Dive” written by Mike Morrison which covers the etymology of the term in business use. It speaks to the use of the term as a way to make your work/meeting/event sound “sexy” and cutting edge without a remote understanding of the business principals behind the phrase.
Moral to the story:
- “Deep Dive” sounds cool
- it isn’t because we aren’t divers
- It means working outside normal
- Once normal changes, you have to stop using it
My thoughts? Really read up on how the phrase fits in the business world. Once you have, use “Deep dive” if you must, but use it sparingly.
Next up – using the word “Mandatory” when it isn’t…