Evoking a new way of thinking.
Key Vocabulary: Synecdoche
Synecdoche is a part of speech. A
synecdoche is the use of a part to stand for a whole -
e.g. when one refers to a
car as "wheels" or implicitly
embodies an organization by the
interactions with its representative.
Synecdoche has become a managerial tool of which managers lack any awareness. We use metaphors as synecdoche (relying on the mapping we make of similarities and ignoring the more complex arena of dis-similarity and context dependence.) Brands are perhaps our paradigmatic synecdoche as is the media's love of the sound bite and the Internet's love of the keyword. To be known by a Twitter is synecdoche. To be eliminated due to a six sigma evaluation is synecdoche. To make use of a belief in the "bell curve" or a "Gaussian distribution" in decision making is synecdoche. So too is labeling of politicians by a singular position they hold. So too was the simplistic belief prior to the housing crisis in always rising housing prices. Synecdoche is in desperate need of being exposed. It is the hammer to the manager's love of nails. While the manager's tool kit holds more than synecdoche, synecdoche holds to its pre-eminence with the very lack of awareness of its existence.