licking [ˈlɪkɪŋ] the [thē] cookie [kk]
1. To stake your claim, real or otherwise, on a unit of property, thought or idea within an organization in a manner where no one else can use the object or thought in question.
Explanation from a Fortune article on Steve Balmer and Microsoft:
"Inside Microsoft it's known as "licking the cookie." That's when a group within the company, typically Windows, declares its intentions to work on a feature or a product, thereby preventing others within the company from taking it on. Often it makes sense for Windows to own a project, says a former Microsoft manager who still does consulting work for the company, but it also slows down development at a time when tech companies can scarcely afford to be piggy.
Others talk about what a few former employees call the "made men" -- those who earned their bones during the 1990s when Microsoft was riding high and now can do no wrong, even as they bungle decision after decision. "You want to innovate in mobile?" said a former top Microsoft engineer named James Whittaker before leaving to take a job at Google. "Then deal with the made men who run the relevant cartel. And if they don't like you or your idea, your innovation goes nowhere."
Nice. Happens all the time outside of Microsoft as well. Some relatively harmless ways people inside your company currently "lick the cookie":
1. Reserving conference rooms they don't need.
2. Swooping in like Vultures on the tech tools that a departing team member leaves at their cubicle.
3. Taking a piece of cake from the kitchen that you're not sure when you'll have time or the appetite to eat.
And some more counterproductive cookie-licking ways that probably cause your company to move backwards:
1. Managers saying that key people on their team are unavailable for promotion or lateral moves - they're just too important.
2. Managers moving in within a matrixed environment to engage associates on projects that they may or may not need their help on.
3. Being territorial and saying or acting in ways that suggest you're the only one who can do a certain job.
4. Knowledge hoarding so you can't effectively be replaced - damn the cost to the business.
5. Spending budget on things you don't need so you get the same budget amount next year.
6. Anything product related similar to the Microsoft example...
Call someone out on licking the cookie today. They deserve it.
What did I miss?